Frizzy hair is a highly unfortunate, yet surprisingly common hair struggle that many girls face. Almost everyone has had an episode of catching a glimpse of themselves in a storefront window only to be horrified at an unmanageable lion’s mane staring back at them. Whether it’s the humidity or heat damage, or even for seemingly no reason at all, we’ve all experienced a moment where our hair went all Hermione Granger on us at the worst possible time.
If this scenario of frizzy hair is all too familiar to you, and you’re wondering how to deal with it, the first step is to understand what’s causing the frizz in the first place so you can take the appropriate precautions. If you’ve ever asked found yourself asking “why does my hair get frizzy?”, “how can I get rid of frizzy hair?” or “what are the dos and don’ts for frizzy hair?”, we’re here to help. We’re spilling all our favorite tips and tricks to fighting frizz so you can enjoy smooth, shiny, frizz-free hair.
Before we get into it, check out the video below for a crash course on how to tame frizzy hair.
Why does my hair frizz, anyway?
Before we begin talking about how to tame frizzy hair, we want to explain what makes your hair frizzy in the first place. Frizz is mostly caused by a lack of moisture in your hair or humidity and excess moisture in the air. Another common cause of frizz is dry hair or damage. Let’s say you have dry or damaged hair and you go outside when it’s humid—what happens to your hair? The hair is dry, which means it wants to absorb all that moisture from the environment. The result? Poof! Hello, unwanted frizz.
That’s why naturally curly or wavy hair tends to frizz more easily. Since naturally curly or wavy hair has the tendency to be dry, the hair frizzes at the first sign of moisture. The good news is there are a few simple tips and tricks to prevent and fight frizz.
How to tame frizzy hair
1. Choose a sulfate-free, glycerin-packed shampoo.
When selecting a shampoo, look for products with glycerin listed high up on the ingredient list. The closer glycerin is listed to the top, the more concentrated it is in the product. Glycerin helps combat frizz by penetrating the hair and hydrating it from the inside out. It is also a great humectant, meaning it absorbed that extra moisture in the air and creates a protective coating over the outside of the hair keeping moisture trapped in.
In addition to glycerin, ensure the shampoo you’re using is sulfate-free. Sulfates are a surprisingly common ingredient in shampoo because it creates a lather. The downside, however, is that sulfates strip natural oil from the hair and can make the hair dry, which leads to frizz. Sulfate-free shampoos maintain the hair’s natural oil levels leaving the hair with more moisture.
2. Always use conditioner.
The power of a good conditioner is often underestimated. Ensure you use conditioner every time you shampoo your hair to keep the cuticle hydrated so moisture can penetrate deep into each strand. This helps prevent the cuticle from opening up and letting excess moisture from the environment in, which will keep it smooth. When searching for a conditioner, look for a product that contains glycerin, as well as other hydrating ingredients like shea butter. Be sure to apply conditioner from the mid-lengths down to your ends and keep it away from your roots to prevent oiliness.
3. Twice a week, only use conditioner on your hair.
You might think your hair needs to be shampooed several times a week, but in reality, it actually doesn’t. Every two days, apply conditioner only and skip shampoo, then rinse it out. Conditioner contains a small amount of surfactant, which is what shampoo uses to cleanse your hair. As well, conditioners contain a small amount of oil which attaches to the oils in the hair, cleansing it away. This also called “Co-Washing” which helps keep the hair at optimum PH as you are replenishing moisture and ensuring the natural oils in your hair are not being stripped away.
4. Use a hydrating mask once a week.
Keeping the hair hydrated helps to prevent the hair cuticle from opening up and letting in moisture, which is the biggest contributor to frizzy hair. Try doing a hair mask or a specialized hair treatment once a week to keep hair moisturized and less prone to damage from styling. Look for products containing coconut oil or castor oil—both are amazing for hydration and will give your hair an incredible sheen. Here is a great DIY mask you can do at home with just 2 ingredients, or if you want some more options, here are 5 more DIY masks. If your hair is especially dry and damaged, we recommend using a hair mask 2-3 times a week or in place of your conditioner.
5. Incorporate coconut oil into your hair routine.
Coconut oil has endless benefits for your hair, especially when it comes to frizz. Try to make a habit of using pure, organic coconut oil in your beauty routine. You can use it two ways; the first being as a mask. Apply coconut oil down the length of the hair, letting it sit for a few hours or using it as an overnight treatment. The result is visibly smooth and touchably soft hair. If you’re looking to fight frizz quickly without having to rinse, apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil onto your hands, rub together, then smooth over any flyaways as an on-the-go frizz fighter.
6. Let your hair air dry 90% of the way before blow-drying.
Letting your hair air dry 90% before blow-drying is a stylist’s secret weapon and it is truly life changing! By letting your hair partially air dry, you are allowing it to dry without disrupting the hair strand, which helps to keep it smooth. While the heat of a blow dryer can cause damage, using a blow dryer when your hair is already mostly dry minimizes the risk. Just be sure to keep the dryer on a low heat setting and hold it 6 inches away from your hair at all times. Also, be sure to move the dryer around consistently so that it doesn’t overheat a certain section of the hair and cause damage.
7. Use a diffuser when blow-drying.
Knowing how to properly blow dry the hair without creating frizz is an art form, but when you master it, the results are always worthwhile. One of our go-to tips when blow drying, especially for wavy or curly hair, is to use a diffuser. Adding a hair diffuser extension onto your blow dryer will limit the amount of direct heat and forceful air hitting your hair, which works wonders at keeping the hair smooth. The diffuser limits your hair from moving around when you dry, which in turn, creates less friction and less frizz.
8. Use a mascara wand with hairspray.
For small areas of frizz, one of our favorite tricks is to use a mascara wand and spray it with hairspray. This allows you to target certain small, unruly areas of the hair and flyaways that need to be smoothed out quickly. This trick is one that is well-loved by many celebrities and hairstylists and has proven to be an especially useful method when on-the-go. One tip to keep in mind is to be sure to use an alcohol-free hairspray as alcohol can swell the cuticle and create even more frizz in the long-run.
9. Use a nourishing hair oil on dry ends.
If you still can’t seem to kick the frizz once your hair is blow-dried, try using a nourishing hair oil.Hair oil works to fight frizz by smoothing out the hair while simultaneously adding gloss and shine. It penetrates deep into the hair cuticle to add moisture to dry ends and revitalize the health and vibrancy of your tresses. Drop 1-3 drops of oil onto your palm, rub together and smooth over the ends of the hair to tame flyaways and frizz.
10. Use your heat tools on a low setting.
Although it always feels like heat tools tame frizz and unruly hair once the hair is styled and smooth, the opposite actually happens if you’re using your heat tools on a super high setting. Anything above 365 degrees has the potential to swell the cuticle, which will actually end up doing more harm than good. A safe range for your heating tools is 250 to 300 degrees to ensure minimal damage. Having patience and holding the hair on the tool longer rather than just amping up the heat will actually create a sleeker, frizz-free look in the end.
FRIZZY HAIR DOS:
- When you come out of the shower, towel dry your hair very gently and start brushing slowly from the bottom of your hair moving upwards. Then, blow dry your hair with a round brush. The round brush technique really helps to smooth the cuticles and take out the frizz.
- Use a soft cotton t-shirt instead of a harsh towel when drying your hair. A towel with a rougher texture will ruffle the hair cuticle and result in frizz. A soft, more malleable fabric like cotton reduces the risk of damage whilst preventing frizz.
- Use a little bit of argan oil after blow drying and spread it evenly throughout the hair to flatten frizz. If there are still some frizzy hairs left at the top, use a tiny bit of hair wax and smooth them down. Be sure to keep this in your purse so it’s handy when you are out.
- Get a haircut or trim every 6-8 weeks. Split ends and breakage can be a major cause of unwanted frizz. A trim will eliminate the frizzy-look of breakage and revitalize a healthy, shiny mane.
- Sleep on a silk pillowcase. A standard cotton pillowcase can pull at the hair fibers and create friction while you’re sleeping, which can result in frizz and tangles in the morning. Silk, on the other hand, is a smoother, more gentle texture that keeps the hair’s moisture intact and won’t create unnecessary frizz.
- If you’re having a hair emergency when you’re out, you can just take some water and pat the hair down. It’s a temporary solution, but hey, whatever works!
FRIZZY HAIR DON’TS:
- Don’t ever brush your hair when it’s dry. It’s just going to create a frizzy mess, especially if you have naturally or wavy hair. Instead, brush the hair thoroughly with a wide-tooth comb when the hair is damp to smooth out tangles. Brush from your ends up towards the roots to reduce the risk of damage.
- Stop feeding your hair alcohol. If you look at the ingredients of most of your products you’ll notice that most drugstore products contain alcohol, because it’s really cheap and effective for them to use. Learn more about using natural products vs. drugstore products here.
- Don’t overprocess your hair. Heat tools, harmful bleaches, and dyes create breakage, which opens the hair cuticle and leaves room for excess moisture to enter, leading to frizz. Try to change your hair routine to use less heat, such as achieving heatless curls and avoid bleaching your hair as much as possible.