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Why Does My Hair Look Stringy? Learn How to Fix Stringy Hair

Attractive young African American woman with a fine hair type styled using the curly girl method.

Stringiness can make your hair look unkempt and disheveled, which isn’t a good look for anyone. Unfortunately, without even knowing it, you could be contributing to this messy look with a few haphazard hair habits.

In this article, you’ll learn what causes stringy hair and how to fix it right at home.

Why Does My Hair Look Stringy?

The top causes of stringy hair are using conditioner incorrectly, combing your hair immediately after showering, neglecting split ends, using the wrong pillowcase, and product or sebum buildup.

If you want your hair to appear healthy and voluminous instead of stringy, you’ll need to understand the common culprits behind stringy hair. This knowledge will illuminate which issues could be in causing stringy hair within your hair care routine.

A beautiful female with wavy hair styled with a hair thickening serum wearing a white spaghetti strap shirt and skirt.

Using Conditioner Incorrectly

While it’s great to nourish your hair with conditioner, applying it to your roots can lead to a stringy hair effect. Doing so just once may not make your hair stringy.

However, if you do it repeatedly, you’ll notice your roots separating and becoming increasingly greasy – hence, stringiness. This often happens in people with looser curl patterns.  

Combing Post Shower

Are you using a comb after you shower? This could be the key to your stringy strands. Combing your hair post shower separates your damp hair into stands that could take on a stringy appearance once dry.

African American woman with thin hair has made her coarser hair strands look thicker using a boar bristle brush.

Neglecting Split Ends

It’s entirely possible that skipping your regular trims is to blame for your bad hair days. Split ends often result in unsightly curls and random straight pieces, which contribute to the stringy look.

The longer you wait to trim split ends, the more damaged your curls will get. 

The Wrong Pillowcase

If you go to bed with gorgeous curls and wake up with a bird’s nest, it could be the material of your pillowcase. Cotton is a thirsty thread that absorbs moisture and can completely ruin your hairstyle as you catch your Zs. 

We recommend using either a satin or silk pillowcase.

Product or Sebum Buildup

If you’re heavy-handed with styling products and don’t deep cleanse your hair regularly, this could be the cause of your stringy hair. This buildup coats your strands, causing them to lump together unnaturally. 

Black girl with limp hair after showering looking for ways to cure stringy hair properly without causing more damage.

How to Fix Stringy Hair

Stringy hair is not the end of the world because there’s always a way to fix it. By making a few simple hair routine modifications, your locks will begin to look healthier in no time. 

Skip the Scalp

When using conditioner, skip the scalp. Instead, apply it starting about an inch from the roots and work your way down to the ends. This method will keep your hair from looking oily and stringy. 

Get a Denman

Instead of combing your hair with a static-inducing plastic comb, invest in a Denman brush. This useful tool will clump your curls together, preventing stringiness.

Use your Denman (or a similar wooden or metal brush) with your favorite moisturizers, gels, and natural oils while your hair is wet. 

A female with mid-length oily hair from argan oil is holding her hands under her chin.

Trim Split Ends

If you want healthier-looking curls, grab your shears or take a trip to the salon for a trim. After a trim, your ends will curl in a flattering manner.

Sleep on Satin or Silk

Swap your cotton pillowcase with one made of satin or silk. without the friction generated by cotton. Silk and satin are both excellent alternatives to tougher, moisture-wicking fabrics. 

Clarify Regularly

To keep buildup at bay, clarify your hair at least once or twice a month. All you need to do is wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and then proceed with wash day as usual. 

Nice looking light-skinned female following a scalp massage to distribute her hair's natural oils.

How to Prevent Stringy Hair

It’s not difficult to prevent stringy hair when you have the right information. Here, we’ll reveal several ways to keep your hair from getting stringy. 

Avoid Heat Styling

Styling with heat can lead to serious hair damage in the long run. This approach not only generates split ends, dryness, and breakage but also makes your hair look unhealthy.

Heat protection products can only go so far in preventing long-term harm. So, instead of relying on heat, try heatless styles (more on this later). 

Heat Protection

If you must style with heat, always use a heat protectant spray. Keep in mind that such protection is not just for blow-dryers and hair straighteners. Use a heat shield when you know you’ll be out in the sun all day.

A Healthy Diet

Your hair’s health is influenced by what you consume. A balanced diet can make the difference between having stringy hair and having thick locks. So, if you want healthy-looking strands, what should you eat?

Light-skinned African American female with fine hair wearing subtle make-up and lip gloss.
  • Spinach. This leafy green is high in nutrients that promote hair growth. The vegetable’s vitamin C, folate, and vitamin A all contribute to the health of your strands. It also stimulates sebum production, which keeps dryness at bay.
  • Carrots. The carrot is a miracle food that’s high in vitamin A. It helps to keep your hair hydrated. It also assists in strengthening your locks from within. 
  • Berries. Want to increase collagen production to strengthen your strands? Eat berries. These tiny wonders are rich in vitamin C and can help fortify hair.
  • Oysters. You need zinc for full, healthy locks. This mineral is abundant in oysters. If you’re experiencing stringiness due to hair loss, oysters can help stimulate hair growth.
  • Eggs. Protein and biotin are essential for hair volume. Eggs are a great source of both. The iron in them will also help to increase your hair’

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Water makes up roughly twenty-five percent of each hair strand. Brittle locks are more prone to split ends, resulting in – you guessed it – stringiness. In essence, your hair is similar to a houseplant in that it requires moisture from the inside out.

Your body needs about eleven and a half cups of water per day.

Twenty percent of that fluid normally comes from food and other beverages. The rest will need to be pure H2O. Eight glasses of water every day will help you maintain healthier hair. 

Water-Based Products

Products that are water-based can help hydrate your hair and make your strands look healthier. Use them before applying any oil-based products; they will aid in the replenishment of your hair and scalp. 

How to Style Stringy Hair

Many of the stringy hair fixes and prevention techniques we mentioned above work over time. If you need some quick styling tips for your stringy hair, this is the section for you. 

An attractive young woman with curly, fine hair wearing a yellow shirt and blue jean overalls.

The best style fixes for stringy hair focus on creating volume in ways that won’t compound any existing hair issues. Below, you’ll find several styles that you can do to banish the stringiness and look amazing. 

  • Roller set. Use rollers overnight or for a few hours in the morning on damp hair. This no-heat style will give you the volume you need to avoid stringiness. Just make sure that your hair is completely dry before removing the rollers. 
  • Curling ribbon. Another option is to try a heatless silk curling ribbon. The silk will help soften your hair strands while adding volume. Many curling ribbons are made to be worn overnight, so they are comfortable to sleep in.
  • Braid-outs and twist-outs. Braid outs and twist outs can leave you with voluminous curls that are far from stringy. All it takes is to braid or twist your hair and then take it down when it’s dry. After taking the braids out, fluff your roots and go! You can do these styles on either wet or dry hair. 
  • Try a wash n’ go. Wash n’ gos can be hit-or-miss for those with stringy hair. But if you do it right, you can enjoy beautiful voluminous curls for days. Here’s what to do: 
    • Start with clean, wet hair. 
    • Dispense some moisturizer into your hands and rub them together. 
    • Begin applying the moisturizer to your hair, being sure not to overapply. 
    • Take random curls, twirl them around your pointer finger, and then release.
    • Do this until your curls look uniform. 
    • Diffuse your curls while your head hangs upside down. 
    • Once your hair is 70% dry, stop diffusing and let your curls air-dry the rest of the way. 

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Now that you understand how to fix stringy hair, you can incorporate these strategies and tips into your regular routine regardless if you have straight, curly, or wavy hair. We hope that this article has been helpful to you and wish you the best with your hair!