So you have curly hair. Maybe you like it, or at least you don’t mind it. Undoubtedly you get compliments on it often. What’s your biggest issue with having naturally curly hair? Let me guess: “My hair is so frizzy.” Every curly-haired human being has experienced a problem with controlling frizzy hair at least once in their lives. If you haven’t, consider yourself one of the fraction of a percent of curlies who are super blessed! Chances are more likely that you are with the rest of us and have styled your hair in the morning, only to have it expand and fuzz up with the afternoon humidity. Well, not to worry. We’ve got five secrets for you on frizz control for curly hair. Read them. Absorb them. Practice them. You’ll thank us later.
First and foremost, moisturize.
What is frizz, anyway? (Besides annoying.) In order to know how to control frizzy hair, first we must talk a bit about what causes it in the first place. When your hair looks “frizzy,” what’s really happening is that it’s trying to curl. “Well, it’s already curly,” you say. Yeah, but it wants to curl more, and you can help it curl more and frizz less when you understand what’s going on up there!! The outer layer of each hair strand, called the cuticle, is like shingles on a roof. The ideal placement for them is to lie flat. When your hair is exposed to water, the cuticle opens up a bit, trying to absorb that water as much as possible. Curls crave moisture, and moisture comes from water; so what’s happening is that the hair is wanting a drink! So, in order to prevent this from happening, your best bet is to give your curls a drink beforehand. In fact, regular watering is best, just like with a plant. If you start out with enough moisture in your hair (i.e., from your conditioner), your hair won’t try to absorb the water from the air as much. Maintaining moisture levels is key in order to avoid frizzy hair.
Apply styling product to wet hair only.
Disregard those instructions on the product bottle that say “towel-dry hair and apply a small amount from roots to ends.” For curlies, the best and only way to style hair is the exact opposite of that. (Curly hair is the opposite of most, so it makes sense, right?) So take your styler into the shower with you. After rinsing your conditioner, (but leave a bit in, for frizz control and to give your hair that drink—and rinse with the coldest water you can stand to close the cuticle and seal it in), immediately apply your styling product while hair is still soaking wet. This will lock moisture in and frizz out! Curl crème is the best product for this; run a small amount through the length of your hair from mid-shaft to ends first to evenly coat, then apply more to unruly areas, and very little at the root and around the hairline (unless that’s your unruly area); then scrunch from ends upward.
Don’t comb hair and don’t touch while drying!
Once you’ve applied your styling product in the shower, your curls will set in their best state; don’t even think about getting out of the shower and combing them or roughing your hair up with a towel! In fact, be as gentle as possible to help keep curly hair from frizzing. (If you MUST comb, comb in the shower also with your conditioner on. Then and only then.) Carefully scrunch your hair (from ends upward to roots, again) with a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt. Squeeze gently to absorb excess water, and when you release your curls, you will see how great they look! Then…don’t touch. If you like the way they look at that point, you will still like the way they look when they dry!
Don’t blow-dry, unless you’re diffusing, and don’t overdo that.
You never want to straight-up blow-dry your curls. That is certainly asking for frizz. (Heat opens the hair’s cuticle too!) Besides, blowing them will just undo all the styling work you’ve just done. Ideally, your best bet is to let your hair air-dry; now, if (like some of us) your hair takes a good six hours to dry, you can speed it up a bit with a diffuser. They’re a good investment and aren’t too expensive. Your best option is to air-dry curls for a while first (apply your makeup/eat breakfast/read a magazine) and then diffuse for a bit. (Diffusing too soon can potentially cause a bit of frizz as well, so wait until some of the water is out of your hair.) Diffusing will help set the curls as well as breaking up a bit of the “crunch” that comes with styling your hair wet—we’ll get to that more in a second. Even still, don’t diffuse too much—just enough to accelerate the drying process so that you can walk out of the house without feeling like you just stepped out of the shower.
Allow to dry all the way and scrunch curls out gently.
Don’t panic if your hair seems a bit crunchy. This is what you want; this is a big key to avoiding frizzy hair! Styling this way makes it easy to get rid of the crunch, and here’s how. As much as you can, let your hair dry 100%. If you get to work and it’s still slightly damp, it’s not the end of the world. Just be extra gentle with it. But hypothetically, let’s say you have time to let your hair dry all the way; flip your head over and scrunch (ends to roots, you know the drill) until your curls feel soft! It’s that simple. And the drier your hair is, the more you can fluff it and not have to worry about frizz. (Trust me, I’ve tested it!) What you have left is soft, bouncy, frizz-free and crunch-free curls.
So there you have it. Now you know our secrets to frizz control for curly hair. And don’t just take our word for it; try them out for yourself! The next time you get caught in an unexpected rainstorm, you might just run inside, look in the mirror, and smile.