Gray hair is beautiful and unique, but it can also come with challenges like frizz, dryness, and brittleness. This is especially true during the dry cold winter months. It is something we can all be susceptible to but it doesn’t have to be frustrating. Changing a couple of things in your routine may be all you need to do.

In this blog post, I am sharing my top five easy tips for dealing with dry, brittle, gray hair to help you maintain healthy and beautiful locks all year round. I am expanding on this video 5 Tips To Help With Dry Brittle Ends For Healthy Silver Hair, with more recommendations, and answering your most frequently asked questions.

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woman cutting another woman's hair

Tip #1: Evaluate Whether You Need a Haircut

The first tip to fighting dry, brittle ends is to evaluate whether or not you need a haircut. Take a close look at your hair ends with your stylist or on your own under a bright light. If you notice any split ends or breakage, it’s time for a trim.

Split ends will continue to travel up the hair shaft if left untreated. Cutting above the point of the split ends and breakage will prevent this from happening; this also helps when trying to achieve length as it keeps the ends as healthy as possible.

Tip #2: Check Your Product Lineup

The second tip is to look at your product lineup. If your hair feels particularly straw-like, breaks easily, or feels very dry, you might have protein buildup. This means it’s time to clarify and deep condition your hair. Gray hair tends to be drier and needs a little protein, but too much can cause buildup that can dry your hair out.

Check the ingredients in your products and make sure you’re using the right kind of proteins for your hair type. Smaller proteins like amino acids work best for fine hair, while coarser hair or higher porosity hair benefits from larger proteins like keratin, wheat protein, and silk.

Example of dry curly hair and frizz

Tip #3: Use Moisturizing Products and Deep Condition

Use moisturizing products. Gray hair is thirsty and needs extra conditioning, especially during the winter months. Look for shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks that are designed to moisturize to your hair.


Consider using a leave-in conditioner to help lock in moisture and prevent dryness and brittleness.

Strengthening products usually have a protein or two in them if your hair fells straw-like and brittle, you may have protein buildup or bond builder overload, try clarifying and deep conditioning with a protein-free deep conditioner.


Conditioning Hair Tips:

  1. In dry climates and seasons use moisturizing or conditioning products.
  2. In humid climates and seasons try something with a small amount of protein.

Tip #4: Oil is Not Conditioner

If you are using oil as a conditioning treatment, at minimum, you could be very disappointed by the results or you could be causing your hair to get dryer.

Think about it, if you were thirsty, you would not drink coconut oil — you would go for water!

This is an area of deep confusion in haircare. Water is moisture and hydrating, conditioners usually have a high content of water (usually the first or second ingredient), plus conditioning agents that are designed to coat the hair providing protection from the hair losing moisture.

Oils are wonderful in conditioners if they are well blended in correct proportions; in formulations they are used to replenish the natural lipid layer of the hair, for manageability, softness, shine, and sealing the cuticle.

Oils used for pre-poo treatments are excellent for removing scalp buildup caused by dead skin cells, product, and sebum.

Tip #5: Reduce Mechanical Damage

Brushing and Combing:

  1. Brush gently, on dry and loose wavy hair
  2. Wet brush or comb with conditioner on wavy to curly hair.
  3. Hair is most vulnerable to breakage when it is wet.


Heat Styling:

  1. Lower the heat and speed on your hair dryer. Heat styling can be especially damaging to dry ends and can worsen the problem, so using these tools sparingly or not at all can help prevent further damage.
  2. Use a UV and Heat leave-in protectant to help prevent sun damage, heat damage and protect it from the elements.
  3. Consider using alternative styling techniques, such as air-drying your hair or using flexi-rods or foam rollers to add curls and waves without heat.



  1. If you are an outdoorsy person, motorcycle riding, horseback riding, or work out in the elements, protect your hair with a leave-in conditioner/protectant and consider wearing a hat, scarf, or protective hairstyle to mitigate damage.
  2. Silk pillowcases, scarves, microfiber towel will also help prevent damage.

By following these five tips, you can help prevent dryness and brittleness and keep your gray hair looking its best all year round. You will also help prevent certain causes of yellowing by protecting your hair with conditioning agents, even better if those products contain UV and heat protectants.


Answers to Your Frequently Asked Questions:


How often should I get a haircut to prevent dry and brittle ends?

It depends on your hair type and how quickly it grows, but generally getting a trim every 6-8 weeks can help prevent split ends and keep your hair healthy. Even if you just have a dusting or micro trim.

Is it better to avoid haircuts if I want long hair?

No, actually getting regular trims can help promote healthy hair growth by preventing split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and causing further damage.

Can using too much protein in hair products cause dryness and breakage?

Yes, using too much protein or the wrong kind of protein for your hair type can lead to dryness and breakage. Check your product lineup and make sure you are using the appropriate amount and type of protein for your hair.

How can I tell if my hair has too much protein?

If your hair feels straw-like, dry, and brittle, it may be a sign of protein buildup. Clarifying and deep conditioning your hair, and adjusting your product lineup can help.

Are there any natural remedies for dry and brittle gray hair?

Yes, the best natural defense against dry hair is to treat your body well from the inside.

  • Have proper bloodwork done for thyroid, sex hormone levels, and vitamin deficiencies.
  • Taking a quality Omega (fish oil formula) is very beneficial for our hair and skin, along with hyaluronic acid supplements, and collagen, these can all help with your hair, skin, nails, and healthy joints.
  • Remember to drink adequate amounts of water so your cells are hydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces; for instance, if you weigh 150 pounds drink a minimum of 75 ounces of water a day.

Author Joli Campbell with long silver wavy-curly hair.


I hope you found this post educational and helpful.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.

As always it is about so much more than the hair.

signature: Shine On, Joli Campbell





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