If you’ve ever spent time prepping and styling your hair only to step outside on a summer day and end up with major frizz, you know how big of a pain frizzy hair can be. While curly girls are often on high alert once the humidity hits, unwanted frizz can mess with any hair type.
“Hair is hygroscopic, meaning it easily absorbs water,” says Stephen Thevenot, a stylist at Eva Scrivo Salons in NYC. But hair can only absorb so much. If it’s hydrated from within (with oils or conditioners), it won’t seek moisture from the air, which lifts the cuticle and
causes it to frizz.
Want to ensure your style holds up against humidity? Here’s how to get rid of frizzy hair fast.
1. Use a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo.
Dry, damaged hair is more susceptible to hair-raising humidity, so the first step to fighting frizz starts with a hydrating shampoo sans sulfates.
“Sulfate-free shampoos and conditioning cleansers with essential oils help restore moisture,” says celebrity hairstylist Tippi Shorter. The reason? Sulfates can strip your hair and dry it out even more, which leads to more frizz.
2. You don’t need to shampoo every day.
There’s no need to wash your hair every day, especially if it’s on the thicker side. “Shampoo when you need it,” says celebrity hairstylist Jennifer Macdougall. “If you can go two to three days and your hair still looks and feels clean then do it. It will be less stress on your hair, leading to less frizz.”
3. Switch to a microfiber towel.
Your hair is most susceptible to breakage when wet, so switch to a gentle microfiber alternative that won’t create damage-inducing friction. Bonus: it’ll also help your hair dry faster, (which should hopefully reduce your need for heat-styling, but more on that later).
4. If you can’t beat it, mask it.
While conditioning in the shower is crucial, you’ll want to take it a step further and apply a mask on a weekly basis to really lock in moisture (make that twice a week if you color your hair).
“Using a mask rectifies any damage done from hot tools and environmental factors that cause breakage, leading to frizz,” says celebrity hairstylist Melissa Brown. She recommends the below mask for an added dose of omega 7 fatty acids and argan oil. “They offer maximum hydration to repair the hair,” she says.
5. Apply product post-shower.
“Be sure to use a product that will add moisture to your hair before styling it,” says Rodrigo Padilla, master stylist at Sally Hershberger. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, a serum, cream, or oil is going to give you added protection against frizz, so never style your hair without proper heat protection. Not only will this help lock in moisture, but it also protects the hair shaft from further damage.
6. Use a leave-in conditioner before your next sweat session.
While your face may be dripping when you walk out of the gym, did you ever notice that your hair feels extra dry? That’s because the sodium in your sweat can strip your hair of moisture. In order to protect your hair prior to your next workout, be sure to apply a leave-in conditioner to coat your hair before you sweat.
7. Switch to ionic heat-styling.
Giving your hair a much-needed break from heat styling will help your hair retain its natural moisture, but since turning to your hot tools is an inevitable reality, the device you reach for can make a major difference.
The negative charges of an ionic heat tool will help you style your hair faster (hair has a positive charge, BTW), meaning your hair is coming into contact with less heat therefore there is less damage over time.
8. Get regular haircuts.
Not only do split ends make your hair look frizzier, they also easily lose moisture, so you’ll want to think twice before your skip out on your next haircut. “You should get your hair cut every six to eight weeks to keep it looking its best,” says Padilla.
9. Ditch your old pillowcase.
Your cotton pillowcase isn’t doing you any favors. MacDougall’s number one frizz-fighting tip: “Get a silk pillowcase.” Switching to silk reduces breakage and helps your hair maintain its natural oils. The more moisture, the less frizz…it’s that simple.
10. See a professional.
If your hair gets frizzy faster than you can say smoothing treatment, it’s probably time to see a professional, who might recommend a keratin or a deep conditioning treatment.
“Contrary to popular belief, keratin treatments do not damage your hair,” says Padilla. The key to achieving a sleek style that won’t harm your hair? Seek out an experienced technician.