Dull Hair: Signs, Causes and How To Boost Shine

Medically Reviewed by Dr Sravya, MBBS, MS 


Dull Hair: What Is It?

Dull Hair

Hair that lacks hydration and its natural luster is referred to as dull hair. When the hair doesn’t get or retain adequate moisture, dullness sets in. Dryness, frizz, and a harsh texture are all signs of dull hair.

Dull hair can be caused by a variety of factors, including using improper hair care products, not getting enough nutrients in your daily diet, and applying harsh chemicals too frequently.

Fortunately, there are particular methods and DIY cures to turn lifeless hair into shiny, vibrant tresses.

Why Do Hairs Become Dull?

Examining the causes of dull hair is crucial before attempting therapies. You may select the best treatment for dull hair by taking a thorough approach to the problem.

Various causes of dull hairs are as follows:

Signs of dull hair

Dullness and aridity

Your hair’s cuticles are what give it shine. Your hair loses its shine when the cuticles are damaged. Your hair should look more vibrant after washing it than it did before. One of the earliest indications that your hair has been heat-damaged is dullness. Dull hair is also influenced by dryness. Your tresses become dehydrated and more prone to breaking when your hair is damaged since it can’t maintain moisture adequately.

Broken ends

Because frequent application of heat reduces the hair’s capacity to hold moisture, hair that has been damaged by heat loses its suppleness. Dehydrated hair becomes rougher and more challenging to manage, frequently leading to split ends. Split ends, often referred to as trichoptilosis or schizotrichia in medicine, occur when the ends of your hair fray or separate. Splits can also occur higher up the strand. However, they typically occur at the ends. Splits come in a variety of forms. A cuticle split occurs when part of the cuticle becomes detached, but the cortex is retained, whereas a basic split occurs when the hair divides in two, and a multiple split occurs when the hair resembles tree branches.


Split ends make your hair more likely to break off because they weaken the structure of your hair. Frequent exposure to intense heat damages your hair’s elasticity, which raises your chance of breakage. If you’ve ever seen any short, protruding pieces of hair, those are probably hair fragments that have become detached. Both moist and dry hair are brittle. If it’s become knotted, working through the knots may cause your hair to break. Take a strand of hair and tug it to check for breaking. Healthy hair can stretch. Damaged hair is evident if the strand breaks without stretching.


Split ends make your hair more likely to break off because they weaken the structure of your hair. Frequent exposure to intense heat damages your hair’s elasticity, which raises your chance of breakage. If you’ve ever seen any short hairs that stick up, those are probably hair fragments that have become detached. Both moist and dry hair are brittle. Your hair could split as you work your way through the knots if it has become twisted. Take a strand of hair and tug it to check forbreaking. Healthy hair can stretch. Damaged hair is evident when a strand breaks without stretching.


Flyaways Hot tools, especially those used at high temperatures, rob your strands of moisture. This keeps your hair from lying flat by leaving the hair cuticles vulnerable to harm. Flyaways, which are short hair strands that stand up after breaking off close to the roots, are frequently a sign of breakage. Flyaways can be challenging to control and manage, and they can negatively impact the entire appearance of your hair, particularly whenever you’re going for a sleek, polished look.

Uneven or altered texture

By running your fingers through your hair, you can check to see if the texture has altered. Heat-damaged curly hair may lose its bounce and springiness instead of recovering as it did when it was healthy. Straight hair that has been damaged can change its texture from silky and smooth to rough and coarse. Hair that has been exposed to heat damage may even feel singed or frayed at the tips.

Tangles & knots

“Shingles “make up the hair cuticles. The shingles lie flat together when the hair is in good condition. The shingles on their hair cuticles start to protrude when they sustain damage, making it simple for hair strands to tangle with one another. Hair that is tangled or knotted is harder to brush or comb through and is more likely to break. They can occur during the day or right after you have a shower, especially when you’re outside while the wind keeps blowing your hair in all directions.

Erroneous hair color

Heat-damaged hair cannot maintain color adequately. Your hair may absorb too much dye if it has grown too porous, turning it darker than you wanted. Your hair’s porosity determines how well it can both absorb and hold moisture. The presence of damaged and open cuticles is
indicated by high porosity. Your hair color may also deteriorate more quickly than usual. Damaged hair has a high porosity, which causes it to release more color when washed.

Hair fall

On their head, the average person has between 80,000 and 120,000 hairs. Hairs naturally fall out every two to six years as they grow. Strains deteriorate throughout these 2 to 6 years. When you brush or take a shower, you can find that you’re losing more hair than usual if you have heat- damaged hair since the strands have been weakened. Since damaged hair encounters breakdowns in the links – lipids, oils, water, and protein – that form up each strand, a shortage of protein may be to blame.

These are the various signs of dull hairs.

How to boost the shine of dull hairs

Conditioning for Hairs

Light-reflecting hair is referred to as shiny hair. You’ve probably observed that smoother surfaces reflect light better than textured ones. For your hair, the same holds.

After each wash, hair experts advise moisturizing your hair. The outermost layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, can be rapidly smoothed with the use of conditioners. Additionally, it assists in naturally defending the cortex, the inner part of your hair.

Additionally, conditioning can prevent breakage and tangles in your hair. It can bring back the natural bounce of your hair with regular use.


If you’re suffering from dull hair, hydrating it should be your top focus. Moisturized hair has shiny, smooth, and lustrous cuticles, but dry hair has a rougher and drab surface that is more prone to damage.

Use a pre-shampoo hydrating treatment or a nourishing hair mask at least every week to keep your hair and scalp nourished for noticeable benefits.

Regular Hair Washing

Dry hair is frequently dull. Therefore, while shampooing your hair every day may not be a good idea, most experts agree that doing so every two to three days is. To remove grime and product buildup without removing your hair’s natural oils, use a gentle clarifying shampoo.

Selecting the Best Products

It’s important to match your hair type to your hair care routine and products. The proper shampoo and conditioner can work wonders for your hair, but the incorrect ones can harm it.

Remember to take into account the type and texture of your hair while selecting hair care products. Avoiding products with hazardous ingredients, sulfates, and parabens is also recommended.

Correct Product Usage

The most frequent cause of dull hair is incorrect shampoo rinsing, which can result in product accumulation. It is advised by experts to rinse your hair until the water is clear and bubble-free.

As conditioner weighs down your hair and makes it look flat and drab, avoid applying it to the roots. Only apply conditioner to your hair’s ends and mid-lengths.

As little as possible, use styling products. Although silicone-containing hair products might give your lifeless hair a bright sheen, it is important to use them sparingly.

Watch Your Hair Ends

Even after you’ve thoroughly cleaned and conditioned your hair, uneven and unkempt ends can still make it appear dull. Hair trimming every 8 to 12 weeks might help avoid split ends. Before blow-drying or using heat to style your hair, don’t forget to apply a heat-protective spray or
serum to your hair.

Tissue Drying

Damage is easier to do to wet hair. Rubbing your hair vigorously with a towel can seriously weaken it, and cause split ends, damage, and hair loss. To properly towel-dry your hair, squeeze out any extra moisture before gently blotting tiny areas of hair with a soft microfiber towel.


Proper maintenance, a nutritious diet, and patience are needed to restore dry, brittle, and dull hairs. You may restore your hair’s natural shine and vitality by using these suggestions and treating it right. Every type of hair is different, so adapt these suggestions to your requirements. You may have the gorgeous, beautiful, and healthy hair you’ve always desired if you put effort into it and take the appropriate attitude.

Frequently Asked Questions

Damaged hair looks and feels dry, brittle, and frequently like straw. Split ends give the
impression that the hair is thinner. It might also be more prone to tangling, dull, frizzy,
unmanageable, and challenging to style.

The extent of the hair damage will determine this. After one nourishing protein treatment, you can detect improvements in hair that have only become slightly dry. Others could require several months of moderate hair care. But severely harmed hair is frequently irreparable, so a hairstylist can suggest cutting out as much of the harm as you can to return to the road of healthy hair.

Trimming your hair keeps it healthy since it gets rid of broken and damaged ends. In turn, this makes hair appear thicker. Trimming your hair won’t, however, cause it to grow more quickly at the scalp level.

If your hair is severely damaged, it might be beneficial to cut it short. This enables your
hairstylist to repair the damage as much as possible. Your hair will also appear much healthier as a result.

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