Combat Frizzy Hair With These Essential Tips

Frizzy hair doesn't discriminate. It plagues both the thin and thick haired alike. If your hair has even the slightest wave or curl, it's susceptible to frizz. This article details the six critical things you can do to launch a full-on assault on those unruly frizzies...along with a list of things not to do.

INTERNAL FACTORS--Our circulatory systems deliver oxygen and nutrients to hair follicles, which keeps hair growing healthy and strong. Make sure you're getting enough of the nutritional requirements for smooth, shiny locks. These include:

Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, Evening Primrose Oil, Lecithin, Silica, Vitamin B8 (Biotin), Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid), Protein, and Water

KEEP IT COOL--I'm lumping 2 cooling techniques into one category here. Both are equally important. Coolness combats frizzies by closing down the cuticle (outer) layer of each hair strand. And of course, heat has the opposite effect, obliterating moisture and amplifying frizz. So cool your hair in these two ways:

- A cool rinse (with either just water or vinegar/water) will close down the cuticle and add shine.

- After heat styling with a blowdryer, use the cool shot button on your hair dryer to cool down the section you're working with. That will increase the curl or volume you're creating and amplify the shine!

SQUEEZE, DON'T RUB--When towel drying your hair, resist rubbing or creating any sort of friction. The best method for drying frizzy hair is to use a hand towel and squeeze the hair up from ends to roots.

KEEP IT TRIMMED--Surely you've heard it before, but it warrants repeating...regular trims prevent split ends. It's stressed so often because of the nature of splitting hairs...they continue on up the hair strand, which exacerbates the frizz. And, once the hairs have split, the only way to repair the damage is to cut the hair above the split. So if it's a bounty of smooth curls you desire, trim it up at least every two months.

PROTECT IT--Nature's elements can wreak havoc on frizzy hair. Sun, wind, and environmental humidity are the main culprits. Here's what you can do to defend against the harshness of the elements.

Humidity Control--Use an anti-humectant pomade to help repel water from the atmosphere. Conversely, too arid of an environment can contribute to frizz by drying out the hair too much. In that case, use a humectant pomade. Aveda makes both...keeps the invisible forces of nature from messin' with your mane.

Sun/Wind Protection--Get yourself a stylin' straw hat, bandana, or scarf to shield your hair from the harsh effects of sun and wind. Always cover your hair in tanning beds...just wrap it in a towel. Some styling products contain SPF's, although their effectiveness is debatable.

PRODUCTS AND TREATMENTS--Product companies are clamoring for your dollars, continuously launching "new improved" products which promise to quell your frizzies once and for all. Here are some tips for wading through the claims and finding the right products.

Try a pre-shampooing treatment like "The Strokes" by LUSH Cosmetics, which sheathes your locks in all manner of goodies like beer, yeast, and olive oil. This treatment is applied before you shampoo so it keeps the cleansing agents from stripping away all the necessary oils from your hair.

Conditioning Products--If your hair is on the thick side, use conditioners formulated to "smooth". They'll deposit a friendly film on the hair strands, adding weight and smoothing at the same time. On fine hair, however, the friendly film becomes more of a foe as it can add too much weight. In this case, use a daily conditioner formulated for colored hair. That'll ensure your hair gets some extra moisture, without trading frizz for flatness.

Maximize the benefits of your conditioner! Keep a dry face cloth or hand towel nearby and, after shampooing, squeeze all the excess moisture from your hair into the towel. Then apply the conditioner. It'll keep the product from becoming diluted by the water already in your hair, increasing it's effectiveness.

Leave-In Conditioners--Ordinarily, the concept of applying a slimy coating on your hair may seem unappealing...when it comes to nixing the frizz, however, slime is the ticket. Not just any slime, though, try Sebastian's "Potion 9" for a leave-in conditioning treatment that'll sooth your frazzled strands and offer just a touch of hold. I'm not sure how the folks at Sebastian will feel about me touting their product as a slime-fix. I really do mean it in the nicest way possible.

Styling Products--Here's the truth. There does not exist a styling product that is going to smooth/straighten your hair in the miraculous way demonstrated in the ads. Surely this is not news to you and I'm certain you've got a cupboard full of cast-away "smoothers" to prove it. Cream styling products help condition the hair and silicones can disguise the frizz, but both need to be used in combination with the right styling techniques.

Color Glossing--Products like Sebastian ColourShines have a sealing effect on the hair, and dramatically amplify the shine. Great for frizzy hair! If you're not looking to change the color of your hair, go for a clear gloss...same benefits, no commitment.

THINGS TO AVOID--Scan the list of "Don'ts" below to make sure you're not unknowingly contributing to the problem.

Fine tooth combs and brushes

Excessive heat styling

Touching hair while it's drying

High alcohol content in styling products (firm hold gels and hairsprays)

Any sort of friction on the hair

Consider yourself armed with sufficient knowledge to challenge the frizz and come out victorious. Combine all of the tips here for best results...and visit my website for detailed information on styling curly hair.

About the Author--Michelle Schill is the founder and editor of Style Hair Magazine -- Professional hair styling and coloring techniques in simple terms. The must-know's for using hair products and tools and staying up to date on the latest hair trends.

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