What Are the Causes of Weak Hair in Women?

Rear view of woman brushing hair
Weak hair can be a daily frustration. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Weak hair is a common complaint among women. A woman's hair is often her crowning glory, so when it begins to break and thin it can be an embarrassing experience. If you have weak hair, understanding the various causes of your changing hair can help you become better equipped to both prevent weakness and treat your hair.

Symptoms of Weak Hair

Woman combing hair, outdoors
When you have weak hair, you may experience hair that breaks easily. (Image: David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

When you have weak hair, you may experience hair that breaks easily, resulting in split ends and a ragged hairstyle. Weak hair can also cause dry hair, meaning you suffer from frizziness and flyaways. Your hair may also be less capable of holding a style, coming out limp no matter what different products you use to get body and bounce.

Common Causes

Portrait of smiling mother and daughter
If your mother suffered with weak, easily damaged hair, you may be prone to it as well. (Image: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images)

Weak hair can be caused by a variety of conditions. The first may simply be genetics. If your mother suffered with weak, easily damaged hair, you may be prone to it as well. Some of the damage that causes your hair to weaken may be inflicted by your own actions. Chemical processes such as coloring and relaxing can strip hair of its natural moisture, leaving hair weak and easily breakable. Wearing your hair in the same styles over and over again can also put pressure on the hair, leaving it weaker in some spots.

Prevention Is the Best Medicine

close-up of a young woman getting a head massage
Treating your hair with care and respect is one of the easiest ways to keep it strong. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Treating your hair with care and respect is one of the easiest ways to keep it strong. Try to avoid chemical processing. If you must color, use a temporary or semi-permanent formula without ammonia, to keep moisture in your hair. Heated styling tools can also cause weakness and breakage, so limit your usage or use only as much heat as absolutely necessary to get the style you want. Talk to your doctor about taking biotin and niacin supplements to help keep hair strong and healthy.

Treating Damaged Hair

Hair is made up of the dead protein keratin. It has no way of repairing itself, even with the best care and products. Once your hair is weakened, it can compromise even the new, healthy hair growing from your scalp. If you experience breakage and splitting, visit your stylist to trim away dead ends before they can travel up the hair shaft and damage your healthy hair.

When to See a Doctor

portrait of an elderly woman talking to a male doctor
If you previously had healthy hair and it has suddenly become weak, prone to damage and prone to shedding, contact your doctor. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

If you previously had healthy hair and it has suddenly become weak, prone to damage and prone to shedding, contact your doctor. The American Academy of Dermatology notes that sudden changes in your hair can be the result of hormone deficiencies, diseases and other illnesses that require treatment.

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