While frizzy hair is a look that certainly can be sported on purpose, it’s also one of the most common hair woes out there. Whatever your hair type, whatever the season, you can suddenly find yourself with a frizzy layer of unmanageable strands. That’s because frizzy hair is caused by one main culprit: dryness.
Colour treatments, heat and sun damage are just a few of the things that can cause frizz-inducing dryness, no matter your hair type. Here’s how it works: When hair is dry, it absorbs moisture from the air, causing strands to puff up and become frizzy. Kirsten Klontz, a Toronto-based hairstylist and brand ambassador for Hot Tools Professional Black Gold Series, compares frizzy hair to shingles on a house. “When the shingles get worn out or compromised, they start to lift up. That’s essentially what happens to the layers of the hair cuticle” she says.
Frizz happens to everyone, but its effects are different depending on a variety of factors, including hair type, whether or not hair colour has been applied and how it’s styled. “Frizz does not affect all hair types in the same way, but it is universally frustrating,” says Justin German, celebrity hairstylist and co-owner of Bang Salon in Toronto. He explains that some hair textures go from smooth to wavy or from wavy to ultra-flat (this often happens to styled hair that’s naturally straight), while others will go from voluminous to flat or the other way around.
Since tackling frizz requires a different approach depending on your hair type and texture, we asked Klontz and German to dish on how to keep strands smooth and glossy year-round. Below, their best tips to banish frizz, plus a round-up of the products you’ll want to incorporate into your haircare routine ASAP.
How to fight frizz if you have straight hair
In straight hair types, fluffy flyaways and frayed ends are often due to damage and a lack of moisture. As well as the telltale fuzzy halo, frizz can cause straight locks to get flat and limp.
German recommends starting the fight against frizz in the shower, using a shampoo and conditioner that will boost volume and smooth out strands without weighing the hair down. For styling, both Klontz and German say that a lightweight leave-in conditioner is the key to nailing a frizz-free ‘do. Apply it through your hair and directly onto your roots and massage the scalp to amp up the volume and smooth down any potential flyaways.
If you’re using hot tools to style your hair, German has an easy hack to ensure smooth strands. “[Using a nozzle tip attachment], blow-dry your hair in a downward motion to smooth those flyaways,” he says. Finish off by running a flat iron over your mane to smooth out the hair shaft and boost shine. Klontz recommends looking for a flat iron with a titanium and micro-shine finish, as it will help minimize friction and damage, which in turn will reduce frizz.
How to fight frizz if you have wavy hair
Moisture is essential to keep wavy hair frizz-free. Upping hydration levels will not only control frizz, but also help lock your waves in place. “Wavy hair reacts well with products that have a combination of oils and control,” says Klontz. Opt for a curl-care shampoo and conditioner to boost hydration and make for easy detangling post-shower.
Because heat styling causes damage and dryness, German recommends spritzing on a frizz-fighting leave-in conditioner tailored to curly hair and letting your hair air dry. “To avoid heat, you could put your hair into two loose braids while it air dries. Alternatively, wrap your hair in a loose bun and allow to air dry for soft waves.” Once dry, use a flat iron or curling iron to define your waves, but be sure to use heat-protectant products first to shield hair from heat damage.
How to fight frizz if you have coarse, curly hair
Curly hair tends to be drier, so much like wavy hair, the key to silky strands is pumping as much moisture as possible back into your mane by applying both a leave-in conditioner and a product specifically designed for curly hair. The combination will restore moisture to your locks and provide structure and hold. “Coarse curly hair typically needs very heavy oils and butters [for hydration],” says Klontz. “More is more!”
To ensure you’re acing the application of your frizz-fighting products, German recommends parting hair into sections (around four to eight, depending on how much hair you have) and layering a curl-defining cream or oil through each area, instead of just applying it all at once. “The ‘Rake and Shake’ [method] is a great option,” he says. “You take small sections, rake [the product through] with your fingers, and once your fingers get to the ends of your hair, you close your hand and gently shake the section.” This technique provides maximum curl definition while minimizing frizz.
What key products and ingredients are best to fight frizz?
The best frizz-fighting products are packed with nourishing ingredients that boost hydration and smooth brittle, flyaway-prone strands. Klontz recommends looking for haircare that contains shea butter, avocado, coconut and argan oils to help tame an unruly mane. She likes deep-conditioning hair masks and hair butters that smooth and hydrate the locks, while German gravitates towards oil and cream-based products to banish frizz.
If you’re using hot tools like hair dryers and flat irons, finding a lightweight heat protectant with hydrating properties is a must. These products will shield your strands from damaging heat, which means healthier, shinier hair that is less prone to frizz.
Looking for recommendations? Below, we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite frizz-fighting products.
Kérastase Discipline Smoothing Shampoo
Formulated specifically to smooth frizz, this shampoo leaves hair soft and shiny.
Nexxus Curl Define Leave-In Conditioner
This leave-in conditioner penetrates deep into the hair fibre to hydrate and strengthen, resulting in bouncy, well-defined curls.
JVN Nurture Intense Hydration Hair Mask
With a cocktail of hydrating hemisqualane, strenghtening amino acids and Keratris, a vegan alternative to keratin, this hair mask breathes new life into parched strands.
Redken Oil For All Hair Oil
Looking for a hair product that truly does it all? This oil nourishes, minimizes frizz, boosts shine and protects against heat damage in one application.
Design.Me Bounce.Me Curl Balm
Made with argan oil, this balm adds shine and definition to curly hair without weighing it down.
Dyson Airstrait Straightener
This innovative wet-to-dry straightening tool does away with hot plates, instead using directional air flow to style hair of all types. The result is a sleek, salon-worthy blowout—without the head damage.
Hot Tools Black Gold Evolve 1” Flat Iron
If the Dyson Airstrait straightener is not in the budget, give this reliable hair styler a try. It features an impressive 27 heat settings, as well as rounded plate edges to double as a curler.
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