How to Treat and Prevent Frizz, No Matter Your Hair Type
Summertime can bring many joyous opportunities, such as spending more time outdoors, seeing friends, soaking up the sun, rocking a new swimsuit—all that jazz. However, it also brings humid weather, which translates into frizzy hair. Humid weather carries high concentrations of water molecules in the air, and is often the number one culprit of frizzy hair, according to celebrity hairstylist Annagjid "Kee" Taylor. She explains that this happens because when water molecules bind to the hair, the number of hydrogen bonds also increases and causes the hair cuticles to bind over one another, creating frizz.
While we don't consider frizz to be a bad thing, we recognize that it can be tricky to style your hair when dealing with it. So, to keep it from cramping your style this summer, you need to know how to prevent and treat frizz. Before you can get there, though, it's important to understand how frizz works for different hair types. Here, Taylor and celebrity hairstylist Alexander Armand explain all there is to know about frizz and their pro tips on keeping it under control.
How frizz works on different hair types:
As Taylor explains, naturally textured hair—hair that is wavy, curly, or coily—tends to lack moisture compared to naturally straight and fine hair, making it more prone to frizz. The lack of moisture causes hair strands to reach outwards, rather than being smoothed down and sealed by the hair's natural oils. Add humid weather to the mix and frizz is almost inevitable.
While straight and fine hair tends to produce more natural oils than other hair types, they can still experience frizziness. "Usually, with [straight or fine hair], it's common for frizziness to be caused by preexisting damage or breakage—whether it be from heat styling or color dyeing," Taylor says. "This can roughen up the cuticles on already fine, thin hair, and cause the strands to puff up or frizz." Damage or breakage on curly hair types can also further the experience of frizz.
Armand explains how the appearance of frizz can look different on varying hair textures. "For instance, the frizz on straight hair may look like static and flyaways," he says. "But on coily, thick hair, it can mimic the curl pattern but appear expanded or look like undefined coils." Fortunately, the below tips will help you tackle frizz for your hair type.
How to prevent frizz:
To prevent frizz from the get-go, you need to make sure that your wash-day routine is giving your hair the moisture and nourishment it needs. For those with straight, thin hair, Taylor recommends a smoothing conditioner, like the E'tae Carmelux Silk Detangling Conditioner, which contains silk proteins that work to seal the hair cuticle, plus hydrate and strengthen hair against breakage.
Conditioner is key to preventing frizz in curly hair types as well. Armand specifically recommends a wash day regimen that consists of the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Conditioner and the Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie to lock in moisture. "This combination of products is my holy grail because they contain aloe, an essential ingredient that hydrates hair, seals moisture, and acts as a humectant to reduce frizz," he says.
For hair that needs a heavier boost of moisture, Taylor also recommends using hair masks that are rich in oils as a deep treatment for parched strands. For a drugstore option, try the OGX Pracaxi Recovery Oil 60 Sec Moisture Treatment, which won a HelloGiggles Beauty Crush Award this year for its powerhouse ingredients, such as pracaxi oil, which has cell renewal effects that have been shown to heal wounds and scars, and murumuru butter, which repairs dry strands and protects them against sun damage.
Aside from the hair products you use in and out of the shower, Taylor says other small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in preventing frizz. This involves everything from showering less often (to avoid stripping the hair's natural oils), to using a microfiber towel or sleeping on a silk pillowcase to reduce breakage caused by friction. Ultimately, this means that in every part of your hair routine, you should be aiming to work with not against your natural texture.
How to treat frizz:
Just as moisture is key to preventing frizz, it's also the answer to taming it when it arises. So, if you're dealing with a frizzy hair flare-up, you should reach for the products that are formulated to give hair a healthy dose of hydration. What you shouldn't reach for, Armand explains, is water.
"Many people make the mistake of treating frizz with water thinking it can act as a natural humectant, but it couldn't be further from the truth," he says. Although water is moisture, it will quickly evaporate and won't give hair the long-lasting moisture it needs. Instead, he recommends looking for products with deeply hydrating ingredients such as aloe juice, coconut oil, shea butter, and macadamia oil.
He specifically suggests the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Weightless Oil Mist as it's formulated with hydrating coconut milk, guava oil, and mango butter to seal the cuticle to lock in moisture without weighing hair down—for both straight and curly hair types. For more textured hair, Taylor also recommends adding a leave-in conditioner to your routine to "restore the hair's natural moisture balance and reduce frizziness."
For a tried-and-true option, try the Joico Hydra Replenishing Leave-In Hydrator, which was also awarded a 2021 Beauty Crush Award. It's formulated with hydrating coconut water, nourishing sea kelp, reparative rosehip, and strengthening keratin to moisturize and soften dry hair.
Taylor also adds that while avoiding heat styling altogether is a great way to reduce hair damage and frizz, you don't have to throw out your straightener just yet. If you do heat style your hair, just be sure to use a heat protectant, like the It's A 10 Miracle Blow Dry H20 Shield (yet another Beauty Crush award winner), to keep your strands protected and sealed.
No matter your hair type or styling preferences, there's no reason to let frizz get in your way.