With the Frizz? No Way! Taming Frizzy Hair
Please tell me this will be a good hair day. With the frizz? No way!
So you’re cruisin’ on down main street. You’re relaxin’, feelin’ good, when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a store window. Is that your halo of frizz?! Is it the humidity? Is it going to rain? Did you put enough product in? Too much? Seatbelts everyone! Come along for a breakdown of all the causes and solutions to your frizzy hair.
What causes frizzy hair?
A lot of things. Some of them are genetic, some are situational, and some are user error. Frizz happens when the cuticle layer of hair is raised and moisture can pass through, swelling the strands (3). The cuticle layer is the outermost hair layer, and it is actually several overlapping hair slates that, when swollen, fan out and cause frizzy hair. When the cuticle layer is properly sealed, you have smooth, frizz-free hair.
There are a few categories of frizzy hair causes.
1. Not enough product
Some people see hair products as a high maintenance routine better avoided, but “product” doesn’t necessarily mean store-bought gels and creams. If you don’t use anything to maintain and define your hair, you will never overcome the frizziness that arises from improper haircare.
Not all products are created equal. Different hair moods require different frizz prevention methods, especially when it comes to curls. Some people find the best results when they use a gel after the shower. Other people hate the crunch. Some people swear by mousse, others end up with a limp mess. Some hair types require a lot of moisture and function beautifully when treated with oils. For many, this excess oil creates a bigger problem for already oily hair.
Take into account your hair type as well as product preferences when deciding what to put into your hair. There are endless mousses, creams, and gels for every combination of hair traits. If you prefer to keep it simple, consider aloe vera gel or a little coconut oil on wet hair to coat flyaways and smooth frizz.
2. Using the wrong product
Better to use no product at all than the wrong one. What works for others might not be the best fit for you, even if you think you have the same hair type. Using the wrong products locks you in a worsening cycle of frizzy hair.
But you might not necessarily be using products that are wrong for your hair. Suspiciously cheap hair products often have harmful additives, sulfates, and fragrances that can worsen frizz (1). Haircare is not somewhere you want to skimp.
The extra pennies will be well worth it in the long run. If you’re cramped for cash, buy just one really high-end product and then supplement with natural products. A jar of unrefined, organic coconut oil will last a long time, and you can use it on top of your splurge product.
3. Using the right product the wrong way
This is a frustrating user error, but, luckily, it’s easy to fix. Make sure when you’re applying product, you follow the instructions on the bottle. Don’t rake if it says scrunch and make sure your hair is the right level of damp.
4. Too much or too little
It’s almost like an Alice in Wonderland logic when it comes to hair products. Every bottle is different and every hair mood unique. Again, this issue can be easily fixed by referring to the bottle or your stylist for instructions.
5. Sleep, the silent killer
You may be doing everything right. Your products are only the best, you never use too much mousse, and your after shower routine is on point. But if you don’t take care of your hair at night, you may as well throw that expensive curl defining, frizz reducing nectar out the window.
It’s so important to protect your hair while you sleep. Loose hair on a cotton or polyester pillowcase is an invitation for breakage and frizz. Instead, get yourself a satin or silk pillowcase so your hair won’t snag while you sleep. Know how to wear your hair to bed, and add a protective hairstyle to your nighttime routine. Waking up with good hair all depends on how you sleep.
6. Drying problem
Not nearly as bad as a drinking problem, a drying problem might be the cause of your unwanted frizz. No matter your hair type, never ever rub your hair with a towel. The aggravation and breakage this can cause on wet hair will leave you with damaged, frizzy hair.
The correct drying routine depends again on your hair mood. A diffuser gives great results for curly and coily hair, while straight and wavy might find more success applying product and leaving the rest to air dry. If you don’t have a diffuser, don’t worry. Type four hair can be twisted and left alone, or try the plop method to let your curls dry undisturbed.
7. Heat damage
The 2000s were an adventurous time for heat tools. Everyone was crimping and straightening and curling. Or maybe you went through a phase in middle school. Whatever the reason, excessive heat use is incredibly damaging for your hair. Heat damaged hair will be frizzy no matter the humidity level. The best way to fix this is to treat the problem at the source. Ditch the flat iron and start to repair your damaged tresses.
8. Color damage
Excessive hair coloring can be a “hue”-ge problem.
Actually though, the chemicals used in most hair dyes are damaging to the follicles. Some common ones include
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Sensitizers like PPDA
These can leave your hair dry and brittle, and more likely to break and frizz. Instead of frequent visits to fix your grays, try a natural alternative like henna. Or, embrace the silver as the emblem of your inner worth that it should be.
For you hair chameleons out there, opt for a semi-permanent dye next time. It may not be as bright or long-lasting, but the effects are far less damaging. Plus, more opportunities to mix it up.
Frizzy hair can be a real pain, and some days no matter what you do it seems like the frizz just won’t let up. But everything from your products to your practice can impact your hair, so take a little time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy, and hopefully a lot less frizzy.
Written by Christiana Sinacola