Why is my hair so frizzy?


Frizz. A five letter word that is evil for just about anyone who has hair. There are thousands upon thousands of serums and creams and oils and lotions available to try and help fix it. There are various methods of styling our hair to help temporarily mask it. Yet sometimes, despite our best efforts and intentions, frizz still happens to the best of us. “Frizz-free” is a curly’s dream. TheBeautyBrains attributes curly frizz to three main causes:

1. The natural shape of your hair.

Hair that grows out curly tends to be frizzier than straight hair. The shape of the shaft is primarily determined by the shape of the follicles, the little tubes under your scalp that your hair grows out of.  If you have ever felt the strands of a straight haired friend, you can quickly tell that the structure is completely different to the touch.

2. How you cut and style your hair.

If you’ve got longer hair that’s experienced a lot of brushing and combing you’ve probably created your hair share of split ends and broken hairs. Once the hair breaks the shorter stub that remains tends to spring outward uncontrollably. That’s because the proteins in hair get “stretched” when the hair is pulled and they don’t go back to their original shape. The result: those frizzy pieces that stick out down the lengths of your hair.

How to fix this: Do not brush hair, especially when it is dry. And when your hair is wet, detangle with fingers or a wide tooth comb. Since wet hair is up to 70% weaker than dry hair, brushing it wet can lead to breakage and frizz as well.

3. The environment.

Humidity can affect your hair two ways: it can make fine, curly hair fall flat and it can make smooth, straight hair frizz out.


Because the inside of your hair, also known as the Cortex, is actually made out of two kinds of protein, the Orthocortex and the Paracortex. These two regions are sandwiched together inside your hair. When it’s humid, moisture penetrates into the hair and is absorbed by these ortho and para regions.

The problem is that these areas absorb water differently, so they do not swell the same. One part may absorb a lot of moisture and swell a lot, while the other stays relatively the same. This differential swelling causes the hair shaft to bend or twist to one side or the other. So, if your hair starts out looking frizz free in high humidity,  the humidity can actually make the hair frizz more and even start to curl more. This is also why some of us may notice better curl definition is the hotter, humid months. To tackle humidity, investing in good quality conditioning and styling products to help with frizz can make a nice difference.

The bottom line: Some of us are born with genetically frizzy hair.

If I washed my hair and didn’t put any product in it, the amount of frizz on my head is downright scary–thanks, mom and dad. Yet, I have friends who wet their hair, don’t use products and it somehow dries frizz free and shiny. Hair envy for sure. The reason my hair reacts the way it does is due to weak hydrogen bonds being  responsible for how the strands of hair on our head interact with each other, resulting in how our hair looks. These hydrogen bonds are broken by water and reform as our hair dries. Whatever position or shape the hair is in during the drying process is how it will stay until moisture breaks the bonds again.

Just think: When wet hair is dried in rollers, your hair is curled. If hair is pulled straight while blow drying, it dries straight. What happens if we let our hair just dry naturally as it pleases? The swelled strands stick out, and that’s how they stay until a product is used to lay them down or styling tricks manipulate them into the desired positions. Water causes frizz, and it doesn’t take much. Just a little moisture in the air is enough to break the hydrogen bonds releasing the hair from the style that some of us spent over an hour trying to perfect!



How can I get rid of my frizz?


The goal of every anti-frizz product on the market to is to keep moisture away from those bonds. Scientists at Pantene say the easiest way to do this is by applying a waterproof barrier around each hair strand to lock moisture out. However, the hard part is figuring out the difference between all of the ingredients touted to reduce frizz.

Frizz-fighting shampoos contain conditioning complexes formed by positively charged polymers to help protect hair from damage in its most vulnerable state—when it’s wet. These conditioning complexes help preserve the integrity of hair’s natural, outermost layer that controls the movement of moisture in and out of the hair fiber. With a protective outer layer, hair is better armed for frizz-fighting, according to You Beauty.

Positively-charged surfactants and silicones found in frizz-fighting conditioners can target the “leaks” on hair’s surface, which are spots that have lost the protective F-layer and can soak up moisture from the air like a sponge, thus causing hair to swell and create frizz. “Leaky” areas have negative charges, so the positive charges on these haircare ingredients attach to the areas on a hair fiber that need it most. Once the hair care ingredient is in the right place on the hair strand, its moisture-controlling ability slows down the frizz process.

  • Anti-frizz styling creams will also help significantly with frizz. Applying them to damp hair right after the shower will result in tackling as much frizz as possible- whether you plan on blow drying or air drying after.
  • Oils and serums are good options to use on hair once it is dry to make the hair more shiny and help fix any frizz that may have disappeared.
  • Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper is one of my all time favorite products for battling frizz, especially in the humid months. I use a generous amount under any gel or styler and it reduces my frizz dramatically. The Ouidad Climate Control line is also excellent at helping keeping frizz to a minimum for curls.

To conclude, though frizz is natural and genetic, it still isn’t something we want in our hair. Finding the right methods and anti-frizz styling products will help minimize the frizz in our hair and leave us looking as beautiful as possible.

Do you use a frizz-fighting product or ingredient in your curly hair routine?

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