Pictured: Megha and Vibha aka @fuzzycurls
Frizz is the bane of every naturally curly person’s existance. It can turn an amazing hair day into a disaster in seconds, much to your frustration. But what is hair frizz exactly? And why does it only happen sometimes but not other times?
Hair frizz is what happens when your hair doesn’t align with the surrounding curls, causing it to appear out of place and creating an irregular texture or pattern. Frizz can happen for a number of reasons including the current weather and climate, hair damage, improper care, and sadly even genetics.
Your hair is naturally porous, meaning it is attracted to moisture. And when it comes to humidity, there’s not much you can do to control the weather. What that means for you is that your hair will try to absorb as much water as possible from the air around you until it swells and separates from the rest of your curls, creating frizz.
In order to combat this, we’ve created a list of easy to follow tips that will keep your hair as frizz free as possible.
1. Don’t Wash Your Hair Everyday (It Doesn’t Need It)
Of course everyone’s hair and scalp are different, but generally when it comes to curls washing your hair every day can do more harm than good. Curls especially need the natural oils in your scalp to stay healthy and moisturized, and by washing your hair too often you’re actually stripping your hair of necessary oils. This can also lead to dandruff and other types of scalp irritation. How often you wash your hair depends on your lifestyle and your needs, but many people find that once or twice a week (or even a month) is all your hair needs.
2. You Don’t Need To Shampoo Your Hair Every Time You Wash It
Like we mentioned above, shampoo is the product that cleanses your scalp and strips it of dirt and oils. But there’s actually a difference between washing your hair to revitalize it, and washing it to cleanse it. So if your hair isn’t actually dirty, then feel free to skip the shampoo and stick to your conditioner and co-wash your hair instead.
3. Rinse Out Your Conditioner, But Don’t Use The Shower Head
Tipping your head back under the shower to rinse out your conditioner can actually over rinse it. We know this might sound ridiculous (since that’s exactly how a shower usually works), but bear with us.
The whole reason you apply conditioner to your hair in the first place is to soften and hydrate it, and by allowing the water pressure from your shower head to rinse it out, you’re rinsing all of it out (as if it was never even there). You’re then likely taking the time to apply a leave-in conditioner or hair mask to your routine. Which doesn’t make much sense.
So instead of over rinsing your hair, try pouring a cup of water over your head and scrunching your hair up until there’s no conditioner left on your hands. Your hair will feel amazingly soft and moisturized, and you might even find that you can cut down on your weekly or monthly deep conditioner.
4. More Moisture = Less Frizz
Whether that means swapping your conditioner for a more moisturizing formula or adding a weekly (or monthly) deep conditioner to your hair care routine, the key here is that you should keep your hair as hydrated as possible. Because happy, hydrated curls won’t go looking for the moisture in the air.
5. Get a Dry Cut
As anyone with naturally curly hair will tell you, your curls (and overall length) look completely different when they’re dry versus when you wet your hair down. Which means that if your stylist cuts and shapes your hair when it’s wet, it will look totally different when it dries. Thanks to the inevitable shrinkage and the slightly different curl types across your head, your hair can appear more frizzy than it actually is because the curls are no longer uniform. As long as you go to an experienced curl stylist, they will be able to determine whether your individual curl type should be cut wet or dry, or a combination of the two.
6. Never Dry Your Hair With A Regular Towel
Regular bath towels absorb far too much moisture, and as we mentioned a number of times above, moisture is key to maintaining healthy, frizz free curls. Instead of using your normal towel, try opting for microfiber towels, flour sack towels, or even a 100% cotton t-shirt. And never ever wring or rub your hair dry.
7. Hair Gel Can Create A Stronger Hold
Hair gel is definitely not a one size fits all kind of product. But thankfully curl products have expanded enough to create different formulas for different kinds of curls. Hair porosity, curl health, and your environment can all play a factor in determining whether a hair gel is too heavy or light for your curls. And while this can take some trial and error, once you find the right kind of gel for your hair you can try applying it a little extra so your curls will stay in place without frizz. Then don't forget to break the cast by scrunching out the crunch.
8. Try Diffusing Before You Go Outside
If it’s especially humid out, air drying your curls probably isn’t the best idea. Even when you do everything you can during the washing and styling process to make sure they’re moisturized, your hair will still be attracted to the humidity in the air (even if it’s already wet), lifting from your curls and creating frizz. To combat this, try diffusing your hair until it’s completely dry before leaving the house. This should give you your best chance of achieving a good hold and decreasing frizz.
9. Don't Brush Dry Hair
We’ve all done it once – and immediately swore never to do it again. Not only does brushing dry curls create a boatload of frizz, but it is actually severely unhealthy for your hair. There are scenarios where some naturals may choose to detangle their hair when it's dry, but not when styling. By brushing dry curls, what you’re doing is breaking up the curl pattern (and often the hair itself). Instead, always brush any tangles out either in the shower with conditioner, or when your hair is wet and has a detangler in it.
10. Use Anti-Humectants To Fight Humidity
Anti-humectants can be the saving grace for curly hair in the fight against humidity. In short, anti-humectants help protect your curls from absorbing the moisture in the air and creating frizz. While they often contain silicones (which are not water soluble), some other anti-humectant ingredients include beeswax, shea butter, palm oil, and ester.
11. Once Your Hair Is Styled, Don’t Touch It
We know it can be hard to resist, especially when your hair looks so good, but you just can’t touch it. Because the more you touch it and play with your curls, the more you disrupt their curl pattern – causing them to stack on top of each other and creating frizz.
12. Sleep In A Bonnet And / Or On A Satin Pillowcase
Unlike cotton, silk creates much less friction against your hair, making it the best choice for pillowcases, bonnets, and hair wraps. Your curls will be thanking you in the morning when all you have to do is a little refresh to have them looking their best.
13. A Haircut is Key
Split ends are the beginning of frizz, so stop them before they start by getting your curls trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Shrinkage can be even greater in humidity, so take that into consideration when choosing the length of your next cut. You can find inspiration for your next haircut with these 18 best haircuts for curly hair.
14. Apply Styling Products to Dripping Wet Hair
Add products to your hair while it's still wet. A good place to start is a gοοԁ leave-іn conditioner. Always υѕе conditioner liberally аftеr washing, directly οn уουr damp hair, paying special attention tο the ends. Aftеr applying thе leave-іn conditioner, apply serum evenly, mаkіnɡ sure еνеrу curl іѕ coated. Thеѕе steps, plus deep conditioning weekly, ѕhουƖԁ ɡеt rid οf frizz.
15. Cut Down on Heat
Using a curling wand to spot treat frizzy curls may give you the definition you're looking for in the short term, but in the long term this can lead to frizz and a loss of curl pattern. The heat from styling tools, such as hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons or hot rollers, can zap your hair of moisture and cause heat damage, which leads to more frizz. Try to keep the use of these hot styling tools to a minimum. When a flat iron or hair dryer is a must, use a heat protectant to minimize the damage.This article has been updated.