How to Fix Scraggly Hair: Detailed DIY Step-by-Step Guide

A beautiful black girl with stringy hair strands that have been cleaned with dry shampoo and styled with natural oils.

In a world where individuality rules, you can wear your hair however you want! But if you struggle with scraggly hair, your styling options become extremely limited.

For anyone struggling with scraggly hair, let us throw you a line. In this article, we’ll tell you exactly how to fix scraggly hair at home. You’d be surprised at just how easy it is to style stringy hair. Let’s get right into it! 

How to Fix Scraggly Hair: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Prevent Stringy, Dry, Crunchy Curls ft. Curlsmith

Those piecey, unruly strands are enough to ruin every look and tank your self-confidence. But as annoying as scraggly hair is, it’s no match for a well-crafted hair routine. Keep reading for some expert tips on how to fix this hair problem in no time. 

A trendy black girl with oily hair regularly detoxed with baking soda and styled with argan oil to avoid dry hair strands.

Take Care of Split Ends

One of the main causes of scraggly hair is uncontrolled split ends. If it’s been a long time since you’ve had a trim, the time to get it done is now! Make an appointment with a stylist in your area and ask them to remove your split ends.

But be aware that depending on how bad your split ends are, your stylist may urge you to get rid of several inches of hair. You can get all the split ends taken care of at once, or you can get smaller trims every few weeks for a more gradual solution.

Are you more of a DIYer? You don’t have to go to a salon to get your split ends cut off.


You can do it on your own from the comfort of your home! Just watch several tutorial videos to get an idea of how to get the job done without cutting off unnecessary length. 

A confident African American female with fine hair has a stringy appearance due to excessive heat styling.

Keep Your Hair Clean, but Not Overly Clean

Scraggly hair is often caused by excess oil on the hair and scalp. Do you have a hunch that this could be your problem? Take an honest look at your hair-washing habits and determine if the following are true: 

  • You put off wash day for several weeks at a time. If you don’t wash your hair often enough, your scalp oils will build up and eventually make it down your strands and make your hair look scraggly. A good shampoo frequency to start off with is once or twice per week in general. 
  • You wash your hair every day. The problem with daily hair washing is that when your scalp oils are constantly washed away, your hair follicles get a signal to produce more oil. Once you’ve activated that signal, if you keep overwashing your hair, you’ll be dealing with a never-ending supply of scalp oils (and, of course, scraggly hair). 

When you wash your hair, you should focus the shampoo on your scalp and not the mid-lengths or ends of your hair. Letting the shampoo sit on your ends will dry them out and contribute to scraggliness. 

A charismatic African female with naturally wavy hair has lifeless locks after heat damage caused thin hair strands.

Get to the Dermatologist if You Suspect a Scalp Condition

In case you weren’t aware, scraggly hair can be caused by scalp conditions like psoriasis, dandruff, and eczema, to name a few.

If you think you may be suffering from one or more of these conditions, a visit to a dermatologist would be the next logical step.

They’ll take a good look at your scalp and review your hair care and styling routine to arrive at the ideal treatment plan. Once your scalp is successfully treated, you’ll have a much better canvas for healthy hair growth without scraggliness. 

Minimize Heat

Heat from styling tools like flat irons, curling irons, curling wands, and even blow dryers can cause scraggly hair. These tools slowly burn away the hair’s cuticle, weakening the strands and increasing the risk of split ends and breakage.

We understand you may want to use heat for regular styling, but some alternatives can give you the same look.

Roller Set on Stretched Hair

For curls, look into roller sets. For straight styles, consider a heatless silk press.

Silk Press with NO HEAT?! | Natural Hair

Luckily, you can still use heat from time to time, providing that your hair isn’t damaged beyond belief. Heat protectants are sprays that protect your hair from the harsh heat of your favorite styling tools.

Before you reach for the heat tools again, make sure to spray the heat protectant all over your hair first and comb it through (gently) for max product distribution. 

A fashionable black lady wearing stylish glasses after drying her wet hair with a blow dryer and micro-fiber towel.

Condition Your Hair Like It’s Your Job

Conditioning is a non-negotiable part of any healthy hair regimen. It’s the part of the routine that gives your hair the nutrients and nourishment it needs to be soft, smooth, and responsive to your styling techniques.

If you’ve been skipping out on conditioning sessions, you’ll want to change that. 

There are two main types of conditioners you get to choose from every wash day. The first is the regular rinse-out conditioner you apply to your hair and rinse out after a couple of minutes.

Then you have your deep conditioner, which is much more heavy-duty and designed to sit on your hair for a while (up to 30 minutes or more). 

If your hair is scraggly, it could be that it’s super dry and crying out for hydration. Give it what it needs with a regular conditioner treatment (with a rinse-out conditioner).

In addition, you should be deep conditioning your hair at least once or twice a month. For super damaged or scraggly hair, you can do it more often than that–think once per week. 

Protect Your Hair at Every Turn

In addition to the previous tips, your hair needs protection from outdoor elements like the sun and even your cotton pillowcases.

Doing so will reduce the damage it takes on a daily basis and reduce the scraggliness over time. Here’s how to give your hair the protection it needs: 

  • To protect your mane from the outdoor elements, cover it up with a hood or hat when you’re out and about or will be spending more than an hour or so outdoors. 
  • Give your hair a fighting chance against the sun by spraying it down with a hairspray that has a UV filter
  • Sleep with your hair covered in a silk or satin scarf or bonnet to shield it from the moisture-sucking cotton fibers of your comforter and pillowcases. If you’re not into wearing things on your head when you sleep, you can use a silk or satin pillowcase. 
An elegant young female won a windy, rainy day making her damp hair stringy, limp, and frizzy.

Keep Your Ends Oiled

The ends of your hair are much more likely to get scraggly than your mid-lengths or roots, so you should take some extra time to care for those ends.

A great way to ensure the health of your ends and stave off split ends and breakage (which contribute to scraggliness) is to oil your ends regularly. 

To do this correctly, you’ll want to either wet your hair down with a spray bottle or spritz it with a leave-in conditioner to hydrate it.

Then you’ll follow that up with your favorite sealing oil. Castor oil is known to be a fantastic sealant, so use your fingers to apply the oil to your ends and continue with the rest of your styling routine.

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It Takes Time to Repair Scraggly Ends

Unless your scraggly ends are the direct result of split ends, it’ll take a long-term effort to fix the problem. It could take weeks or months to see a real difference in your hair, so be patient and diligent as you take steps to correct the problem.

The tips above will help you get started. We hope you found the information you were looking for on this topic, and we wish you the best with your hair!

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