Q. Why does my hair look dry and stringy?

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Kumar Bahunuthula
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 12, 2021

Hi doctor,

My hair looks nothing like I can find on the internet. It seems like stringy black hair wrapped around each strand. It does not look or feel normal. I have lost patches of hair and cut it short, so my scalp can breathe. I am tempted to shave my head but scared to see my bare scalp. I had dandruff issues previously. It has been over a month, and my primary care doctor does not believe me, and they would not take any tests without the doctor's approval. I am taking Wellbutrin (Bupropion), Suboxone (Buprenorphine) but not for this condition. Kindly help.



Welcome to

I have gone through your history and the pictures attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity). Certainly, the hair looks pretty dry and tangled, while the scalp does have minimal scaling.There could be several reasons for such an appearance, including various factors which damage the hair cuticle. Repeated hair wash, very strong shampoos, not using a conditioner, working in a rough environment, too much of hair sprays or gels, certain vitamins and mineral elements deficiencies, hypothyroidism, fungal infection (ectothrix, endothrix) are few common causes. In your case, I will suggest avoiding very strong shampoos, always dilute the shampoo with water before using it for head wash, apply conditioner after every head bath, apply coconut oil two hours before head bath, and use supplements containing calcium pantothenate and biotin. You can also get a hair microscopy examination to rule out any fungal infection.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for answering. I think I damaged my hair by using the antifungal shampoo and Chlorhexidine cleanser recommended by a different online doctor for a different stage in this ordeal. I had yellow plaque deposits and a gooey white scalp back then. My diet is terrible. I used embarrassing amounts of sugar as a reward for quitting alcohol and had no vegetables at all. The initial infection was after a horrible depression where I had terrible hygiene and never left my bed. I have attached photographs from the last two months to show how different it was. I believe it must have been fungal at the time, and it is hard to see it now.



Welcome back to

I do feel empathetic for the tough things that you have gone through. And all of these do certainly impact the health of your hair. Stress, diet, regular hair care play a vital role in keeping the hair healthy, shiny, and strong.

The good thing is that you have yourself been able to identify where things went wrong, and I am confident that you would now work towards a holistically healthy approach to life. In the pictures attached (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity), I could see a lot of erosions and brittle hair lacking luster, but I am glad the erosions have gone now. They are commonly seen in folliculitis, a bacterial infection of the hair, for which the chlorhexidine shampoos were advised. I would suggest you focus on a healthy protein-rich diet, take food rich in antioxidants such as nuts and resins, work on the stress aspect. You could do a bit of Yoga and proper hair care as advised earlier. These will restore your hair to good shape.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
What are the pros and cons in hormonal birth control withdrawal?

.. could be many effects if a woman has been on any specific birth control pills like mood variations, fear of conception if not willing to conceive, anxiety, irregular periods, skin dryness, soft breast, dry hairs, less libido, angry behavior, etc. ...   Read full

Alopecia - Hair loss Treatment Through Homeopathy

.. at a rise, and even young adults are complaining about it. This article provides homeopathic treatment options for hair fall .. ...   Read full

Shall I try some natural supplement to prevent hair fall?

.. can try DasGro supplements. I also suggest Proanagen tablets. Rather than Tricogro hair serum, use Minoxidil 2% lotion twice daily on dry hair for three to six months. Consult your specialist doctor, discuss with him or her and take the treatmen...   Read full


Also Read Answers From:

ideaComprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Also Read

Listeriosis - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection, that can result in severe complications like meningitis, sepsis, and even death. R...  Read more»
Myositis - Types, Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and Prognosis
The term "myositis" refers to a set of uncommon diseases. To know more about myositis, read the full article below.  Read more»
Osteoporosis: an Important Public Health Problem
Osteoporosis is a problem that is largely preventable. This article focuses on the causes of osteoporosis and the availa...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask a Dermatologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.