Dull Hair

Dull Hair Causes and the Best Dull Hair Treatment Products in SA

How to fix dull hair

Dull hair is a common hair complaint, with a host of possible causes. Dryness, damage and leaching of colour, for example, can all make hair lose its vibrancy and shine.

To fix dull hair, you need to restore its health and replenish moisture. Controlling frizziness can also make hair look less dull. Sleek strands are naturally shinier.

For more in-depth information about dull hair causes, treatments and advice, see our dull hair FAQ below.

Dull hair FAQ

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the causes and solutions for dull hair. No matter what is causing your dull hair, there is a way to fix the issue with the right products, treatments and lifestyle changes.


A wide array of factors can cause dull hair. More than one of these may cause your hair to appear dull or lifeless at any given time.

Some common causes of dull hair include:

  • over-washing, especially with shampoo that contains overly harsh ingredients
  • product build-up (this is often caused by styling products)
  • excessive heat styling
  • exposure to the sun
  • harsh hair treatments such as bleaching or perms
  • regular exposure to pool chlorine and/or seawater
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy or with aging
  • general poor health, for example due to poor diet
  • dehydration.

There is a distinction between dull hair and frizzy hair but both conditions have similar causes and both can occur at the same time.

If you’re tackling a dull hair issue, there a good chance that you’ll automatically be helping your frizzy hair as well.

If your hair is no longer dull but you’re still struggling with frizz, oil treatments and nourishing masks can help a lot. These products smooth, repair and protect the individual hairs, helping your hair appear smooth and shiny.

It can also help to lay off the heat styling for a while.

Dry and dull hair is fairly common during pregnancy with some women even experiencing hair loss. Frizzy hair is also not uncommon and is caused by a higher internal body temperature.

Dull hair during pregnancy is most often caused by hormonal changes or changes in your nutritional needs during pregnancy.

Products for dull hair will definitely help rectify this but you might also consider a pregnancy-safe supplement that can assist your hair.

That said, not all the pregnancy hair changes are bad for everyone. Some women may experience faster-growing hair while others actually get shinier hair when they are pregnant.

If your natural hair colour becomes dull, this is usually due to overexposure to the sun or excessive heat styling. Your natural hair colour can also be affected by your age, hormonal changes and nutritional deficiencies.

Dull dyed hair can also be due to sun exposure but, more often, it’s because you’re using the wrong aftercare products.

Coloured hair should always be washed, conditioned and styled with the appropriate products for colour treated hair.


Once you know what’s causing your hair to be dull, you can tackle the problem with one or more solutions.

All hair benefits from a healthy lifestyle so that’s always a good place to start. Diet can have a big impact on your hair’s health and even exercise can improve it by increasing circulation to your scalp.

Salon-grade dull hair products will be your best bet when it comes to improving your hair’s vibrancy, strength and shine. A comprehensive plan that includes gentle yet thorough washing, frequent deep nourishment and on-going protection will give you the best results.

Be sure to avoid other dulling factors like sun exposure, pool or salt water, and heat styling without the proper protective products.

These negative influences will undermine the good work done by your other hair products if they’re not avoided.

This depends on your diet and whether or not it is the cause of your dull hair. For general hair health, including lustrous hair, you should be getting plenty of vitamin C and iron.

Biotin is also needed for vibrant and shiny hair.

A supplement certainly can’t hurt and it may even improve your overall health, so it’s certainly an option, especially if other treatments aren’t working as well as you’d like.

Preventing dull hair is a matter of pre-emptive measures and proactive treatments.

Not all hair is naturally thick and shiny but you can give hair of any type a healthy start by eating well, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated and incorporating exercise into your routine.

After that, using hair products that actively counteract the elements that cause dull hair is the best on-going treatment. You can also try changing your hairbrush and brushing your hair more gently.

Using a silk pillow slip has also been known to help because it reduces friction.

Key ways to improve hair’s vibrancy and shine are:

  • thorough but gentle cleansing to remove residues
  • deep conditioning and protection
  • hydration and good diet
  • using the right hair products
  • avoiding excessive UV and heat exposure.


Always opt for professional-grade hair products when looking for the best product range for dull hair. These products are trusted by hairdressers and stylists for good reason.

Wherever possible, choose a range of products that suits your hair type as well.

Using the wrong product for your type of hair can result in damage that will lead to even more dullness.

Look for a range that includes products for cleansing, conditioning, moisturising and protecting. All of these steps are important when fixing dull hair so missing one will compromise your end result.

Look for products that are nourishing, anti-frizz, anti-flyaways, sulphate-free, colour-care or encourage shine and body. Avoid products that are clarifying or deep cleansing for dull hair, they may have the opposite effect.

Alternating between specialised products and deep nourishing products is the way to go.

If you use an anti-dandruff shampoo, for example, follow it with a nourishing and hydrating conditioner. Also be sure to use a deep conditioning hair mask once a week.

Even when your hair is healthy and full of body, it can sometimes lack that extra shine.

Protective oils are a great way to make dull hair shine because they mimic your hair’s natural oils. They also help repair UV damage, so it’s a win-win.

If your hair colour looks a bit flat and that is what’s causing the lack of shine, consider changing your hair care products to something that can boost your natural colour or help protect your colour treated hair.

The number one rule is to always use the correct professional products for colour treated hair.

These products are designed to help maintain your colour and, in some cases, even boost it a little.

Other good preventative measures include:

  • washing your hair in lukewarm or cool water
  • washing your hair less frequently
  • reducing heat styling
  • avoiding chlorine pool water
  • protecting hair from the sun with a hat or a UV protection product.

It can be tricky to try and restore faded colour and there is always a chance that it won’t work, so bear that in mind.

Using a glossing or oil treatment can boost your hair colour by adding moisture and shine to your hair.

There are also slightly tinted shampoos that can subtly add colour back into your hair. Just find one that is closest to your colour treatment and after a few washes, you should see an improvement.

Home remedies can make a difference to damaged or dry hair but they won’t be nearly as effective as professional products that are designed specifically to treat limp or dull hair.

These sorts of home treatments may include apple cider vinegar and baking soda to address product build-ups and coconut oil or avocado to add moisture and shine. They’re not going to actively harm your hair but they might not give the best results.