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“Frizz is a curl waiting to happen,” according to Lorraine Massey, co-founder of DevaConcepts and Devachan Salon, curly expert and author.

Curly hair experts can turn frizzy hair into healthy-looking, beautifully cut and shaped curls in a relatively short period of time. But recreating no-frizz salon perfection at home is a challenge even to the most curl-savvy consumer. The resulting frustration can lead to using shortcuts, techniques and poor product choices that encourage frizz.

How can you achieve no-frizz curls between visits to the salon? And what frizz mischief do you get up to when you're not being diligent?

Compulsive Touching

Beautiful curly hair begs to be touched. If you have the hands-in-hair obsession, you are likely to have a frizzy hair problem. But like nail biting, this is a curable habit you will be motivated to overcome once you see the results.

Allow your hair to dry completely after styling it wet, without touching it. Although air drying takes less time in the hot summer weather, if you don't have the patience, partially diffuse to 70% or 80%, then allow curls to air dry completely. And no touching! Once it’s dry, you can use a tiny dab of pomade, oil, cream or serum to break up the gel cast and enhance shine.

Under- or over-applying products

Curlies who apply stylers unevenly and use too much or too little product may find one hair section too coated or weighed down and another frizzy, dry and flyaway. Watch your stylist to learn how she applies stylers to your hair. Work a small section under her supervision. This can save you a lot of hair-aches between visits to the salon.

Under moisturizing

Curly girls who have regular color and chemical services know how essential regular salon deep treatments are. But the same women who get massages and facials like clockwork may balk at salon moisture treatments. You might do them at home all too infrequently, or not thoroughly enough, and miss out on the pampering of a good salon deep treatment. Treat yourself to a restorative hair treatment service, on a routine basis—you'll have a great a reason to sit back, relax and get an essential treatment that will help curls stay smooth and moisturized.

For home deep treatments, Massey recommends heating the treatment in the microwave and cooling stylers. “In the summer, all the gels and stylers are great to put in the fridge,” she advises. “So it cools and refreshes, and helps close the cuticle when you put them on your hair. Every frizz is a curl waiting for moisture.”

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Rough Drying

Towel drying roughs up the cuticle, causes frizzy hair, and diminishes the effects of conditioners and leave-ins. And wrapping a towel around the head can compress and mat curls. Encourage your client to blot or fist-squeeze excess wetness from hair using a microfiber hair towel, thick T-shirt material, or cotton waffle-weave.

Tolerating product build-up

Salon pros recognize product build-up immediately, but you may not. If you don’t recognize the signs, you may inadvertently allow product buildup to continue and then wonder why your hair is lifeless, limp and frizzy.

Curl specialists like Cala Renee, a Devaconcepts salon in Massachusetts, use All-Nutrient ClarpHx Active Clarifying Shampoo before color treatments and for thirsty, sensitive curls. This mild, plant-derived, sulfate-free cleansing system with unique chelating agents shampoo clarifies and removes product buildup, and removes minerals from hard water, without stripping the hair.

Ignoring the climate and dew points

“The cuticle resembles a pinecone,” Lorraine Massey says in her book "Curly Girl". “Smooth equals moist cuticle. Open equals dry, frizzed cuticle.”

Some of the worst cases of frizzy hair result from high humidity and high dew points. When atmospheric moisture is greater than the moisture in the hair cortex, hair absorbs moisture from the air and swells, opening up the cuticles. A well-hydrated cortex whose moisture content is closer to atmospheric moisture will resist frizz. And anti-humectants such as serums that rinse out relatively easy help keep moisture in the climate from opening up a less hydrated hair cuticle.

Product Show and Tell

Recommending and selling the products and tools you want your client to use can go a long way toward her success at home. Preferably these are the ones you already used on her in the chair. With your recommendations, she can be armed against frizz and ready to recreate the look to the best of her ability. If she needs more economical products, we have a few recommendations.

An award-winning stylist who got his start doing his sisters’ hair in Trinidad and now lives and works in Miami, Antonio Gonzales likes MoraccanOil for frizz control. “It’s an ideal product for all hair types, especially curly or frizzy hair and I love adding it to my favorite curl cream for extra support… It makes love to the hair.” For more frizz-fighting recommendations check out his blog, Comesse.

The DevaCare and DevaCurl lines were formulated specifically for a healthy, frizz-free, easy-to-manage curly hair lifestyle. Their complete line offers choices of cleansers, conditioners, treatments, gels, stylers and shine serums that work brilliantly together and separately.

“These products are like little babies”, says Lorraine Massey. “Once they get out into the world they have a life of their own. And curly girls tell us what they do. So it actually changes once they get out.”

Unless you are the on-site or on-call style muse for a major celebrity like Oprah or Angelina, it’s impossible to control how your client looks between visits. By arming her with the tools to help stay frizz-free curls between visits, you can help her maintain and promote your professional style, get word of mouth referrals , more frequent customer visits and product sales.


Karen Mcintosh (Suburbanbushbabe in CurlTalk) is grateful to the straight hair gods who ignored her. Share your views with Karen in CurlTalk or her blog