Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Dry, Crunchy, Crackly, Spongy, Frizzy Hair Repair


Hairstyle by Kayla Jordon Brown Aveda Mentor

Dry, crunchy, crackly, spongy and frizzy hair is almost always the result of some type of ongoing hair damage.

Hair can be naturally dry or become frizzy due to heredity hair type, texture or ongoing exposure to humidity. Or it can be damaged by chemicals or how it's styled and processed.

Causes Of Dry, Crunchy, Cracky, Spongy, Frizzy Hair

The cause of dry, crunchy the damage can include the following:

1. Chemical hair processing damage from bleach, highlights, lowlights, hair color, perms, relaxers and/or chemical straighteners. 2. Overuse of hot tools such as flat irons, curling irons, thermal irons or hot rollers. 3. Excessive shampoo treatments with harsh cleansing formulas which can strip natural oils from the hair. 4. Washing hair in hot water. 5. Use of damaging brushes, combs or similar styling tools. 6. Overexposure of hair to damaging climate conditions such as sun, surf, wind, UV rays and related toxins. 7. Exposure to pool or similar chemicals such as chlorine. 8. All of the above.

How To Repair

To repair the damage consider the following options:

Taylor Swift

1. Start by having damaged trimmed from the hair. If the damage it too extensive consider having the split ends and other severely damaged sections trimmed. 2. Extend shampoo sessions from every day to 1-2 times a week. 3. Transition to a more gentle cleansing program such as a diluted shampoo system, low poo formula, conditioner only wash (CO Wash) or water only (WO) rinse. 4. Detangle hair in shower. After applying cleaners rinse well. Use fingers and gently move them down the length of the strands in an accordion playing fashion to squeeze out excess water. 5. Apply rinse-out conditioner to the hair and use a wide tooth comb or fingers to gently detangle from the ends to the roots. 6. Rinse out the conditioner and then finish with a cool or cold water wash to close cuticle and seal in moisture.7. Towel blot. Do not rub, which ruffles the cuticle. 8. Apply a leave-in styling conditioner which should include, but not be limited to, a leave-in conditioner, a defrisant, a moisturizing mousse or styling cream. 9. When possible to keep frizz at bay and minimize damage, allow hair to air dry or roll in self-adhesive curlers and sit under a hood or heat bonnet. 10. Avoid using hot styling tools such as blow dryers, hot irons or electric rollers as much as possible since this will only increase and worse any pre-existing damage. 11. Establish a schedule for deep conditioning treatments pre or post cleansing programs. 12. Use light jojoba oil before washing or after to keep ends hydrated. 13. Never use hot tools on hair which has been bleached or chemically treated since the heat can damage the hair further. 14. To keep hair from tangling consider sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase. 15. Make sure to schedule regular visits to your hairstylist to keep damaged ends or sections at bay. 16. Keep hair covered in the sun or extreme weather conditions or use leave-in products that will protect strands from environmental damage. 17. Condition body from the inside out by drinking lots of water and taking vitamins. 18. Consider taking vitamins designed specifically to help improve hair health.

How To Do A Diluted Shampoo Session

Hood Hairdryer

Do a diluted shampoo program with the following steps:

1. Gently detangle strands from ends to the roots before getting wet. 2. Get hair very wet with lukewarm water.

If ends are extremely damaged than apply a rinse-out conditioner to the damaged ends before following the next steps.

3. Mix 1/8th to 1/4th teaspoon of hydrating or moisture enhancing shampoo with 1 quart of lukewarm water in a clean bottle. 4. Shake well to form a suds. 5. Drizzle suds over the top of the head and allow suds to flow gently down the strands. 6. Gently pat suds into length of hair. 7. Rinse suds out of the hair. 8. Apply a thick rinse-out conditioner to the hair from the ears down to the ends. 9. Detangle from the ends to the roots with fingers or a wide tooth comb. 10. Rinse conditioner out of the hair. 11. Finish with a cool or cold water final rinse.

How To Do A Conditioner Only Wash Cleansing Session

Taylor Swift

Do a Conditioner Only Wash (CO Wash) program with the following steps:

1. Gently detangle strands from ends to the roots before getting wet. 2. Get hair very wet with lukewarm water. 3. Apply a moisturizing or smoothing conditioner from the top of the ears down to the ends of the hair. 4. If ends are extremely damaged, apply a thicker conditioner to the ends such as a deep conditioner. 5. Separate hair into 8 horizontal sections. Use fingers or a wide tooth comb to detangle strands from ends up to the roots. 6. Rinse out conditioner completely. 7. Finish with a cool or cold water rinse.

If hair is oily or dirty you can do a light diluted shampoo sudsing after rinsing out the conditioner. Focus the diluted shampoo on the oily or dirty sections.

8. Rinse well. If hair still feels dry, apply a light rinse out conditioner, detangle and then finish with a final warm then cool or cold rinse.

9. Towel blot and then apply appropriate leave-in conditioning and styling cocktail. 10. When possible air dry or set on soft or self-adhesive rollers and sit under a hood dryer.

How To Do A Water Only Rinse

Taylor Swift

Alternate diluted shampoo and conditioner only wash cycles with a water only rinse. While you can still use a full strength shampoo, when possible transition to a less damaging cleansing program.


When hair is dry, crunchy, crackly, spongy or frizzy it requires some serious repair.

This repair should follow a dedicated program which involves changing the cleansing routine and frequency, minimizing exposure to hot blow dryers, tools or stylers and taking steps to reverse the damage.

When hair is dry, crunchy, crackly, spongy or frizzy there are many reasons why hair is damaged. However, with the proper repair program challenged hair can be returned to its original health.

Note: Please stop by our HairTalk board to share your own solutions to dealing with dry, crunchy, crackly, spongy, frizzy hair or to discuss this topic further. All feedback is greatly appreciated.

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- Revised Date: 08/08/11

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Please follow us on Twitter at: I look forward to meeting new people from all walks of Twitter and learning from their Tweets.

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