A little rain can be good for the hair — if you take care of the frizz.
We asked curl-centric stylists for their best no-frizz tips for the rainy spring season ahead. The damp air from spring showers can actually bring bounce back to your curls — but only if you’re able to fend off frizz.
Although some differ in their approach, the goal is the same: find a way to make the spring dew work for you rather than against you.
1. Essential Oils
Chaz Dean, celebrity stylist and founder of Wen Hair & Body Care products and Chaz Dean Studio in Hollywood, CA, suggests using a product with essential oils as a leave-in treatment for unruly tresses. His product line includes cleansing conditioners, styling cremes and texture balm (all containing plant and fruit extracts), as well as three bath, body and hair oils: tea tree (especially for sensitive, dry or flaky scalps), fig and sweet almond mint.
“It’s cold-pressed oil that helps penetrate into the hair to where it’s not greasy,” Dean says. “The oils are used directly on the scalp as a treatment and to help stimulate healthy hair growth, especially in the months we’re approaching.”
Ethan Shaw, a stylist at Anne Kelso Salon in Austin, TX, suggests carrying a spray bottle with an essential oil as a time-saving tool to prevent frizzy hair and perk up droopy curls on the second or third day.
“I like tea tree oil, and you can mix it with water," Shaw says. "The oil is light enough that it’s not going to make your hair feel oily, and just heavy enough to give you a little more control than just water would."
He recommends the Bumble and bumble Tonic Lotion. You can also create your own product by filling an 8-ounce spray bottle with water and half an ounce of tea tree oil.
"It’s great when you’re on the go," he says. "And if you’re really trying to fight the humidity, for some types of curly hair, that’s going to give a firmer hold.”
Make sure to deep condition your hair!
2. Deep Condition
Christine Williamson of Carriage House Salon & Spa in Cambridge, MA, also recommends a deep-conditioning treatment — either in the salon or once a week at home.
“The cuticle in curly hair, because of the spiral, stands out a little bit, which causes the frizz and bushiness," Williamson says. "When you’re applying the deep conditioning treatment, you comb it through with a wide-tooth comb, and then put on a shower cap to add a bit of heat and intensify the treatment."
“It’s also good at the beach," she says. "Just put the deep conditioner on while you’re in the sun and it will penetrate in the heat.”
And if you’re using shampoo, skip it. “Shampoo strips the hair of its sheen, moisture, luster and shine, so it leaves it dry, dull, and frizzy automatically,” says Dean, who urges curlies to use a detergent-free cleansing conditioner instead.
When choosing a conditioner, Dean cautions against protein-boosting products. “A lot of leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners contain protein," he says. "Although a lot of companies think protein is good for the hair, I’m one who does not believe in that whatsoever. Hair is made up of protein, so when you add more protein to it (which is a strengthener), there’s no flexibility, so the hair just cracks and breaks. What the hair needs is moisture.”
Most good frizzy hair remedies emphasize the importance of maintaining moisture. Jonathan Torch of Toronto’s Curly Hair Institute has created a no-frizz product called Curl Keeper, which duplicates the effects of water.
“Most people with curly hair love what their hair does when it’s wet, and they wish it would almost stay like that because their hair is prone to frizz,” says Torch, who urges curlies to stay away from products with silicones. “Curl Keeper, because it’s a water-based product, uses moisture in the air to reactivate the product in the hair and you’re going to have frizz-free curls.”
The way you style your hair is critical during rainy months.
For an emergency fixer, Shaw also recommends a tiny dab of Murray’s hairdressing and pomade, emulsifying it in your hands and running your palms over the top of you head.
“You don’t want to use too much or it can be greasy," he cautions. "But it’s a potent product that’s really going to control the frizz."
Shaw also suggests Davines Extra Hold Paste, which fights frizzy hair and washes out easily. You need just a pea-size amount for your whole head.
Aside from moisture-sealing products, stylists say the actual process of styling the hair is critical, especially during the most soggy months.“When your hair is wet, the open cuticles are filled with water, so it never looks frizzy,” Torch says. “Make sure you distribute the product everywhere—from roots to ends. And it’s important that you don’t start drying when the hair is soaking wet. Allow the cuticle to dry in a closed position before diffusing it. Once it’s surface dry, then you can apply a little bit of movement to soften the look. It’s about a 10-minute wait, and that’s the critical step that separates failure from success, especially on humid days.”
To create more bounce, Dean suggests a quick trick to try when your hair is almost completely dry.
“You can wrap your curls around straws, cutting the straw to about a quarter of its length, depending on how long your hair is,” Dean says. “You want your hair to cover most of the straw, and then pin it with one bobby pin at the scalp and one at the end.”
And if you’re tempted to turn on that curling iron or flat iron, think again.
“The irons burn your hair," Dean says. "Then, you have to keep using them because now the hair is singed, and the only way to soothe it is to keep doing it. But by doing it, you’re causing the hair to break. It’s a vicious cycle.”
5. Feed Your Hair
Dean also reminds curlies that what you put in your body — as well as what you put on your hair — can make all the difference in maintaining a healthy mane.
“Keep in mind, the more alcohol or wine you drink, the drier the hair, skin, and nails are going to be because it’s robbing your body of its essential nutrients," Dean says. "I tell my clients to eat half of an avocado a day and drink water, water, water! You’ll see a difference in your hair, skin and nails. After all, beauty starts from the inside out.”
Frizz Fighting Products