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Is your hair a tad too wild and hard to manage? If so, you're not alone. Many people suffer from frizzy hair and it can sometimes seem impossible to fix. It doesn't have to be though. You can tame your hair and smooth out even the toughest frizz if you care for it properly.
What Causes Frizzy Hair?
Frizz is mainly a result of damage or dryness. Really dry hair feels rough and is significantly more prone to frizz than hair that has adequate moisture levels. If you have frizzy hair, it's likely you have some degree of dryness, and it's this dryness that is likely causing the problem.
Damaged hair also leads to frizz because the hair's internal structure is weakened and it's unable to hold onto moisture properly. Treating the dryness isn't enough in this case. In order to eliminate frizzy hair, you need to repair the damage that has occurred first. If you repair dry damaged hair, the dryness you're experiencing will mostly disappear along with the damage.
Of course, some hair is simply prone to frizz even if you don't suffer from dryness or have damage to the hair structure. In this case, the hair is usually responding to the humidity or isn't being styled properly. If your hair reacts badly to humidity or just seems to frizz up for no reason, styling it differently is the best way to treat the problem.
A few changes to your styling routine will tame frizzy hair and keep it looking smooth even when the humidity outside is extreme.
Styling Frizzy Hair
Frizzy hair needs to be styled differently to keep it looking smooth and minimize flyaways. In particular, your hair will respond well to leave-in conditioners, hair serums, and straightening with a flat iron. Even a curling rod will tame frizzy hair when used properly.
Styling your hair begins right after you wash it. If you're accustomed to allowing your hair to air-dry over several hours, this is a practice to actually avoid when your hair is really frizzy. Air drying removes less moisture from your hair compared to a blow dryer, but the constant movement of your wet hair causes frizz to build up.
Using Heat to Fix Frizzy Hair
The main benefit of a blow dryer is that you can partially style your hair with it, directing it down the hair in the direction of growth to smooth your hair out, section by section. The heat of the dryer is able to eliminate frizzy hair whilst you dry it, giving you a smoother foundation to work on when you move to the next phase of your styling routine.
Stopping Frizzy Hair With Products
To get the best results, you should apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum before blow drying frizzy hair. Not only does your hair not lose moisture from the act of blow-drying with the prudent use of products like this, but the cuticles are sealed more effectively. This means that your hair will maintain the correct moisture balance over the course of the day compared to if it air-dried without the use of any helpful styling products.
Whether you use a leave-in conditioner or hair serum when blow-drying your hair is completely up to you. For really dry hair, a leave-in conditioner will supply more moisture, but a hair serum can't be beaten for shine, frizz reduction, and protection from humidity. Hair serums also protect your hair from the heat of blow dryers and heat styling tools. You can combine the two products if you like though, using the leave-in conditioner before blow-drying your hair and the hair serum before straightening or curling. This gives you the best of both worlds and helps to dramatically stop frizzy hair in a noticeable way.
Blow Drying Frizzy Hair
In order to eliminate frizzy hair, you need to use a blow dryer systematically. Simply ruffling it through your hair leads to far more frizz than air drying. Before you even begin, apply a leave-in conditioner or hair serum and brush your hair gently with a flat brush to give yourself a good foundation to work with.
Blow Dryer Technique
Your blow dryer should be held above your head, pointing downwards along the direction of hair growth, rather than to the side or below. Holding it like this seals the cuticles and smooths the hair as it dries whilst using it the other way around will actually frizz the hair up as if you scrunched it.
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From this point onward, you can either use your hands to move your hair or a flat brush. A brush will give you the smoothest results and tame frizzy hair better than your hands, but you need to be comfortable holding and using both the brush and blow dryer at the same time to do this.
If you haven't quite mastered the technique, it is perfectly fine to just use your hands. The main thing is to hold the blow dryer downwards and move it from the root of a section to the tips whilst using your hands to smooth along the hair and prevent it from flying up due to the air movement.
Smoothing Hair in Sections
When blow-drying hair this way, you can choose to either just dry it freehand or section it as you go. If you want to section it, dry the bottom layers of your hair first, sectioning and moving up as you complete each layer until you reach the top of your head. Regardless of technique, a useful tip to tame frizzy hair is to switch the blow dryer to cold air after you finish a section. This sets the hair by cooling it down so it stays smooth.
You will notice a significant reduction of frizz just by using a leave-in conditioner and blow dryer in this way, and for some people, this will be enough to stop frizzy hair in its tracks. If you have really frizzy hair, you will need to straighten it to eliminate the majority of it.
Straightening Frizzy Hair
For frizzy hair that is fairly wild, you need to take extra measures to tame it and smooth it out. The best way to do this is to style your hair with a straightener. This works primarily because the heat of the flat iron is able to straighten out wavy or kinked hair. Frizzy hair looks the way it does because not every strand of hair sits flat as intended, and a straightener is a great way to flatten all your hair into the same position.
Before you use a hair straightener, always apply a good hair serum like Redken All Soft or Matrix Biolage. Hair serums protect the hair from the heat of your flat iron, whilst sealing the hair cuticles and locking in moisture—they can even protect your hair from humidity so that it doesn't frizz up when it's rainy or humid outside. Redken All Soft is the single best hair serum and one of the best products for fixing frizzy hair overall.
To straighten frizzy hair, you need to section it out first. You can get away with using your hands to blow dry your hair, but the straightening process really needs proper sectioning technique so that the frizzed-up strands are captured and smoothed out properly.
To section your hair out, use your fingers or a comb to trace along the bottom-most sections of hair at your forehead, sides, and neck and clip the rest of your hair up from there. This should leave you with most of your hair clipped on top of your hair and thin layers ready to straighten.
Straighten each section of your hair slowly, using a comb or brush to smooth out the hair whilst you pass the flat iron over the section using your other hand. Your comb moves through your hair first, about an inch ahead of the flat iron to detangle and line up every strand of hair for the straightener to flatten.
This is the absolute best way to remove frizz because it will definitely flatten it out, whereas grabbing sections of hair by hand without any sort of methodical approach means that the straightener passes over the hair without it being flattened out first, and frizz remains frizzy. After you complete a layer of hair, drop another thin layer down out of the clipped-up hair on top of your head and gradually work your way up your head until all your hair is straightened.
You can finish this off with another pump of hair serum to add some great shine and create a barrier against moisture and humidity. Doing this helps to keep your hair smooth for a longer time and stops frizzy hair from returning as readily. If you want to use some hair spray to hold it in place, do this after you have applied the hair serum and given it enough time to settle into the hair.
Overall, be sparing with hair spray to avoid causing frizz to reappear though.
Curling Frizzy Hair
Curling rods will get rid of frizzy hair just like a flat iron but to a lesser degree. If you prefer to curl your hair, the best way to ensure your curls are free of frizz is to section it out in the same way as if you were straightening it.
Comb each section through before you curl them and you'll end up with much better results than could be achieved freehand as the extra step helps to smooth out frizzy hair so that it all gets curled together and follows the same direction.
Fixing Dry Hair
If you have dry hair, this needs to be treated before you even think about using any styling techniques to stop frizz. Proper use of a blow dryer and hair straightener goes a long way towards taming frizzy hair, but it is all in vain if you have an underlying dryness problem that is causing the majority of your frizz.
Dry hair can often be confused with damaged hair because the two conditions are similar. Damaged hair can lead to dryness, so this can be mistaken as a moisture problem. If treated as a moisture problem, however, the issue is never really reversed because the damage remains.
If you have bleached your hair, dye it regularly, or spend lots of time in the sun, it's fairly likely that your hair is damaged and this damage is causing your dryness and frizz. If your hair hasn't been subjected to any chemical treatments or the environment, you are more likely to have hair dryness that is due to a natural lack of oil production and you may benefit from shampooing your hair less or changing your shampoo to one that is designed for dry hair.
To fix dry hair and reduce frizz, you need to use conditioners and other products that provide your hair with more moisture. For this purpose, a leave-in conditioner and a hair serum are easy fixes that can help to prevent frizzy hair. The leave-in conditioner adds necessary moisture to dry frizzy hair, whilst the hair serum seals it in and prevents it from being lost throughout the day.
To use these products properly, apply the leave-in conditioner before blow-drying your hair, and the hair serum after it is dry.
- How to Save Damaged Hair
If you have damaged hair, this is likely causing a lot of the problem you face and fixing the damage is the first step to take in order to tame frizzy hair effectively.
Restoring Damaged Hair
Damaged hair doesn't maintain moisture and the weakened hair structure itself can cause the hair to frizz up and look wild. When your frizzy hair is due to damage, you need to repair the damage first before you change the way you style your hair. Restoring damaged hair to good condition will go a long way towards alleviating frizz.
To fix damaged hair, you will need to use protein treatments like Redken Cat or Joico K-Pak Reconstructor to repair the hair structure. Conditioning treatments make your hair feel soft and healthy, but the effect is only transient. Protein treatments replace damaged and lost protein to strengthen the hair shaft and repair damage from within. Once repaired, your hair will experience less dryness and frizz.
When you first begin to use a protein treatment, use it at least three times a week to rapidly restore damaged hair. Within a week or two, you can begin to decrease the frequency with which you use the protein treatments until you only have to use them every few weeks to maintain your hair and keep it healthy. When you restore your hair like this, you will also greatly reduce frizzy hair as an added bonus.
Best Products for Frizzy Hair
Frizzy hair can be smoothed out more effectively with the use of styling products. There are a few classes of products that are great for treating frizz, including:
- Leave-in conditioners
- Deep conditioners
- Hair serums
- Hair sprays
Leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners are primarily used to treat dry hair, and if your hair is overly dry, this will be a big contributor to the frizz you're facing. A deep conditioner should be used once a week in place of your regular conditioner, and after every time you use a chemical treatment to restore the moisture balance.
Leave-in conditioners can be used every day. Some of the best products for this purpose include Redken Smooth Lock leave-in conditioner and Joico K-Pak Intense Hydrator. Products like this actively smooth frizzy hair by helping to keep your hair adequately hydrated.
Hair serums are also great for this same reason as they lock in moisture and act as a barrier against humidity. They're perfect for use before straightening hair, or after styling and they are of particular benefit when the weather is bad or if you enjoy spending significant time at the beach because they will protect your hair from drying out in these harsh conditions.
Mousses and hair sprays have limited use, however. They can be effective when used sparingly, but should only be used in combination with other measures and proper hair styling techniques because using them incorrectly can contribute to frizz.
Curly frizzy hair will respond really well to a small amount of mousse without being weighed down. Hair sprays should be applied to set a finished style, and a product with only light hold should be used to avoid weighing the hair down or causing it to dry out and matte up. Always use only a small amount of either of these products because too much will just make frizz worse.
More Frizzy Hair Tips
If you have frizzy hair and can't work out why you're so prone to frizz, it's probably largely dependent on your genetics. Styling it properly and ensuring that you treat any dryness and damage can eliminate most of the problem, but there are a few more tips you can use to get the perfectly smooth locks you're dreaming of:
- If you have really thick hair, have it thinned out a little. Don't go overboard with the thinning, however. Thick hair is more prone to frizz, but if you thin it out too much, you increase frizz again. A light touch gives the best results.
- Avoid using too many dyes or bleaching hair that is already frizzy. Hair that's naturally prone to frizz will be exacerbated if you dye your hair too much or bleach it. Bleach is especially known to cause frizz because it dries out your hair and can cause a lot of damage if not used properly.
- Protect your hair from humidity and wind. When the humidity is high, the moisture in the air will be absorbed by your hair and cause it to frizz up. Low humidity can frizz up your hair too, sucking out moisture and drying it out, whereas windy conditions tussle your hair around and cause flyaways. Hair serums are the best way to shield your hair from humidity, and a beanie is great for windy conditions.
When you nourish your hair with the right products and style it carefully, frizz will be a thing of the past and you can get rid of it for good. You deserve to look your best every day, so don't let frizzy hair get you down.
Do you need advice to tame your wild hair? Do you have an experience to share? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers to make frizzy hair a thing of the past.
© 2014 Maffew James