The Best Products for All Types of Frizzy Hair
Every type of hair is likely to get fuzzy this time of year. These smooth moves will restore yours to its shiny, healthy best.
"Frizz is not a hair type. It's hair reaching into the atmosphere, looking for moisture," says Cal Ellis, a curl master and an educator at DevaCurl. "In almost all cases, it's a result of dehydration." Frizz occurs when the scales on the hair's outer protective layer, called the cuticle, splay out in different directions like frayed rope. In healthy, hydrated hair, the cuticle is sealed and compressed, giving a smoother, shinier appearance.
The two main triggers of frizz are friction and a high level of moisture in the air, says Lauren Trahan, a senior chemist at Living Proof. That's why you look like the bride of Frankenstein when it's humid or after a night of tossing and turning against your pillowcase. It's also why restoring moisture to your strands is crucial for frizz-free locks. "When hair is damaged, the cuticle is more prone to lifting," Trahan says. "And when the cuticle lifts, there's more potential for tangles and friction, which cause even more frizz."
It's a vicious cycle, but it can be broken. Here's how:
If You Have Tight Curls
Curly hair is more frizz-prone than other types because the cuticle in curvy strands is inherently more likely to lift. To keep your curls shiny and defined, start in the shower. Shampoo and condition with a gentle, sulfate-free formula, such as Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Defrizzing Shampoo ($22; ouidad.com) and Conditioner ($24; ouidad.com), then apply a cream-based styler to wet hair so you can retain the maximum amount of moisture, Ellis suggests. Next, apply a detangling primer, like Davines Love Curl Primer ($27; davines.com), for definition. Then add texture and volume with a styling whip, like DevaCurl Wave Maker ($26, devacurl.com), or a gel, like It's a 10 Miracle Defrizzing Gel ($17, itsa10haircare.com). For thicker curls, use a bit more product than directed on the bottle, and apply it section by section, making sure it saturates hair evenly. "Remember that products work only on the hair they're on, so applying them haphazardly will not control frizz properly," says Sal Misseri, the owner of Reverie Salon in Chicago. (Here's more on how to style wavy and curly hair.)
If You've Got Long, Loose Waves
"For wavy hair, focus on products with weightless moisture, because too much heaviness can stretch out your waves and actually make them disappear," Ellis says. Stick with a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo, then prime damp hair with a blow-dry milk, like Kérastase Aura Botanica Lait de Soie ($37; kerastase-usa.com). If you're still seeing frizz after styling, Trahan suggests tamping it down and enhancing shine by spritzing on a very lightweight oil, like Living Proof No Frizz Instant De-Frizzer ($29; livingproof.com). (Related: This Spray Finally Solved My Summer-Frizz Hair Struggle)
If You've Got Straight Strands
Although straight hair is naturally less prone to frizz, it can become damaged and dry-and then frizz up. Use a pea-size amount of a super lightweight priming cream, like OGX Protecting + Silk Blowout Thermal Primer Cream ($9, amazon.com), to keep your hair silky soft and safe from heat. Comb through to make sure the product is distributed evenly, and blow-dry with the nozzle pointed downward toward the ends of your hair to help smooth the cuticle, Misseri says. (Try this two-minute blow dry technique.) You can also touch up dry hair and remove static with a few swipes of an oil-coated hair sheet, like Ouai Anti-Frizz Sheets ($18; theouai.com).