Why Does My Hair Feel Like Straw? (Causes & Solutions)


If you’ve ever run your fingers through your hair and felt like you were touching a pile of straw instead of your once luscious locks, you’re not alone. Many people experience this hair woe, and the good news is that there are ways to remedy it.

In this article, we’ll explore why your hair feels like straw (causes and solutions) to bring back that silky smooth texture.

Why Does My Hair Feel Like Straw?

Before diving into solutions, let’s understand why your hair might feel like straw in the first place. The primary reason is a lack of moisture and natural oils that keep your hair hydrated and soft.

When the outer layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, becomes damaged or lifted, it can lead to moisture loss and a rough, star like hair feels (like straw).

Hair Feels Like Straw: 10 Causes And Solutions

1: Washing Your Hair Too Frequently 

Washing your hair might feel like a refreshing ritual, but doing it too often can actually do more harm than good. The natural hair’s oils produced by your scalp are essential for maintaining straw like hair care routine and preventing that straw-like hair feels.

Over-washing strips away these oils, leaving your hair dry, brittle strands, and lacking its natural shine.


Adjust your hair washing routine to strike a balance between cleanliness and maintaining moisture. Aim to wash your hair every 2 to 3 days, allowing the natural hair’s oils to distribute and nourish your strands.

When you do shampoo, opt for a sulfate-free formula. Sulfates are strong cleansers that can strip away oils excessively. Look for products labeled as “gentle” or “moisturizing” to ensure they won’t contribute to the straw-like feeling.

In between washes, consider using a dry shampoo to absorb excess oil at the roots while leaving your ends untouched.

2: Chlorine Exposure 

Summertime often brings trips to the pool, but the chlorine present in pool water can wreak havoc on your hair. Chlorine is a powerful chemical used to disinfect pool water, but it can also strip away your hair’s natural oils and proteins, leading to that undesirable straw-like sensation.


Before you take a dip, wet your hair thoroughly with clean water. This helps your hair absorb less chlorinated water, reducing the potential damage. After swimming, rinse your hair again with fresh water to remove as much chlorine as possible.

Additionally, using a clarifying shampoo once a week can help remove chlorine buildup from your hair. Look for shampoos that are specifically formulated to remove chemicals and impurities. Follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to replenish lost moisture and nutrients.

Taking these steps will help mitigate the negative effects of chlorine exposure, allowing you to enjoy pool time without sacrificing your hair’s health and softness.

3: Using Heat Styling Tools Excessively 

We all love the convenience and versatility of heat styling tools, but excessive use can lead to dry hair that feels like straw.

These tools, such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers, apply intense heat that can damage the protein structure of your hair and deplete its natural moisture.


First and foremost, consider giving your hair a break from heat styling whenever possible. Embrace your natural texture or try heatless hairstyles to achieve the look you desire. When you do use heat styling tools, make sure to apply a heat protectant spray before exposing your hair to heat.

This barrier helps shield your hair from the direct impact of high temperatures. Additionally, use the lowest effective heat setting on your tools. High heat isn’t always necessary and can lead to unnecessary damage.

Regularly deep condition your hair to restore moisture and repair damage caused by heat styling.

4: Using The Wrong Type Of Conditioner 

Using the wrong type of conditioner can throw off your hair’s moisture balance and contribute to the straw-like texture. Conditioners are designed to provide hydration and nourishment, but using the wrong formula for your hair type can lead to over-moisturizing or under-moisturizing.


Choose a conditioner that suits your hair’s specific needs. If you have fine or oily hair, opt for lightweight, volumizing conditioners that won’t weigh down your hair. For dry or curly hair, choose richer, more hydrating formulas.

When applying conditioner, focus on the ends of your hair, where moisture loss tends to be most pronounced.

Avoid applying conditioner to your scalp, as this can lead to an oily residue. Also, consider using a leave-in conditioner or hair mask once a week for an extra boost of hydration. Finding the right balance of moisture will help restore your hair’s softness and suppleness, eliminating that straw-like feel.

By tailoring your hair care routine to your hair’s unique needs and making conscious choices when it comes to conditioning, you can steer clear of the hair dryness and enjoy hair that feels healthy and luxurious.

5: Rough Brushing Or Combing 

Brushing or combing your hair vigorously or using the wrong type of tools can lead to hair breakage, split ends, and a rough, hair dryness. The cuticle, which protects your hair, can become damaged when subjected to harsh treatment.


Switch to gentler hairbrushes and combs that are designed to detangle without causing damage. A wide-tooth comb or a brush with soft, flexible bristles is a better choice, as they help minimize friction and breakage.

When detangling, start at the ends of your hair and work your way up slowly. This approach prevents undue stress on your strands and minimizes the risk of breakage. If you encounter a particularly stubborn knot, use your fingers to gently work it out before reaching for a comb or brush.

6: Using Cheap Haircare Products 

Not all hair care products are created equal, and using cheap products with harsh chemicals can contribute to the straw-like feeling in your hair. These products may contain ingredients that strip away natural oils and cause damage over time.


Invest in higher-quality hair care products that prioritize the health of your hair. Look for shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and contain nourishing ingredients such as natural oils, shea butter, or keratin.

These ingredients help maintain your hair’s moisture balance and promote overall hair health. While premium products may have a slightly higher price tag, they often deliver better results and can prevent long-term damage.

Remember, taking care of your hair is an investment, and using high quality hair care products pays off in the long run.

By being mindful of how you handle and care for your hair, as well as the products you use, you can avoid the pitfalls of rough hair and restore its natural shine and softness.

7: Washing In Hard Water

The quality of the water you use to wash your hair can have a significant impact on its texture. Hard water, which is high in mineral content such as calcium and magnesium, can leave deposits on your hair and scalp.

These deposits can contribute to hair feel-like straw texture and make it difficult for your hair to retain moisture.


If you live in an area with hard water, consider installing a water softener for your shower or using a filtered showerhead. This can help reduce the mineral content in the water and minimize the negative effects on your hair.

Additionally, use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove any buildup from hard water. These shampoos are formulated to effectively cleanse and remove mineral deposits, leaving your hair feeling cleaner and softer.

8: Dying Your Hair Too Frequently 

Frequent hair dyeing, while a great way to switch up your look, can take a toll on your hair’s health. Chemicals in hair dye can weaken the hair shaft, strip away natural moisture, and lead to a brittle, straw-like texture.


If you love experimenting with hair color, consider spacing out your dyeing sessions to allow your hair time to recover between treatments. Choose ammonia-free and gentle hair dyes whenever possible.

These formulations are less harsh on your hair texture and scalp. To maintain your color and prevent straw like hair texture, use color-protecting shampoos and conditioners specifically designed for your hair dyed.

Deep condition your hair regularly to provide it with the extra hydration and care it needs after dyeing.

By giving your hair the time and care it needs to recover from the effects of frequent dyeing, you can enjoy vibrant locks without sacrificing their softness (hair soft) and manageability.

9: Exposure To Certain Climates 

The environment you live in plays a role in the health and texture of your hair strands. Extreme weather conditions, such as hot and dry climates, can lead to moisture loss and a straw-like feel in your dry and brittle hair.

The lack of humidity in the air can cause your brittle hair strands to become dehydrated.


When facing harsh climates, protective measures can make a significant difference. Wear hats, scarves, or other head coverings to shield your hair from the sun’s intense rays. Opt for protective hairstyles that keep your hair strands tucked away and minimize exposure to the elements.

Additionally, use leave-in conditioners and hair oils to add an extra layer of moisture and protection. These products help lock in moisture and prevent your hair from becoming parched and straw-like.

10: Eating An Unhealthy Diet 

Your diet has a direct impact on your hair’s health and appearance. A diet lacking in essential nutrients can result in dry, brittle hair that feels like straw. Nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins are vital for maintaining healthy hair structure and moisture balance.


Adopt a balanced and nutritious diet that supports your hair’s well-being. Incorporate a variety of foods rich in protein, such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and legumes. These proteins provide the building blocks for strong and healthy hair strands.

Include fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, vitamin E, and biotin, which contribute to hair health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in sources like salmon, flaxseeds, and walnuts, also promote hair hydration and shine.

Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water is equally important for maintaining your hair’s moisture levels.

By nourishing your body from within, you’ll be able to improve the health of your hair and prevent it from feeling like straw, even when exposed to challenging environments or styling practices.

Remember, addressing the underlying causes of straw-like hair involves making mindful choices and adopting a holistic approach to hair care, from your washing hair routine to your lifestyle habits and diet.

How To Maintain Healthy Hair

Maintaining healthy hair involves a combination of proper care, nourishment, and protective measures. By incorporating the following practices into your routine, you can ensure that your hair stays soft, smooth, and vibrant:

Proper Washing Technique

When washing your hair, use lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water can strip away natural oils. Gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to promote blood circulation and distribute the shampoo evenly.

Concentrate the shampoo on your scalp and the roots, and let the suds cleanse the rest of your hair as you rinse.

Choosing the Right Products

Select shampoos and conditioners tailored to your hair type and concerns. If you have dry or damaged hair, opt for products labeled as moisturizing or hydrating. For oily hair, look for formulas that offer a balanced cleanse without over-stripping.

Regular Trims

Even if you’re growing your hair out, getting regular trims is essential to prevent split ends from traveling up the hair shaft. Trimming every 6 to 8 weeks can keep your hair looking healthy and situation of dry hair feels like straw.

Nutrition and Hydration

A well-balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins is crucial for healthy hair. Consume foods high in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, to support hair growth and repair.

Drinking enough water keeps your scalp and hair hydrated from the inside out.

Limiting Stress

High levels of stress can impact your hair’s health. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to maintain overall well-being, which in turn benefits your hair.

Final Word

Reclaiming the softness and manageability of your hair is achievable with patience and dedication. Remember that hair care is a holistic journey that encompasses both external treatments and internal well-being.

By addressing the root causes of straw-like hair and adopting the appropriate solutions, you can transform your hair into the luscious, touchable locks you desire.


Can I repair extremely damaged hair?

While complete restoration might be challenging for severe hair damage, following a consistent regimen of gentle care, deep conditioning, and trimming can significantly improve its texture over time.

How do I know if I have hard water?

Signs of hard water include mineral buildup on faucets and showerheads, as well as a dry feeling on your skin and hair after showering. You can also use water testing kits to check the mineral content in your water.

Are natural hair products better for my hair?

Natural hair products can be gentler on your hair since they often avoid harsh chemicals. However, it’s essential to read ingredient labels and find products that suit your hair type and concerns.

Can diet really affect my hair’s texture?

Absolutely. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to brittle, lackluster hair. A balanced diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals contributes to healthy hair growth and appearance.

How long will it take to notice improvements in my hair’s texture?

Hair growth and repair take time. With consistent care, you might start noticing positive changes within a few weeks to a couple of months, depending on the severity of the damage.

Is it okay to use hair masks more frequently?

While using a hair mask more often than recommended might not harm your hair, it’s usually unnecessary. Once a week is generally sufficient to provide your hair with the deep conditioning it needs.

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