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If you have naturally curly hair, you would be no stranger to frizz.
Frizzy curly hair is caused when a lack of moisture in your hair causes the cuticle, which is the outermost layer of each strand, to open up and allow the moisture from the air to enter it. The hair strand then swells and becomes frizzy.
Interestingly, a human hair is so sensitive to humidity that some devices to indicate humidity (called hygrometers) use human hair as the measuring mechanism! The hair actually changes in length based on the amount of moisture in the air!
The Science Behind Frizzy Curly Hair
Hair is mostly made up of bundles of long keratin proteins. These keratin proteins are chemically bonded in two distinct ways.
The first is called a disulfide bond, which is responsible for the hair’s length. It is a permanent bond and isn’t affected by the level of humidity in the air.
The second type of connection is called a hydrogen bond. These are temporary bonds that form each time the hair gets wet and dries again. Because humid air has much higher numbers of water molecules than dry air, a given strand of hair can form much higher numbers of hydrogen bonds on a humid day. When many such bonds are formed between the keratin proteins in a strand of hair, it causes the hair to fold back on itself at the molecular level at a greater rate.
Simply put, it means that naturally curly hair as a whole becomes curlier or frizzier due to humidity.
Our Top 10 Tips of How to Control Frizzy Curly Hair
1. Choose the Right Hair Products for Frizzy and Curly Hair
The number one rule for controlling frizzy curly hair is to stay away from any products that contain alcohol. However, it is important to note that there is a difference between the alcohols that are used in beauty and hair products.
If you read the labels of your bottles carefully, the alcohols that you want to avoid are called short-chain alcohols. These are the ones that will dry out your hair.
They may be listed as ethanol, SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, alcohol denat, propanol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.
Some other products that you should have in your curly-hair-combatting arsenal are a serum, heat protectant, mousse, and shampoos and conditioners that contain natural oils.
2. Wash Your Hair Every Second Day – At the Most!
Professional stylists recommend that anyone with hair that is prone to frizziness hair needs to shampoo once or twice a week. Washing your hair too often will strip it of its natural moisture, resulting in frizz. In fact, sebum (or natural hair oils) are very good frizz fighters.
3. Don’t Skip the Conditioner
If you have frizzy curly hair, your main focus is to put as much moisture back into your hair as possible. A good quality hydrating conditioner will do just that.
Apply conditioner from about midway of your hair length down to your ends. Avoid putting conditioner on your roots if you want to keep some fullness and body in your hair.
4. A Hair Mask is the Best DIY Treatment for Frizzy and Curly Hair
Apart from using a nourishing conditioner each time that you wash your hair, applying a hair mask or treatment once a week or so will coat and fill any holes in the hair shaft. Moisture enters the hair through these holes and causes your hair to frizz.
5. Seek Professional Advice to Taming Frizzy and Curly Hair
Your hairstylist may suggest getting a keratin treatment to smooth and straighten your hair. Results from a keratin treatment can last up to six months.
Hair is made of keratin, a type of hard protein. It consists of three layers; the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle. The structure of the cuticle looks a little like overlapping fish scales or roof tiles and is the protective layer of the hair. The other two layers hold the pigments that give the hair its color.
The way a keratin treatment works is by adding extra keratin to the hair. This additional keratin bonds with your own natural keratin to create stronger hair.
6. Reach For an Old T-Shirt or Microfiber Towel to Dry Your Hair
One of the worst, but most common, things people do after they wash their hair is to aggressively towel-dry their hair. A regular terry-towel actually disturbs the hair’s cuticles so that they won’t lie flat, resulting in frizzy hair.
After you get out of the shower or bath, squeeze the excess water out of your with your hands and then use an old cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel to blot out the moisture.
If you do need to use a blow dryer, try to have your hair almost dry before you switch on the heat. Blow drying your hair from wet to dry will make the frizzy even worse.
7. Use an Ionic Blow Dryer
Speaking of blow drying, ionic blow dryers are the way to go. Ionic heat tools help to keep your hair smoother by drying it faster and is perfect for frizz control of curly hair.
Ionic dryers emit negative ions which in turn cause water molecules to divide into smaller particles that evaporate faster.
8. Direct Heat on Hair is a No No
Never apply extreme heat, like from a blow dryer or straightening iron directly to clean hair. Always use a heat-protecting spray or serum before picking up any heat tools.
9. The Right Hair Brush Will Make A World of Difference
The number one rule follow when brushing any type of hair is to not over brush it once it is dry. Brushing disrupts your hair’s cuticles as well as stretches and breaks the hair.
10. Choose the Right Hairstyle and Get Regular Trims
The way you wear your hair can either hide or accentuate frizz. If your hair tends to be frizzy, then steer clear of short styles like bobs and shags. Blunt and heavily layered haircuts tend to make your hair look even more frizzy and damaged.
The best styles are medium or long in length. Long hair weighs the strands down and tones down frizziness. Have your stylist cut the ends of your hair at a slight angle instead of cutting straight across. Light layers cut throughout the hair give definition to curly hair.
Regular trims get rid of split ends that can make your hair look fuzzy and frizzy.
Do you have frizzy curly hair? Do you have any other tricks up your sleeve to combat frizz? I’d love to hear your advice in the comments below!