Here comes the frizz!
Open season for frizz
The frizzy hair season is officially here, which means frizzy ends, frizzy curls and a lot of questions. For example, why are my curls frizzy? What frizzy hair remedies work best? Why is my hair more frizzy when it is humid? Find the answers to these and other frizzy mysteries below.
Why does curly hair frizz so much?
Straight hair has a smooth cuticle with the layers lying tightly together. With curly hair, the hair follicle is curved causing the outer layer or cuticle to bend. This bending results in the cuticle being permanently lifted and becoming very fragile. Add the damage caused by chemicals, heat and friction (brushing, rubbing with a towel, touching, sleeping) and your smooth curls become frizzy curls.
What is porosity?
Hair porosity refers to the ability of hair to absorb and retain moisture. Hair with high porosity is like a sponge with many tiny holes that can absorb a lot of water. Low porosity is like a sponge with uneven holes and tears which can’t absorb or retain as much water. Curly hair cuticles are like torn sponges, while damaged curly hair is a torn sponge in really bad shape.
Do oils moisturize damaged, frizzy curls?
Many oils, including heavy cholesterols, do not have the ability to penetrate into the hair shaft. Instead, they lay on top of the cuticle, coating just the outer surface. Oils can add some shine to your hair, but they will also lead to build-up of product on your hair, which can damage your curly locks.
Products that limit friction and heat damage to your curly hair:
Deep conditioners that repair damage and add moisture to your curls:
Curly hair is more porous hair, and more susceptible to frizz.
Does product build-up cause frizzy hair?
Product build-up comes from products that contain heavy oils (excluding essential oils) and non-water soluble silicones. These coat the hair, preventing your curls from absorbing moisture and leaving them dry and brittle. To avoid product build-up, many curlies have embraced a no shampoo method of hair care.
If you can't part with your heavy oil and non-water soluble silicone products, use shampoos that contain sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, or ammonium lauryl ether sulfate when you wash. While we do not recommend shampoos containing sulfates as a general rule of thumb, they are effective in removing product build-up—just don't make a habit of it.
Why is my hair more frizzy when it is humid?
The drier your hair is, the more it will expand or swell in the humidity. Because curly hair—especially damaged curly hair—is porous, it tries to take in as much moisture from the air as possible. The surface of the hair then becomes rough as it expands, tangling the strands together. This expansion also causes curly hair to lose its curl pattern, turning your 'do into a big, frizzy mess. Well-moisturized, undamaged hair is less prone to expanding in humid weather.
What frizzy hair remedies work best in high humidity?
Products that contain fewer humectants, or anti-humectants, are most effective in humid weather. Humectants only add to problems with humidity-induced frizz and leave your hair over-saturated and feeling sticky. Many products use silicones as an anti-humectant as they seal your hair against the humidity. Although anti-humectants don't help moisturize your hair, they can be effective at preventing frizz.
If you are trying to avoid silicone and want a more moisturizing product, there are many natural ingredients to chose from. Hydrogenated castor oil, beeswax, and plant triglycerides such as coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, and shea butter are all super anti-humectants.
Is a good hair cut important for fighting frizzy hair?
Split ends are the first to frizz, and you can eliminate them by getting your curls trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Don't cut too short, since shrinkage can be a real problem in humidity. You can find the best stylist for your curls using our Salon Finder.
With the mystery of frizz solved and a list of frizzy hair remedies at your disposal, you now have a plan of attack for no-frizz hair. Good Luck!
Moisturizing conditioners for harsh hair cleansers: