Frizzy Hair: 11 Expert-Backed Tips On Caring For & Styling Hair
Frizzy hair gets a bad rap. There, we said it. It's true though—of all the hair care woes one can go through (from split ends to greasy roots to thinning), frizzy hair often tops the list of hair concerns many beauty brands market to cure. That being said, rather than sifting through your (albeit impressive) stockpile of anti-frizz serums, oils, and treatments, embracing your frizz can actually be a beautiful thing. With a little TLC (and a whole lot of patience), frizzy hair can offer texture and body to an otherwise lifeless mane.
Keep scrolling for 10 expert-backed tips on how to help, style, and even enhance your frizzy hair no matter your hair type.
What causes frizz?
One word: dehydration. According to hairstylist and salon owner Nunzio Saviano, when hair is dehydrated it becomes more prone to breakage and frizz. "Aggressive heat styling, chemical services, and harsh hair products can rob the hair of moisture that's needed to keep it looking smooth [and frizz-free]," he says. Environmental conditions such as high humidity can also be a culprit, as water molecules in the air can attach to hair strands and trigger them to frizz (this is true for even the finest of hair types, says Shelly Aguirre, hairstylist at Maxine Salon in Chicago).
Curly and coily hair types are more susceptible to frizz than their straight or wavy counterparts. This is because curly textures are naturally drier, and they look to the environment to make up for the lack of moisture in their hair (enter: frizz). Bottom line: Think of frizzy hair as your hair's way of begging you to step your hydration game up.
11 tips for helping style frizzy hair.
Styling frizzy hair doesn't have to be your beauty routine's buzzkill. Behold, tips and tricks to keep in your back pocket that'll make owning frizzy hair a little more manageable and a whole lot more enjoyable:
Get regular trims.
The only thing more difficult to style than frizzy roots? Frizzy ends. Thankfully, there's a cure for that, and it has to do with a little thing we call trims. Saviano recommends visiting your stylist every six to eight weeks to nix dead ends—this will keep the hair well formed and remove dry, split ends that may be guilty of causing additional frizz.
Ditch the cotton towels.
Next to dehydration, public enemy No. 2 when it comes to frizz is friction, which cotton towels are notorious for causing when used post-shower. Using a microfiber hair wrap to absorb water after getting out of the shower is a better solution, says Aguirre.
Use the right hairbrush.
Hairbrushes are like skin care products—you'll need to use the right one for your specific type to yield optimal results. Opt for an extra-soft boar-bristle brush to help gently lay the cuticle down if you have straight, fine hair, says Aguirre. Curly, coarser hair types may find that using a hairbrush may add to the frizz, but if you're prone to tangles, a wide-tooth detangling comb is your best option.
Don't rinse out your conditioner.
Have curly or coily hair? Don't rinse out 100% of your conditioner. "Conditioner helps to coat and detangle the hair and seal the hair's cuticle, preventing moisture from being absorbed and puffing up strands," says Saviano. "I recommend combing conditioner through the hair using a wide-tooth comb and not fully rinsing it out to keep hair smooth, detangled, and ready for styling." Check out favorite conditioners for dry hair here.
Choose your blow dryer wisely.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your trusty hot tool will inevitably lead to dry, brittle hair. To make these woes more manageable, opt for an ionic blow dryer (like Beachwaver's Pro Dry Midnight Rose), says Aguirre, as this will work to maintain hair's health and shine.
Boost hydration with a hair mask.
Hair masks are to healthy hair what oat milk is to coffee: a must. Since frizz and flyaways are your hair's desperate call for moisture, hair masks should always be on the menu, particularly if your hair is dry or chemically processed. Curlier hair types should opt for lightweight, humectant-containing formulas that won't loosen the curl pattern or grease up the strands, says Saviano. Masks containing natural oils (read: coconut, argan, and moringa) are game-changers when it comes to restoring moisture and strengthening the hair. Try Nuele's Hydrating Hair Mask to hydrate, condition, and trap in moisture.
Skip alcohol-based products.
It may be hard to part ways with your favorite extra-hold hair spray, but products containing a high amount of alcohol can lead to dry, frizzy tresses. Try an alcohol-free hairspray like the Herbal Essences Bio-Renew Flexible Airspray Alcohol-Free Hairspray for touchable hair without the crunch.
Reduce friction by sleeping on a silk pillowcase.
As we've learned with cotton towels, friction can cause hair to frizz up. Enter silk pillowcases, which are gentler on the hair, help induce shine, and reduce the risk of cuticle-roughening friction. Plus, they just make your bed look more put together (it's the little things).
Avoid touching curls as they dry.
Easier said than done, we know, but messing with your curls as they're drying can disrupt the curl pattern and make way for flyaways to rear their head. Remember, curls are a pattern of the cuticle that need to lay on top of each other in order to appear shiny, says Aguirre. "Since the cuticle is going around and around (think of an individual curl), if you disrupt it, it will expand and lead to frizz."
Look for moisture-rich shampoo formulas.
Saviano recommends avoiding sulfates and parabens in your shampoo and conditioner formulas. Instead, look for an alternative that contains natural humectants that cleanse without stripping the hair of its natural protective oils. TO112's Shampoo for Damaged Hair fits the bill with strand-nourishing moringa, ginseng root extract, and biotin.
Use a frizz-taming leave-in conditioner.
Moisturized hair is less likely to depend on humidity for moisture (do we sound like a broken record yet?). Apply a hydrating leave-in like the Hydrate Spray Conditioner from Authentic Beauty Concept from the mid-shaft down to the ends, avoiding the scalp to avoid weighing the hair down (and the grease that comes along with doing so).
Michelle Rostamian is a freelance writer specializing in beauty, wellness, and lifestyle. Her work has appeared on Cosmo, Elle, Marie Claire, USA Today, Byrdie, The Zoe Report, PopSugar, and more. Michelle graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a B.A. in Communications.