Looking like a giant ball of frizz? Read this
Hands up whose hair looks comparable to Hagrid’s mop come summertime/beach time/any darn time? If you’re one of the unlucky fluffy creatures who suffer from uncooperative, frizz-prone hair, you know just how hard it is to get your mane under control, especially when the weather warms up and the humidity hits. Fighting frizz can be a serious TASK.
The good news is that we’re here to break it down for you, and offer some expert-approved tips and tricks on the best ways to get sleek, smooth hair.
But before we get right into it, knowing exactly what causes your hair to go frizzy is key to preventing it. Allow us to explain. Frizz occurs due to a lack of moisture in the hair. When the hair is dry and dehydrated, this causes it to seek moisture elsewhere – namely from the air around it, which is why humidity often makes matters worse. Moisture from the air swells the hair’s outermost layer (your cuticle), causing hair to look all poufy and frizzy. This moisture also ‘resets’ the proteins in your cuticle and your hair returns to its natural shape – basically undoing all your smooth styling efforts from that morning.
Now, if your hair was healthy and nourished, the cuticles would naturally lay flat, keeping the good moisture in and the bad frizz-causing moisture out.
“Think of a single hair strand like fish scales – they should always appear smooth and shiny,” says one of Sydney’s leading hairstylists, Anthony Nader. “When your strands feel rough and frizzy, this is because your cuticle (aka fish scales) are rough in texture and not closed up tight. The reason is simply because there is not enough moisture intake.”
So what do you need to do? Up the moisture levels in your strands so that the cuticles close and your hair doesn’t try and draw moisture from the air.
And the best way to do this is with the right products and preventive measures during each step of your haircare routine.
When you’re washing your hair
The fight against frizz begins once you step in the shower, not when you get out. Picking an arsenal of top-performing products can make a huge difference in your journey to frizz-free hair,
Firstly, you’ll want to stay away from shampoos with sulphates, because these products tend to strip and dehydrate the hair, which is the exact opposite of what you want. Instead, you need a shampoo with glycerin – make sure it’s high up in the ingredient list because this will mean there’s a decent amount of it in the formula. Glycerin is great at penetrating the hair shaft and giving strands a boost of hydration.
We recommend trying the silicone and sulphate-free Marc Anthony Bye. Bye. Frizz Keratin Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner duo. If you're shopping around, here are some of our favourite sulphate-free shampoos.
When you step out of the shower, Nader advises patting your hair dry, instead of rubbing it. “From here on in, always blot your hair dry and never scrub-a-dub-dub! Scrubbing and rubbing your strands will only damage/weaken them, causing them to snap right off. It sounds harsh, but it’s the truth! Those of you with pre-lightened hair, this [drying technique] is your saviour.
When you’re styling your hair
Rob Sylva, who is also one of Australia’s leading hairstylists, says one of the biggest mistakes most of us make post-shower is immediately reaching for the hair dryer. Too much hot air focused directly on soaking-wet strands will dehydrate your hair. If you have the time, we recommend letting your hair dry naturally, about 90 per cent of the way, before using a hair dryer to create a smooth finish (and help close those cuticles).
When you do reach for the hair dryer, you’ll want some trustworthy products to help smooth the cuticles and create a barrier against heat damage. Try Oribe Balm d’Or Heat Styling Shield or Dry Bar Hot Toddy Heat and UV Protectant.
And keep your hair dryer’s heat on a low setting: “I always start off on my warm setting and then (and only then) if I need to turn up the heat, I go from here. Same method applies when I use a flat iron and tongs,” explains Nader.
“If you’re wearing your hair straight, use De Lorenzo The Allevi8 Shine Serum on damp hair before drying with a light spray of the use De Lorenzo Elements Afterglow. This will keep hair glossy and battle frizz with its amazing anti-humidity properties,” recommends Sylva.
Nader’s top tip for all hair types? Always finish with a cool shot. “My all-time fave trick all year around on every blow-out I do is hitting the cool temperature shot button. Run the cool air over your strands for at least 30 seconds. This tip is the make or break, as this locks in the hair shape, making your strands look shiny and salon-campaign worthy.”
Nader also suggests reaching for a boar bristle brush to smooth strands during styling. “Get your hands on a 100 per cent boar bristle brush. This little baby will continue to be gentle enough to distribute the natural oils from your scalp to journey down your hair shaft to protect it for longevity. Also keep in mind that the more bristles you have on your brush, the smoother the end result.”
When you go to bed
Doing a weekly hair treatment is one of the best ways to avoid unwanted frizziness. As well as strengthening your strands, a good hair treatment will repair and moisturise your hair, not to mention make your mane WAY more manageable so you don’t have to resort to tying it up in a ponytail or a bun *every* single day. “Curly hair should always apply extra moisture or hair can turn brittle and unmanageable,” explains Sylva.
Nader also recommends opting for a satin or silk pillowcase (we love Slip Silk Pillowcases), because regular cotton fibres in your pillow will always rough up your hair cuticles.
To maintain your style in the hot weather
According to Sylva, if you’re prone to frizz you should always have a good hair serum in your kit, especially as the weather heats up. An anti-frizz serum helps to instantly smooth frizz and control fly-aways, while creating a barrier around the cuticle to stop outside moisture from getting in.
We recommend checking out Tigi Bed Head Control Freak Serum, John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum and Eleven Australia Smooth & Shine Anti-Frizz Serum.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to achieve smooth, straight locks, this is everything you need to know about keratin treatments.
What are your top tips for fighting frizz? Let us know in the comment section below.
Main image credit: @dianekruger
Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.