Written by Hannah Cook @Hanzcurls
Why is my hair frizzy? What are the best products for frizzy hair? How can I tame my frizz? If you have curly hair, you will no doubt have tried to find the answer to one of these questions at some point in your life. Perhaps that's what led you to read this article. ‘Taming’ or ‘banishing’ frizz is a lifelong quest for many curly-haired individuals, but the reality is that naturally curly hair is prone to frizz, and it’s a quirk that should be embraced rather than banished.
However, while a certain amount of frizz is normal for curly hair (I mean, who doesn’t want a bit of functional frizz to give a volume boost?!), dealing with consistently frizzy curly hair can be distressing, leading many curlies to heat styling and chemical treatments.
Luckily, there are other ways to prevent and manage frizz - it’s about finding the right solution for your hair. Perhaps your hair needs moisture, or maybe it needs a deep cleanse. While it’s impossible to get rid of it completely, here are some tips to help you manage your curls and keep frizz to a minimum.
What Causes Frizzy Hair?
The atmosphere is one of the things that affects curly hair the most. You could be having the best hair day of your life, step outside into the rain and end up with a frizzy, poofy mess. Rain and hot, humid weather both cause frizz because the excess moisture in the air makes hair cuticles swell. Wind causes frizz because our hair is run ragged in the gusts. The best way to prevent frizz caused by the weather is to 1. make sure hair is fully hydrated so it’s less likely to suck moisture out of the air, and 2. keep hair protected from the elements.
Dry Hair = Frizzy Hair
One of the main causes of frizzy curly hair is lack of moisture. When curly hair lacks moisture it will reach out into the atmosphere to find it instead. Author of Curly Girl: The Handbook, Lorraine Massey, famously says that “frizz is just a curl waiting to happen”, and that all it needs is moisture. For tips on how to moisturise your curls, keep reading.
If you use styling products that contain heavy butters and oils, if you co-wash instead of low-poo or if you have fine hair, your curls may be more susceptible to product build-up (or just build-up in general). Build-up can happen even if you use products that contain natural ingredients. It can be caused by factors in the atmosphere (e.g. dirt), certain hair products, and even the water you use to wash your hair with (hard water build-up is a thing!). Frizz caused by hair build-up is, what I would describe as, ‘angry frizz’. To combat product or hard water build-up, your hair may benefit from a clarifying wash.
In Need of Protein
Sometimes, our hair can become over-moisturised. Yes, that’s right, curls can reach optimal hydration and beyond. Over-moisturised hair (‘hygral fatigue’) will feel very soft, lack definition and may experience a lot of wet frizz. This will then translate into soft, mushy frizz when hair is dry.
Tip: Before deciding whether your frizz is due to a lack of protein, ensure your hair is properly hydrated. The signs of hair needing protein or hair needing moisture are often similar, so it’s important to be certain before potentially overloading your hair with protein.
Protein overload causes ‘angry frizz’ - angry, dry frizz that is screaming for moisture. An overload of protein can happen after a heavy protein treatment that wasn’t needed, or through regularly using styling products that contain lots of protein. Some hair is more sensitive to protein than others, so it's important to listen to and understand your own hair.
How to Look After Frizzy Curly Hair
Ditch the Terry Towel
Regular terry towels rid the hair of too much moisture and ruffle the hair cuticle, resulting in dry, frizzy curls. To remove excess water after washing, curly hair needs something a little less harsh, like the Bouclème Curl Towel.
Keep Hair Hydrated
As mentioned earlier in this post, frizzy curls are often dry curls. Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, so it generally needs more moisture. You can achieve well-hydrated and moisturised curls through the products you use to wash and style your hair, and using techniques like ‘squish to condish’.
Get to Know Your Hair
The best way to tell what’s causing your frizz is to get to know your hair. Work out what products, ingredients and styling methods work for you, get to know what your hair feels like when it’s happy. Trial and error is the best way to learn what your hair likes and dislikes. Once you know your hair, you’ll more easily be able to tell if your frizz is due to a lack of something, or if it’s healthy frizz.
Protect Your Hair
Some types of frizz can be prevented by protecting your hair. If you know the weather is going to be bad, why not wear a hat or opt for an up-do? If you often wake up with frizzy de-hydrated hair, invest in a silk or satin pillowcase to lock moisture in overnight.
Best Products for Frizzy Hair
For ultimate hydration, opt for a dry hair treatment like the Bouclème Intensive Moisture Treatment. Leave on for up to an hour and your curls will thank you!
Cream for Moisture
After washing, add some extra moisture into your curls with the Bouclème Curl Cream. Moisturised curls are happy curls.
Gel for Hold
Hair gels like the Bouclème Curl Defining Gel are great for locking in moisture, and also do a great job of smoothing any unwanted flyaways.
Tip: If your hair is susceptible to product build-up, or is well moisturised, you can skip the cream and use the gel on its own (or leave a small amount of conditioner in prior to applying the gel).
Armed with advice on what causes frizz and how best to manage it, you should now have plenty of information to apply to your own curly hair journey. I hope you’ve found these tips and tricks helpful, but please remember that frizz is a part of curly hair. Getting rid of frizz entirely is an unrealistic goal to set.
Yes, find out ways to look after your hair and keep it healthy, but also learn to embrace your curls and the frizz that comes with them.
Written by Hannah Cook (@hanzcurls)