How to Fight Halo Frizz in the Summer, According to Celebrity Stylist Marilisa Sears

Marilisa Sears has been changing the hair industry for over 25 years with a portfolio that spans editorial, fashion, red carpet, and international campaigns for Marc Anthony Hair Care and L’Oreal. Her expertise has helped her work with a wide range of celebrity clients like Eva Longoria, Keanu Reeves, Anna Wintour, and Justin Bieber. She sat down with us to chat about how to help your curls thrive and survive during these hot summer months. 

What has been a memorable moment in your professional career as a celebrity stylist? 

I’ve been blessed with so many memorable moments like my first Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys (I still have the passes for them <3). The travel is also a highlight. I have shot videos in Malaysia, done hair in Mexico City, and been all over Europe, all for hair. There have been so many amazing humans, the kindness of Keanu Reeves, the wisdom of Tilda Swinton, and the passion of Eva Longoria have all shown me wonderful things about the world that have stayed with me. 

What is your favorite way to style curls? 

For me, curls always start with the right cut. It’s difficult to get the look you want when you do not have a cut that leans into both the type of curl you have and the right cut for them. My salon clients are wonderful in that they trust me to get it right. With the right cut, you are using products to enhance the curl versus attempting to control them. Curls work best with as little touching as possible. Once the hair is washed and conditioned, I limit the amount of time my skin comes into contact with it. Two of the best all-around products for curls are Cake ‘The Curl Friend’ Defining Curl Cream and Cake ‘The Curl Whip’ Whipped Curl Mousse. Between these two products, I have most of my clients covered. ‘The Curl Friend’ has a heavy focus on moisture with hold while the ‘The Curl Whip’ focuses on body, softness, and hold.  

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What is the number one cause of frizz during the summertime? 

Humidity can cause havoc to hair, especially in the summer. Curls tend to frizz more due to the nature of the curl formation. Our natural sebum has a difficult time winding its way down the strands, so you end up with extra oils at the roots and not enough at the ends, which does not help the frizz. You would think that the humidity would help but what that creates is a strand full of hydration with no way of sealing the correct amount leaving the hair swollen and the cuticle open. This in turn flattens the curls and creates summer frizz.  

What’s the best way to maintain your curls between wash days? 

Honestly, there is no right answer here, because curls change constantly and what may work one wash cycle, will suddenly not deliver the same results the next time the air will be drier one day, rainy the next day…. and you’ll feel the difference. Its madness. You can try using a satin pillowcase or bonnet. No matter the thread counts on good cotton, you will end up with two things: absorption of both moisture and oils, and tangled hair (since cotton is never fully smooth under a microscope. Tying your hair up loosely at the top of your head and wrapping a tie around it can help keep the curls from flattening.  

There will be days when you need to use the product, and my advice always is not to overuse it. I’ve tested and tried this on set when you don’t really have time to start over! You want to build product when refreshing and one of the products I love is The Mane Choice’s ‘Tropical Moringa’ Daily Restorative Spray. I work it through with my fingers styling once my hair has enough product. Always start with less and work according to your hair and curl type.  It helps the hair to refresh (even the curl pattern) without a build-up of product. The Mane Choice also carries the ‘Heavenly Halo Deep Hydration’ Serum Oil Mist that can help to get a fresh sheen on type 4 hair.  

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Can you share a few essential frizz-fighting products to keep on hand this season? 

The Mane Choice ‘Heavenly Halo Deep Hydration’ Serum Oil Mist is a great item to have on hand. My new go-to product is the Cake ‘The Glow Drop’ Iridescent Shine Serum as it’s totally buildable and, with frizz you want to have the ability to go back in if frizz reappears. The Marc Anthony ‘Repair Bond’ Concentrated Hydrating Mask has truly blown me away. It helps to recover busted disulfide bonds (which curls have more of) and it fixes the frizz at its root cause.  This is by far the most replenished product in the salon for me. Protective styles cut down on frizz and offer an ease of styling that is most helpful in the summer, The Mane Choice ‘Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Glistening Gold’ Twisting Gel is brilliant for this as is Marc Anthony ‘Strictly Curls’ Curl Envy Cream when leaving curls down. 

How do you reduce “Halo” frizz at the roots? 

This is so problematic for me; we take something natural and focus on removing it. It’s so hard to live a frizz-free life as hair changes so quickly. It’s warm outside and you sweat just a bit a drop of rain hits you – poof! Halo frizz! The goal for me besides cuts that work with the curl type, is to have an overall ease of styling with products as well. To minimize halo frizz, you focus firstly on hydration and moisture, this removes frizz so that the hold element of a product helps shape and define curls with minimum halo frizz. Cake ‘The Glow Drop’ Iridescent Shine Serum is light enough for touch-ups during the day (and on set). Cake ‘The Top Coat’ One Minute High Shine Hair Mask and Cake ‘The Smooth Move’ Moisture Melt Hair Mask is an amazing way to seal the cuticle and add shine to curls.  

Which types of oils are best for helping reduce frizz? 

All oils serve a purpose with curls, the goal is to find the right one for your hair and curl type.