Dealing with frizzy hair can be extremely frustrating. Frizzy hair is tough to style and even more difficult to keep styled throughout the day. Some causes are in your control, while others are not. Do not despair. There are ways to help remedy frizzy hair and transform it into beautiful, manageable hair.
Frizzy hair develops when hair becomes dry and subsequently damaged.
There are several causes of frizzy hair, such as genetics, humidity, and improper hair care practices and products.
Topical treatments for frizzy hair include different types of hydrating and protective hair conditioners, serums, and masks, many of which contain essential oils like coconut oil.
What is frizzy hair?
A strand of hair is composed of three basic layers, including the inner medulla layer, the middle cortex layer, and the outer cuticle layer. The cuticle protects the hair and looks like rooftop tiles or fish scales. They are supposed to lay flat, which gives hair a healthy, glossy, smooth appearance. When hair becomes dry and damaged, the cuticle layer transforms into something that looks more like a pinecone. This transformation makes hair frizzy and unmanageable.
Causes of frizzy hair
There are several reasons that hair becomes frizzy. Some of the causes are controllable, and some are not, but all of them are related to dryness.
These are the causes of frizzy hair:
- Type of hair/genetics. People with curly or coily hair are prone to developing frizz. The natural oils produced by the body to coat and protect the hair have difficulty spreading down the hair strands. This leaves most of the hair strands open to dryness and subsequent damage and frizziness.
- Vitamin deficiencies. The lack of certain vitamins, such as biotin, zinc, A, C, E, D, and B12, may lead to dry, frizzy hair.
- Medical conditions. Uncombable hair syndrome is caused by a genetic defect that causes dry, frizzy hair. Anorexia, thyroid problems, and malnutrition lead to dry hair that is prone to frizz.
- Humidity. When your hair is subjected to humid climates, it tries to absorb the moisture, which leads to hair swelling and frizziness.
- Hot water. The use of hot water to rinse your hair will dry it out, causing damage and frizz.
- Harsh products. Harsh products, such as those containing sulfates and alcohols, hair dyes, perms, and bleach, will dry out and damage your hair.
- Heat styling. Using heat-styling tools can dry out and damage hair.
- Overwashing. Washing your hair too frequently, especially if your hair is dry, will damage your hair.
- Rough towels. The abrasiveness of the towel and the friction created when rubbing your hair to remove water will damage your hair.
- Alkaline products. Since your hair has a slightly acidic pH, using alkaline products will damage your hair.
- Overbrushing or using the wrong brush. Brushing your hair more than twice a day or using the wrong type of brush, especially when your hair is wet, will damage your hair.
Treatments for frizzy hair
Several hydrating product options can help treat dry, frizzy hair and give it a sleek, shiny look. It is important to use the products correctly and consistently to get the best results. These products will help all hair types, from frizzy, wavy hair to frizzy, straight hair. Overuse of certain products may make your hair look worse. Select products that contain nourishing and protective ingredients, such as coconut, argan, and avocado oils.
Here are some topical products to try for frizzy hair:
- Instant/regular hair conditioner. Hair conditioner must be used every time after you wash your hair. Be sure to leave it on your hair for the appropriate amount of time for it to be effective.
- Deep conditioning treatments. These treatments are usually left on for 20–30 minutes to allow complete penetration of the ingredients. Depending on how dry and frizzy your hair is, you can repeat this treatment up to 3 times a week.
- Leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioner is a great way to get extra hydration. These conditioners are not rinsed off, allowing all-day protection of your hair.
- Hair masks. Hair masks are essential for delivering extra hydration to help transform your frizzy locks. These are only done once a week.
- Hydrating hair serums. Hair serums are applied to towel-dried hair. They lock in moisture and offer all-day hair protection. They can be used daily and applied to dry hair.
- Essential oils. Some people use hydrating essential oils, like coconut oil, and apply them directly to the hair as a serum or mask.
Tips to prevent frizzy hair
While some people are prone to getting frizzy hair, others develop it by engaging in improper hair care practices.
Here are some tips to help prevent frizzy hair:
- Use lukewarm water to rinse your hair.
- Avoid harsh products that have an alkaline pH or contain ingredients like alcohols or sulfates.
- Do not use heat-styling tools. If you must use them, select the lowest heat setting and always use special protective heat styling products.
- Wash your hair less often.
- Use only soft microfiber towels or air dry your hair.
- Be sure to use proper hair brushes, especially when your hair is wet.
- When you are outdoors, protect your hair from the sun, which can dry out your locks, by using a hat or scarf.
- Use a swim cap to protect your hair from chlorine and other damaging ingredients used in pools.
- Get frequent hair trims to eliminate dry and damaged split ends.
Frizzy hair can be challenging to treat. If you are prone to developing frizzy hair due to genetics or improper hair care practices, you will need to take special care of your hair to keep it looking sleek and healthy. Keeping frizzy hair under control usually requires daily use of special hydrating and protective products to keep it manageable. If you are unsure what products are best to use or how to use them, ask your dermatologist or hair care professional for help and guidance.
What causes frizzy hair?
There are many causes of frizzy hair, such as genetics, humidity, and improper hair care practices. They are all related to dryness of the hair. Even if the cause of your frizzy hair is genetic, there are products that can help.
Is frizzy hair unhealthy?
No, frizzy hair is not unhealthy in most people. People with healthy hair can get frizz, too. Naturally curly hair tends to be dry, which leads to frizzy hair. Also, a humid environment can dry out healthy hair and make it frizzy.
How do I handle frizzy hair quickly?
Keeping frizzy hair under control takes time and patience. It requires revamping your entire hair care routine. However, if you need a quick fix to tame the frizz, apply an anti-frizz serum or cream to dry hair.
- International Journal of Trichology. Hair cosmetics: an overview.
- Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery. Hair Cosmetics for the Hair Loss Patient.
- Indian Journal of Dermatology. Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know?