If you are a curly girl, you will be all too aware that curls are prone to frizz. You may find dealing with it tiresome and distressing. But is your burning desire to banish frizz really warranted. A bit of functional frizz gives you a volume boost! It is not impossible to get rid of frizz completely, so embrace this quirky feature and read on for some useful tips to help you manage your curls and keep frizz to a minimum.
Sulphates are strong cleaning agents found in some shampoos. Although effective cleansers they will also strip hair of its natural oils, this lack of moisture results in frizzy dry tresses. For a gentler cleanse, opt for a sulphate-free shampoo.
Look out for products containing alcohol, which will draw out moisture from the hair and diminish shine. Instead, use oils and styling creams to seal in moisture and promote shine.
HOT WATER WASHING will strip natural occurring oils that moisturise and smooth strands. Use warm water if hair is prone to frizz. ‘Squish to Condish’ is a styling technique that helps to hydrate the hair and creates beautiful frizz-free curl clumps. Apply a generous amount of a silicone-free conditioner to soaking wet hair and gently squish repeatedly using the palms of your hands.
Touching hair whilst wet can disrupt the curl pattern. Apply styling products to soaking wet hair and resist touching until 100% dry, otherwise curls can lose definition and become frizzy.
Scrunching hair up into a towel is guaranteed to rid your hair of too much moisture, resulting in frizzy dry coils and curls. This abrasive action ruffles the otherwise smoothly laid hair cuticle. Wet hair is extremely fragile and requires something a little less harsh. Invest in a microfibre towel to gently absorb excess water and allow to dry naturally.
Rain and humid weather cause frizz because the cuticle absorbs excess moisture from the air, making the hair swell and resulting in a poufy mess. You can prevent frizz caused by the weather by ensuring your hair is fully hydrated, and therefore less likely to draw moisture out of the air. Another way to keep hair protected from the elements is by covering it with a silk/satin lined hat or wearing a protective style e.g., braids or a bun.
OVER-STYLING WITH HEAT. Daily use of heat styling tools; blow dryer, curling iron, straighteners can dry out your strands, depleting moisture and causing frizz. Minimise the amount of heat used on your hair by allowing it to air dry, using a lower heat setting and applying a thermal heat protectant prior to styling. Invest in a blow dryer with ionic technology, which produces negative ions to smooth the cuticle. Another tip is to use the smoothing nozzle, blow drying in the direction of hair growth from roots to ends, to seal and smooth the cuticle.
Your curls may be more susceptible to product build up if you use styling products that contain heavy butters and oils. If you co-wash or if you have fine hair. Build-up can happen even if you use products that contain natural ingredients. It can be caused by pollutants in the air e.g., smoke fumes, dust, certain hair products, and the hard water you use to wash your hair. To combat product or hard water build-up, your hair may benefit from a clarifying cleanser.
If your hair is highly porous, the cuticle layers will be raised and open making it more vulnerable. Because this type of hair often absorbs too much water, tangling and frizz occur. A protein treatment will help porous hair get the nourishment it needs and seal those gaps. Porosity can be identified as low, medium or high. Try this simple test to see how porous your hair is:
Product overload causes crisp, dry frizzy curls that are crying out for moisture. Regular use of styling products that contain lots of protein, or an unnecessary intensive protein treatment can result in overload. Some hair is more sensitive to protein than others, so it's important to listen to and understand your own hair.
If you often wake up with frizzy de-hydrated curls, the likely cause is friction with your cotton pillowcase. Invest in a silk/satin pillowcase or bonnet. This will protect your curls and act as a barrier, locking in moisture overnight.
A certain amount of frizz is normal for curly hair. The best way to tell what is causing your frizz is to get to know your hair. Experiment with different products, ingredients and styling methods to see what works for you. Get to know what your hair likes and dislikes. Once you understand your hair, you will find it easier to tell if your frizz is due to a lack of something, or if it is healthy frizz.
Curly hair is naturally dry and craves moisture. You can achieve well-hydrated and moisturised curls through the products you use to wash and style your hair.
For ultimate hydration, condition your curls once every 7-10 days with a deep conditioner. Leave on for up to an hour and your curls will thank you!
After washing, add some extra moisture into your curls with generous application of leave in conditioner followed by a styling creme.
Hair gel is also great for locking in moisture and does a great job of smoothing any stubborn fly-aways.
Now you know what causes frizz and how best to manage it, you should have enough information to apply to your own curly hair journey. Hopefully, you have found our tips and advice helpful, but please remember that frizz is a part of curly hair. Eradicating frizz completely is unrealistic. Ultimately, the goal should be healthy hair and loving your curls and the frizz that comes with them.