Okay, so you don’t have low-maintenance, wash-and-wear straight hair. What you do have is a crown of glorious curls. And yes, sometimes those curls can get a bit, well, frizzy.
Want to know how tame that frizz and keep your curls in tip-top shape? Keep reading.
Shampoo the Scalp, Condition the Strands
Frizz: It’s the bane of curly-haired people everywhere. But why exactly does it happen?
The answer lies in hair texture and how oil is able to move along it. Oil generates on the scalp, and if you have straight hair, that oil moves right on down the length of the hair shaft. Curly or wavy hair, on the other hand, is filled with twists and turns that act as “roadblocks” for oil. In other words, oil has a harder time making its way down a head of curls. And hair that doesn’t get a good coating of oil tends to dry out.
This is where frizz comes in. When the hair is dry, the cuticle will lift to let in moisture from outside air. The dry hair sponges up all that moisture, swelling the strand and leading to the appearance of frizz.1
And all that oil that doesn’t make it down the shaft of your hair? It builds up on the scalp. And it’s essential to keep a buildup of oil at bay. Oil can trap dirt and debris, which can irritate the hair follicle and inhibit hair growth.2
The key then, is to balance the competing needs of an oily scalp with dry hair.
So, for curls:
- Shampoo regularly to keep the scalp clear of oil buildup and encourage a healthy environment for hair growth.
- Condition every time you shampoo, and consider using a leave-in conditioner to keep strands continuously moisturized.
- Deep condition at least once a week. A hefty dose of moisture will keep hair soft, manageable, and frizz-free.
Detangle In The Shower
You might be tempted to grab a brush and go to town on those little knots and tangles that creep up right when you see them. Resist the urge. Because curls tends to be dry, they’re more prone to damage – so always use a gentle touch.
The best way to detangle is in the shower while your hair is wet – ideally while it’s soaking in conditioner. You can even use a little extra conditioner to help loosen up the knots. Avoid using a brush or fine-tooth comb while detangling. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers, instead.
And always work your way up from the bottom when detangling. If you start up high, you’re bound to add more trouble to the knots hiding further down the hair shaft.
Protect Your Mane From Heat-Styling
Heat-styling can dry out the hair and cause damage to the hair cuticle. And the more dry, damaged, and porous the hair cuticle becomes, the more likely it is to frizz out.
Always use a heat protectant spray before heat styling – it’ll help lock moisture in.3 And take a tip from the experts: Hold your hair dryer 15 centimeters away from your head. This will help minimize your hair’s up close and personal time with that all that hot air.4
Refresh Your Curls
Of course, a little humidity is bound to creep in and cause hair frizz. But you can refresh your curls between shampooing and conditioning sessions. Here’s how:
1. In a small spray bottle, combine one part water with one part leave-in conditioner.
2. Take sections of hair and spray. You don’t want to soak your hair, but you also want it to be heavier than a mist.
3. Comb the solution gently through your curls, using a wide-tooth comb. The hair will begin to dry. Once this happens, stop combing.
4. If any sections of hair remain frizzy, wet hair again with the leave-in conditioner and water solution and wrap that section around your finger to encourage the curl. Always wrap the hair in the curl’s natural direction, to keep a consistent curl pattern.
Ditch Your Cotton Pillowcase
The kind of fabric your curls make contact with matters.
When you sleep – sleep on satin. You see, cotton is absorbent and will quickly soak up precious moisture from your curls. 5 It also works like velcro, clinging to strands as you shift position in the night. This can lead to breakage.
Try sleeping on a satin pillowcase. You can even wear a satin cap to bed. The smooth texture will slide right over your hair, protecting your tresses and minimizing the risk of damage.
Use Styling Creams and Oils
High-alcohol products, like gel and mousse, can dry hair out, increasing the risk for breakage and frizz. They can also make your hair look a little, well, crunchy!
To keep hair hydrated and sleek, stick to creams and oils. You can even use natural oils. Jojoba oil is a great option, as is coconut oil and marula oil. These oils work to prevent protein loss and penetrate the hair shaft and fill in gaps in the hair cuticle.6,7 And the less porous your hair is, the less likely it will frizz.
Frizz Control is Yours
It takes special care to control frizz if you’ve got curly hair and curls looking smooth, healthy, and frizz-free. But with a gentle hand, generous amounts of moisture, and a few tweaks to your hair care routine, those tresses can indeed become your crowning glory.
For more hair health tips, keep reading: