If you have frizzy hair, you probably know the constant struggle that trying to tame it, smooth it, and make it presentable is. Even if you do manage to make your hair look as smooth and sleek as you can in the morning before you start the day, a couple of hours later, it will probably go back to its wild, unruly state, leading to a world of frustration.
And the stakes get even higher if it’s the summer when humidity is at its highest.
But why are you even getting frizzy hair? What can you do to tame them or get rid of the frizz in your hair? Scroll down to have all your questions about frizzy hair answered:
What causes frizz?
To keep it short, dehydration and a raised hair cuticle. If your hair is lacking in moisture, it will try to hydrate itself by taking water from the atmosphere. Our hair is made up of three layers with the topmost layer being the cuticle. The medulla is the core of the hair shaft, made up of transparent cells and air spaces. Then there’s the cortex, which is the thickest hair layer and contains the pigment which gives our hair its color.
The topmost layer of our hair is the cuticle, which is made up of overlapping cells resembling scales. It controls the moisture that’s entering or leaving our hair, and when it’s healthy, the scales are closed, protecting the internal layers from any damage and keeping it hydrated. Frizzy hair is the result of these scales becoming raised and allowing for moisture from the atmosphere to seep into the cortex and swell the strands.
The cortex consists of two types of proteins: the orthocortex and the paracortex which both absorb moisture in different ways, so one may swell up and twist in one way, while the other might not change noticeably. The end result is frizzy and unruly hair.
What is making my hair frizzy?
There are several reasons you may be experiencing frizz, but they basically come down to three main reasons:
If you have curly hair, then your hair is already more prone to being frizzy than straight hair is due to the fact that curly hair is drier and has naturally raised cuticles. The texture of curly hair often makes it harder for the hair’s natural oils to make their way from the scalp down to the shaft, causing your hair to be lacking in moisture.
As already mentioned, if your hair is dry it will try to take moisture from the atmosphere, so the more humid it is, the more frizz you will have.
While you can’t control your genetics or the humidity of the air, there are things you’re doing that may be contributing to your frizzy hair. For example, constantly using heat in your hair like hair dryers, straighteners, or curling wands causes our hair to become damaged, dry and brittle.
If you shampoo your hair too often or with water that’s too hot, it could strip your hair of the natural oils it needs to be shiny, hydrated, and healthy. Even rubbing them with a towel after you shower, or brushing them could lead to more damage, and therefore more frizz.
(See What Causes Frizzy Hair? for more.)
How do I tame my frizzy hair?
There are several everyday mistakes we’re all probably making that are contributing to the frizz in our hair, so it’s important to know them and try to reduce them.
Don’t brush dry hair
Brushing dry hair, especially if you have a curly texture, will just ruffle the cuticle and disrupt your natural curl pattern. It could also stretch and tug on the hair causing it to break.
Don’t shampoo every day
Shampooing every day will dry out your hair by leeching out all of the natural oils, and dry hair means frizzy, damaged hair.
Use hair masks
Hair masks are a useful addition to your hair care even if you don’t have dry and frizzy hair. Everyone could use a boost of extra nourishment every now and then, and what provides it better than a hair mask. Whether it’s store-bought or homemade, hair masks can work wonders for our hair if used regularly. For frizzy hair, you’ll need ingredients that are designed to combat dehydration and give your hair that much-needed natural moisture.
Ditch the hot tools and harsh chemicals
Say goodbye to your hair dryers and straighteners. Air dry your hair as often as you can, and even if you do use a hair dryer, use it on a cooler setting and don’t blast it immediately after a shower. Let your hair air dry first at least halfway before using the dryer. Another thing you could do is just dry the roots and let the shaft dry on its own.
Harsh chemicals like bleach and hair dye also damage our hair, making them frizz-prone.
What products should I use if I have frizzy hair? What products should I avoid?
While changing our hair care habits goes a long way in taming frizzy hair, it should go hand in hand with proper products with the proper ingredients otherwise you won’t see much results.
Ingredients you should look for
Essential oils and fats
Oils like argan oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil to just name a few, will moisturize, smooth, and nourish your hair, since they are rich in essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins.
Our hair is made up of a protein called keratin, so it’s important to get as much protein both through your diet and through hair care products like hair masks. The more protein your body gets, the more keratin it will produce. If keratin weakens, your hair will also become weak, dry and brittle.
Silicones help create a barrier around your hair shaft that prevents moisture from seeping out, makes the hair smooth, as well as protects it from external factors that might damage and pollute it.
However, you need to be careful when using silicones as they may build up over time, weighing your hair down and making them appear limp or even dimish your curl texture if you have curly hair.
Ingredients to avoid
Sulfates are chemicals that you can find in most cleaning products, like detergents or household cleaners. Their ability to remove built-up dirt and oils also works in your hair, so most shampoos contain sulfates as well. However, sulfates can sometimes be too harsh for people with dry, damaged or frizzy hair because they will strip away the oils that these hair types need to remain healthy. Moreover, according to Healthline, sulfates may even create a negative electrical charge if they come in contact with our hair, leading to frizz.
Here it becomes a little tricky, seeing as there are both helpful and harmful alcohols when it comes to your hair. A trick to remember which alcohols you should avoid and which to use is remembering that if it starts with a “C” or an “S”, like Cetearyl and Stearyl alcohol than it can actually be helpful in moisturizing your hair. If it has a “prop” somewhere in their name, however, like Isopropyl alcohol or propanol then it’s a no-no as it will dry your hair out even more.