Ah, Frizz. We’ve all been there and had that! Among all the different hair kinds, from super straight to extremely kinky curls, frizz is a uniting factor and sneaks in whenever it gets the chance. While there are specific guides on how to maintain various hair types, almost all of them will have a cue or two on how to deal with pesky frizz. Keep reading as we break down the A-Z of frizz, what causes it, why curly hair is more prone to it and how you effectively keep it at bay. Here’s all you need to fight the frizz, Curlies, let’s go!
What’s the fuss about frizz?
The primary cause of frizz is dryness or lack of moisture. Moisture here doesn't only refer to the hydration from water but also from the moisturizing ingredients in your hair products. Now let's get into the hair shaft a little deeper now and explore the cuticle.
The cuticle is basically the outermost part of each strand of hair, like a sheath that is formed by overlapping layers. Imagine your cuticle as a layer of scales that encase your hair shaft. Now, when the cuticle lays flat, hair generally appears smoother and straighter but when the cuticle ‘stands up’ the layers are more pronounced and translate to frizz.
Curly Hair and Frizz
Curly hair is more prone to frizz because of the cuticle and the complexity of curl patterns. Curly hair also has a more raised cuticle pattern that makes it more susceptible to frizz.
The natural twirls and curls of curly hair makes it challenging for oil to travel down as smoothly as it does with straight hair.
Now, frizz is something that is natural and can’t be entirely done with. We also recommend embracing your natural hair and its visiting cousin, frizz. Why, frizz can even contribute to volume in curly hair. But that being said, there are a few ways to reduce frizz and use it to your advantage rather than letting it take over your curls and headspace!
We know how frizz is caused, so let’s try to understand why it happens and what causes our frenzy friend to act up so easily.
It’s as simple as good old heat. While it’s fairly tempting to dry your hair using a blow-dryer or even straighten out a few kinks in frizzy portions of your hair, these do more harm than the temporary fleeting good!
But you can control the amount of heat your hair is exposed to, especially with hot showers or heating tools. Washing your precious curls in hot water is like bringing a work of art close to a flame. The heat can wreak havoc on the cuticle and also strip away the delicate balance of natural oils.
From dryness to split ends and well, frizz; heat can wreak havoc on your natural curls. Turn down the heat and air-dry your curls as much as possible. Diffusing your hair on low heat or with cold air is a great way to add more definition to your curls without the nasty aftermath of frizz.
A good diffuser can be a curly girl’s BFF and also quickens the drying and styling time. Double-yay! Ensure that you use cold air or keep the heat settings to a minimum to ensure that your precious curls aren’t too exposed to the frying heat.
2. Humidity with a chance of Frizz:
Humidity and warmth open up the cuticles and dry out moisture. Notice how your hair can pull a Monica in Barbados (Albeit, a tad exaggerated) in warm, humid weather? While you can’t exactly control the weather outside, go for a medium hold gel with your styling routine such as the Curl Up Ultra Defining Gel that is glycerine free as well and perfect for warm, humid weather.
You might need to use a bit more product on days where it is particularly humid or warm outside to counter the drying effects of heat. Experiment and beat the heat and resulting frizz, Curlies!
We get it. You’ve had a great wash day, a satisfying styling routine and you just can’t wait to see how your curls are set. And, as the most common way of showing your hair some love, you might want to….touch it. But, stop! Touching your hair too much and before it has completely dried can add to frizz and make your curls lose definition.
Be patient and let your routine do the work. Once your hair has dried completely you can SOTC (Scrunch Out The Crunch) with a lightweight oil like the Curl Up Curl Nourishing oil and give it a gentle shake to spruce it up. But until then, simply resist the urge to keep checking on your curls. It will be worth the wait, we promise.
4. Toss the Towel:
If you’re well into the CG method and a fellow veteran Curlie, you’d nod in agreement to this statement. But if you’re still learning how to handle curly hair and keep frizz at bay, you’re probably wondering why we’re villainising towels here. More than the act of towel-drying your hair, it’s the material of the towel and the drying method that does the damage.
Terry towels may seem innocently soft on the outside but the texture can rev up frizz and cause you a head full of stress. Vigorously rubbing your precious strands with a towel is a strict NO-NO! You can opt for a microfibre towel or a very soft cotton tee to simply absorb the water and then proceed to air-dry or diffuse. Go for methods such as plopping or gentle scrunching rather than the much-accustomed turban-style towel do that will dry your hair out more than intended.
5. Brush It Off:
Curlies know very well that brushing is a bane to naturally curly hair. While brushing is considered to be the universally accepted method to untangle knots, it can bring out a terrible bout of frizz, especially on dry curly hair.
Post a wash or while refreshing, simply detangle your hair with the help of an emulsified conditioner while fully wet. Never, ever brush out dry curls, but gently detangle while wet. You can do this by raking your hair with your good old fingers or using a wide-toothed detangler rather than a fine-toothed comb or brush.
Detangling during washes ensures optimal product application and also sets the stage for the rest of your styling routine. Once you use your stylers, you just have to wait for your curls to dry (or diffuse) to bring out your natural ringlets in all their glory. No additional brushing needed!
6. Products Matter:
When it comes to curl care, the products you use determine the health of your hair, visibly and beneath! Much like opting for healthy, nutritious food that nourishes and keeps you feeling your best, your hair deserves the same!
True to the pillars of the celebrated CG method, the baddies such as sulphates, silicones, alcohols etc., deserve no place on your shelf or your hair. These harsh ingredients strip away natural oils, cause dryness by sucking out moisture and induce frizz.
The products you use on your treasured tresses can make or break them! Look for CG-friendly and frizzy hair products to soothe your curls, add moisture, retain shine and keep frizz away. Products with moisturizing ingredients such as argan oil and flaxseed such as the Curl Up range, are specifically created to turn around dry, frizzy hair and infuse it with moisture and shine.
As mentioned earlier, frizz is also dependent on environmental factors along with damage from overheating, colouring and other hair damaging products and heating tools. While your curl pattern and hair structure have a direct effect on the amount of frizz that rises, it can be controlled, tamed and even turned around.
We now have a basic if not outlined understanding of what exactly frizz is, what causes it and how it’s unavoidable at times. But with a few tweaks, tips and practices, we assure you that frizz will be the least of your worries.
The CG Method and the Curl Care lifestyle has its learnings, unlearning (conditioned methods and curly hair myths), traversing through the enriching journey and ultimately reaping the benefits of the time and effort invested in embracing and enhancing your natural curly hair.
Let’s explore a few ways to manage the frizz and not let it bring you down.
The most underrated yet effective way to achieve frizz free hair is to follow a consistent CG routine. The steps you take everyday in your curl care journey go a long way in taming and managing frizz. Here’s a recap for long-time Curlies and newbies:
The holy mantra while adapting the CG method is Cleanse. Condition. Style.
Cleanse your scalp with a mild sulphate-free cleanser to get rid of the grime on your scalp while retaining natural oils. Curl Up moisturising shampoo contains argan oil and chia seeds packed with antioxidants and vitamin E to refresh and renew your scalp while guarding natural moisture and minimizing frizz.
Moisture is curly hair’s best friend and the one way to ensure that your hair gets enough of it is by conditioning. The curlier the hair, the longer it takes for natural oils to travel from the scalp to the ends, causing the hair to appear dry and frizzy. Once you have a fresh, cleansed base, use a hydrating, creamy, silicone-free conditioner to quench your curls.
Curl Up hydrating conditioner is infused with chia seed and flax seed extracts and a delicate balance of essential oils that offer good slip for your curls, making it easier for you to detangle them. Conditioning helps moisture seep into your curls to secure and strengthen them and also prevents damage such as split ends, frizz and breakage.
Deep conditioning is also a great way to ensure that dryness is at bay. Treat your tresses to a pampering DC session once every fortnight or so to keep them quenched with moisture and stay luscious and lively.
Embrace the unique nature of your curls by styling them however you want to – by coiling, scrunching and more. Style your curls with a CG-friendly curl defining cream, leave-in conditioner or gels while your hair is still wet. This helps seal in the moisture and prevents curls from frizzing while dry and adds definition. To kick frizz away for good, invest in a leave-in cream like Curl Up’s curl defining leave-in cream with argan oil, shea butter and flax seed extract.
Our specially formulated cream packs in the goodness of CG-approved ingredients and a whole lot of love to reduce frizz, add shine and offer long lasting hold. Using The Curl Up Ultra defining gel which is glycerine and protein free further helps provide a defensive cast by sealing in moisture and giving elasticity for bouncy curls, all day long!
Along with the basic formula above, there are a few steps you can adopt before and after to reduce frizz and dryness.
Pre-wash care or Pre-Poo:
A good pre-poo routine nourishes your curls even before your wash and can be a great start to your curl care routine. Pre-poo your hair for a few hours before washing or even apply a light layer at the end of your styling routine for luscious, moisturized curls. Naturally derived oils such as Almond and Argan are chock-a-block with moisturizing elements such as oleic and linoleic acid that nourish curls and banish frizz.
Pun intended here, but masking has incredible benefits for curly hair. Invest in a moisturizing hair masque such as the Intense Hydrating Hair Masque from Curl Up that works magic on dry tresses and transforms dry, frizzy hair into lustrous ringlets. Rinse and style as usual.
Do this once a week to seep your curls with moisture and keep frizz away. Deep-conditioning with the right products or a simple mixture of your regular conditioner whipped into a tbsp of olive oil used as a deep-condition treatment can help renew tresses and soothe frizz. Keep in mind that the frequency of deep conditioning depends on how moisturized or dry your hair usually is.
Now let’s imagine this scenario – You’ve adopted the CG method, you have a consistent routine and all seems well..until frizz decides to make an entry a few hours/days after your immaculate routine. No fair, right?
We agree. And, here comes an equally important step in the strategy of battling frizz – Protection.
Wondering what we mean? Keep reading, Curlie.
Cherish your hard work and results by simply protecting it. Yes, it’s quite simple – protect what’s precious and in this case, your curls! Wrap your hair in a silk or satin scarf while you step out, especially while commuting and gather your curls in a high pineapple and put on a silk bonnet while you sleep.
These natural textures protect your curls, ensure they don’t lose form and most importantly – retain moisture and keep frizz away!
Curls are a beautiful, natural asset bestowed to a select few so embrace and flaunt ‘em with pride! Don’t let frizz get you down but nip it in the bud with these tried, tested and treasured techniques and practices.
Do you have any frizz fables and challenges of your own? Or ways you’ve learnt to manage it? If yes, let us know. We’re all about our Curl Community and strive to fix each other’s crowns (and battle away frizz)!
Happy Travels on the CG Journey, Curlies! Here’s to more happy, bouncy curls and less pesky frizz!