Why Is My Hair Becoming Coarse and Wiry?

It’s natural for hair texture to change throughout our lives. Many daily aspects affect how the hair feels, from our vitamin levels to the amount of stress we’re experiencing. While changing hair textures usually isn’t something to worry about, a sudden change could indicate something underlying, such as a hormonal imbalance or thyroid issues. 

In most cases, hair changes because of external factors, like the weather outside, the condition of the water we use to wash it, and the brand of shampoo and conditioner we use. If you’re concerned that your hair has turned from soft and smooth to coarse and wiry, this article will help you determine the cause. 

Why is my hair becoming coarse and wiry?

Coarse and wiry hair could result from various factors, so it’s essential to take note of any differences in your practice. Ask yourself if you’ve incorporated any new products or heat tools into your routine. Consider any recent visits to your stylist as well, as color and other chemical treatments can alter the feel of your locks. 

To truly determine the reasons behind the change in your hair, you should backtrack to where it first began. There is not one particular reason that hair, in general, becomes coarse and wiry. Instead, the contributing factors will differ on an individual basis. 

As I’ll soon discuss in further detail, hair texture changes can stem from many playing factors. Adding chemicals (like bleach) to the hair, using poor quality shampoo and conditioner, applying too much heat, hormonal changes, underlying medical problems, aging, medications, pregnancy, and changes in season can all bring about coarse or wiry hair. 

What causes coarse hair?

If you’re suffering from coarse hair, the reasons your hair feels coarse will likely be completely different from another person dealing with the same problem. Coarse hair results from the cuticle layer of the hair peeling away, compromising your hair’s ability to hold moisture. 

It’s important to understand that “dry” hair isn’t a type of hair but a condition. To keep your hair soft, healthy, and shiny, the cuticle layer must remain intact, though there are many ways that we inadvertently manage to strip that layer away. 

Luckily, if you’ve developed coarse and wiry hair, I can assure you that you won’t be stuck with it forever, depending on the cause. Because coarse hair is a condition, you can treat it. A professional stylist is the best route to take regarding your treatment plan, as they’ll be able to offer advice regarding the current state of your hair and what products you can use or steps to improve it. 

Can coarse and wiry hair have something to do with your thyroid?

Not all causes of coarse or wiry hair stem from a change in your haircare routine. There are some instances where changes in hair texture can signal that something else is going on underneath the surface, like anemia or thyroid issues

If you notice a change in the texture of your hair that comes on rather quickly, then an underlying issue could be the root cause. Speak with your doctor if you think there’s something more than switching your shampoo behind your wiry hair. A simple blood test can give you the answers you need. 

Do hormones and stress cause coarse and wiry hair?

Hormones and stress are definitely on the suspect list for causes behind coarse or wiry hair. Hormones evolve with factors like pregnancy and age, so while I feel comfortable listing these two things as reasons hair texture can change, it’s more accurate to say that hormones are the main culprit. 

Also, as we age, our skin produces less collagen, which can affect the health of the scalp and the natural oils present. Pregnancy hormones are well-known for making the hair shiny and full, but everyone has a different biochemistry, so it’s not uncommon to have dull, coarse locks in the prenatal stages. 

In short, hormonal changes can affect your hair’s texture, making it coarse and wiry. 

Does age contribute to coarse hair?

Because of the hormones that fluctuate drastically as we age, men and women can suffer from coarse and wiry hair as the years pass. If hormones are the issue, you can speak with your doctor regarding supplements that could help fix the problem if that’s a route you think you’d like to investigate. 

I previously mentioned the loss of collagen as a factor in coarse and wiry hair. Various collagen supplements available, vegan and non-vegan, can help you amp up the collagen production in your skin. Also, since your scalp will lose some natural oils with age, you can invest in a hair and scalp serum to help maintain oil levels. 

Though wiry and coarse hair due to aging can be frustrating, there are steps you can take to bring your hair back to life. 

How does diet affect hair texture?

A bad diet can contribute to the texture of your hair, as your hair health is directly related to the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you absorb from your diet. For a healthy head of hair, you need plenty of essential fatty acids, protein, and B vitamins. 

As you grow older, maintaining a healthy diet rich in lean protein, good fat (think avocados and salmon), and cruciferous vegetables is crucial to your hair health and overall health. You can take as many supplements as you want, but remember, they are never a substitute for a poor diet. 

What exactly is coarse and wiry hair?

Coarse and wiry hair can be a feature of any type of hair, including straight, curly, and wavy. Coarse can be stronger than other hair types, but it’s typically not very pliable and, therefore, difficult to style. Coarse hair is prone to dryness and split ends, and while many people are born with hair that’s a bit coarser than others, there are ways to keep it looking healthy and smooth. 

Coarse and wiry hair isn’t a type of hair but a texture. Coarse hair tends to be a product of external or internal causes, such as a change in prescription medication or dry and cold outdoor conditions. You might be more naturally prone to coarse hair, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever. 

Products, diet changes, and supplements can help improve the texture of coarse hair. If you’ve struggled with coarse hair for quite some time, it’s best to speak with your stylist and doctor about potential solutions.

What does it mean when I have coarse and wiry hair?

If someone has told you that you have coarse and wiry hair, or you’ve noticed it yourself, it simply means that your hair looks and appears coarse and wiry. It could be evident in untameable frizz or broken strands. Someone who regularly touches your hair can identify your coarse and wiry hair by touching it. 

Having coarse or wiry hair doesn’t reflect your personal hygiene, and it’s usually something that’s beyond your control as it develops. Sometimes, it just happens. 

Can coarse and wiry hair change the texture of my hair?

Coarse is a descriptive word for how humans interpret the way something feels, so technically, coarse and wiry hair is a change in the texture of your hair. Try not to panic, as the change is not permanent. 

Once you get to the bottom of what might be causing your hair to feel coarse and wiry, you can make the necessary life and haircare routine adjustments to get it back on the right track. 

What products can you use to treat coarse hair?

It’s standard for those dealing with coarse hair to begin trying products to help them remedy the issue immediately. In my struggles with coarse hair, I’ve found the following products to be extremely helpful. 

DRYBAR Prep Rally Prime and Prep Detangler

Available at retailers like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, this excellent prime and prep detangler by DRYBAR will help make your coarse hair easier to brush and style, leaving it feeling silky and smooth. 


OLAPLEX products are fantastic for bringing overprocessed and heat-damaged hair back to life. Celebrities worldwide hail Olaplex and their product line, and it’s worth a shot if your coarse hair is unmanageable. 

Prose Haircare

Prose Haircare is unique because you can build the shampoo, conditioner, and styling products you need based on your hair type quiz results. It works wonders for those with coarse hair because Prose takes the time to address exactly what your hair needs. The process is not generalized. 


Never begin a supplement regimen without your doctor’s clearance, but if topical products aren’t helping your hair, you might have to take the internal route. These supplements can be beneficial for those that consistently deal with dry, coarse hair. Supplements can interact with medications, so don’t take them without professional advice. 

Girl that puts a hair supplement in her coarse and wiry hair
Putting a hair supplement in your hair

How do you treat coarse and wiry hair without products?

Depending on the root cause, you can treat your coarse and wiry hair without products. There are ways to help your hair feel smoother between deep conditioners and detangler sprays. 

Avoid certain products

Any alcohol-based haircare products containing sulfates or silicone may contribute to the coarseness of your hair. Pay close attention to the ingredients you use, and take the advice of your stylist. 

Try a silk pillowcase

Silk pillowcases (and hair accessories like scrunchies and headbands) can help your coarse hair from becoming wirier. Cotton pulls on the hair, while silk allows it to slide across the pillowcase without snags. 

Limit the heat

I love a good styling tool as much as the next person, but limiting the amount of heat you place on your hair is one of the best ways to avoid coarse hair. Heat can do some serious damage, so be picky about when you use it, especially if you wash your hair daily. 

Hair masks

Hair masks are a fantastic way to add moisture to your locks, smoothing out coarse strands while packing in the hydration. Dry, rough, damaged hair can benefit significantly from a hair mask. Any of these will do! 

Ending Your Struggle with Coarse Hair

Some people struggle with coarse hair their entire lives, while others develop it due to life changes like stress or too many bleach-based highlights. Regardless of how your hair becomes coarse, there are ways to reduce that rough texture and help your hair feel silky and smooth. 

If you’re one of the people who struggle with coarse hair their entire lives, you might get something out of the below video. The video below discusses how to style your coarse and wiry hair. I hope there is something in there for you!

Products, vitamins, and consulting with your stylist or doctor can help you heal your hair. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll begin to see results.