Having frizzy hair happens to all of us, it's a fact of life. Some, however, like those with curly hair, are more prone to it than others. Ever woken up, looked in the mirror, and stifled a scream? If that sounds like you, then you need this article in your life pronto. Let's tame those flyaways, and smooth down those locks.
The first step to solve a problem is understanding where it comes from. So let's get scientific.
The Science Bit
When hair is damaged or dry, the outer layer of hair (the cuticle) lifts, which allows moisture to pass through and swell your hair strands causing that frizzy feeling. This also explains why it gets so much worse when it's humid. Curly hair also frizzes a lot more than straight hair, because its strands are more dehydrated.
There are other things that may have caused your hair to go particularly frizzy, here are just a few:
- Not drinking enough. Yes, we all know it's good for us, but what if I told you that it can decrease the frizz? Ideally, you should be drinking eight glasses a day, and stocking up on your fruit and veg
- Your pillowcase. Yes, that's right, your pillowcase matters to your hair. Cotton pillowcases rub against your hair and cause the back of it to frizz up at night. Try sleeping on a silk one instead. Plus, you'll feel like a queen.
- Your hair can be hurt by bleaching chemicals which can damage the cuticle. The only way to help this is by following some of the other steps below and many, many deep conditioning treatments.
There's no one solution to fix the frizz, but there are a lot of things you can put into practice in your hair care routine that can really help. So without further ado:
Try switching shampoo
Modern shampoos are packed with sulfates and silicones which can seriously dry out your hair, no matter what else you do to prevent this. To get the most out of your hair, and to say no to frizz, switch your shampoo to one that's sulfate and silicone free. Your hair will take a while to respond to this, so be patient while you get used to it, but once you start to notice the difference, you'll never go back!
So, you've switched shampoo, but are you still using it too much? Our natural oils are what keeps our hair moisture-filled, and stripping those out on a daily basis isn't great for hair. Try doing a conditioner only wash, or co-wash, every other time. You'll still have that fresh washed feeling but without the frizz.
Never skip the conditioner
Conditioner works miracles for frizzy hair, and don't be afraid to use a lot. If your hair tends to get greasy quickly, then focus on the mid-sections and ends. It's good to get a really thick intense conditioner designed for frizz as this will have the best effect. Make sure you detangle while you're in the shower as well as it's the best time to do it. After you've rinsed it all out, douse your hair in cold water to seal up those cuticles.
Put down the terry cloth
Do you get out of the shower and immediately wrap yourself in a fluffy towel? Do you also start to dry your hair with it? If so, then this is going to cause your hair to frizz as it ruffles the cuticle and can cause damage. Instead, use a microfibre towel or an old t-shirt to gently take to excess moisture out of your hair. You'll notice the difference straight away.
What is plopping you may ask? It's a well-known frizz fighting secret in the curly hair community. This technique is used when hair is wet, and you should use a t-shirt or microfibre towel.
Start with freshly washed hair, then:
- Lay your t-shirt or towel down on the floor in front of you
- Dangle your wet hair over the middle of the towel.
- Grab the ends of the towel and press your head down on the towel.
- Twist the ends of the towel as you begin to stand up. Keep twisting until the curls are trapped inside and you have two side rolls of the towel.
- Clip, tie, or tuck the ends of your plop into the towel at the base of your neck, or wrap the arms around your head.
Plop for 15-20 minutes (longer if desired) and then dry and style as normal.
You'll find that your hair is much less frizz-prone, and if you have curly hair, this technique also adds loads of lift and volume to your hair, while keeping those curls springy!
Rule number one of brushing when your hair is frizzy. Don't use the everyday plastic bristle brush. These brushes will break your hair and cause flyaways, making your hair even more frizzy. This is especially true for those of us with curls, who should stay away from brushing as much as possible. Instead, there are a few special types of brushes that you can use to help combat the frizz.
- Boar bristle brush. If you use this brush before washing, it will move the natural oils away from your scalp and through to the ends of your hair, allowing for a much deeper clean.
- Wide toothed comb. Use in the shower when your hair is full of conditioner for the ultimate detangling effect. Curly girls should also use this brush after the shower when your hair is still wet.
- Round brush. Drying your hair with a round brush helps to make it silky smooth. Try one with a mixture of regular bristles and boar bristles as these will give you the best finish.
All About That Oil
Oil is massive in the beauty industry at the moment and for very good reason, you can use it for almost everything. Part of the reason why it's so important to apply products to wet hair is so that you 'lock in' the moisture, and it's the same with oils.
The best on the market has to be Argan oil as it seals up the hair cuticles and can protect against the dreaded humidity. You can even use it as a 'refresh' by mixing a tiny bit of oil with water in an applicator bottle that you can then spray over your hair for the next couple of days. Use your fingers to comb it through.
Coconut oil is another alternative, You can use it as a deep treatment mask by leaving it in your hair overnight to really soak in the moisture, and you can use it as a refresh like the argan oil, only this time just rub a bit into your hands and work through dry hair to smooth down the frizz.
Use a Diffuser
Using a diffuser is a great way to protect your hair from heat while still getting that blow-dry experience, particularly if you've got curly hair. Of course, you can always let it air dry, but that's simply not an option for the vast majority of us who are stuck for time and want to style our dry hair. It's all about getting the hair to move as little as possible while you dry it Aim it downward to stop it from fluffing up the cuticle.
Product Product Product
There are so many products on the market for frizz-prone hair that it's hard to know which one to choose. Let's go through some of the different types and how they can be used most effectively
* Serum is great for putting onto the ends of your hair to seal the cuticles. As your ends are the part most prone to frizz, it's important that you give them a little bit of extra care.
* Mousse is a frizzy hair classic, especially for those with curly hair. The one issue with it is that if you use too much it can make your hair go crunchy but when it's done correctly it will really reduce the amount of frizz you see
* Styling cream is another product that you see on every shelf. Different from serum due to the fact that it's heavier, it is great for thicker hair. Use as much as you need but avoid your hair feeling greasy. Rub into you hair from root to tip, concentrating on the ends to seal in those flyaways.
A Guide to Using Gel on Curly Hair
When you think of gel, you probably think back to when boy bands had their hair in awful, flaky spikes, or the 'wet-look'. That's not how gel is anymore. Gel is now one of the go-to products for curly hair, but there is a particular way that it should be used:
- After you've washed and conditioned your curls, take a large amount of gel into your hand while your hair is still soaking wet. And when I say large, I really do mean a lot of gel. You'll think it's too much, but it's not.
- Scrunch this into your hair, but pay particular attention to the ends. Keep going and working it in as much as you need.
- Squeeze your hair with a microfibre towel or an old t-shirt
- Now comes the fun bit. Once the gel is completely dry, scrunch the hair it your hands again. What this does, is it breaks the cast of the dried gel. Rub your hair a little if it's needed. Be forceful with it, it's important to break all of the cast! Your curls will stay put unless you comb it.
- Voilia! Soft, shiny curls with no wet look!
The Deep Treatment
Keeping your hair as hydrated as possible is the main way to combat frizz, and so using a deep treatment like a leave-in conditioner or a hot oil mask is a way of encouraging your hair to drink. We recommend using a deep treatment at least two times a week if your hair is particularly frizz-prone and these work best if you leave them in for longer, so wrap your hair up in a microfibre towel turban and leave it on overnight. Make sure to rinse with cold water to seal the hair cuticle.
It's important that if you are using heat tools, that they are kept on a low setting. High heat will swell the cuticle and it can cause the ends to break. If you are using straighteners, it's important that you use a heat protection product on your hair beforehand preferably a spray with silicones for ultimate heat protection. The less you straighten your hair or dry it on high heat, the better. Consider taking a break once in a while to allow your hair to rest and repair. The same goes for if you bleach your hair regularly. This can really damage your hair and if you do so it's important that you use a deep conditioning treatment much more often in order for it to stay healthy.
Whether you're trying to grow your hair out or not, getting a regular trim is a sure fire way of helping to keep the frizz to a minimum. Frizz can be caused by hair breakages and split ends, so getting these trimmed away by a professional will keep your hair looking fresh. If you avoid the chop for too long, no amount of product will help your hair from getting steadily more frizzy as the month's pass.
There you have it, the ultimate guide to taking back control and taming your frizzy hair. Obviously, there's no one cure that will give you completely smooth hair, whether it's using oil, switching to microfibre towels or shampooing a little less. Hopefully, however you've found the trick that lets you say goodbye to frizz a little more often!