Tuesday, 27 November 2012

5 Tips for Taming Frizzy Hair

  I'm a big proponent of embracing curls and waves. Years with a flat-iron or blow dryer is just going to leave you with very thin, brittle hair when you're older. If you get comfortable with your hair's natural texture now, you can find a method for keeping it in great, shiny shape without having to sacrifice its health down the line.

First, a great resource for all things wavy/curly is www.naturallycurly.com -- particularly the CurlTalk section where people trade tips and reviews. From years of browsing their forums and testing out my own theories, I've come up with 5 of the most effective pieces of advice that I've put into practice and gotten a great result from.

1) Use a Microfiber Towel

Terricloth does two things to my hair -- it weighs down the curl and it frizzes it out. So I wind up with limp, frizzy hair. I don't know if it's the physical weight of the towel or its texture, but it's bad news either way. I got a great microfiber towel on sale at Sephora a while back, but you can pick these things up at a lot of drug stores now that they've grown in popularity. If you don't want to spend the money, get a nice, soft old t-shirt instead. It will take longer to dry, but your hair will still have the nice, light, glossy effect that a microfiber towel gives without the added expense.

2) Sleep on Your Damp Locks

This works great with the t-shirt/microfiber towel drying method, because you don't have to sleep with the uncomfortable feeling of wet hair. Either way, sleeping on my wet hair makes it so bouncy and shiny. I'm not sure why, but it works. If you don't like the curl pattern, you can always brush it out with your fingers and style it with some gel, but your hair will still probably be shinier than if you'd washed in the morning and let it air dry.

3) No More Shampoo

It's really not as gross as it sounds. Basically, the "no poo" method can work any number of ways. The hardcore version requires either that you shampoo and condition with household baking items like vineager and baking soda or that you use all natural (meaning sulfate and -cone free) conditioners to both shampoo and condition your hair. Less extreme versions can include sulfate and -cone free shampoos. Either way, your average drug store shampoo tends to have the same list of ingredients as dish soap -- and it's massively drying out your hair. Especially if, like most North Americans, you wash your hair daily. It might sound a little strange, and it may take some getting used to, but going low/no poo has really saved my over-processed hair.

4) Leave in Conditioner/Gel Combos

I got really frustrated when I'd hear people rave about certain leave-in conditioners or gels because I'd try them separately and only wind up with a tacky, crunchy mess. Then, finally, someone let me in on a secret: you're supposed to use them together. My current routine is Kinky-Curly's Knot Today Leave In Conditioner, followed by the Kinky-Curly Curl Custard Gel. Not only do both of these products smell amazing, but they give me great curls and waves with very little frizz. I recommend using a tiny bit of both unless you have very dry or very coarse hair. I use about half a dime-sized dollop of the leave-in on the middle to ends of my hair, followed by a dime size of the gel on the same areas. Then I flip my hair over and shake it out at the roots (there should be almost no product left on your fingers) and then scrunch the ends. This even makes daytime shower air-dried hair look shiny and bouncy.

5) More Moisture = More Frizz

This might seem counter-intuitive, but I've found that the hair treatments and conditioners that promise maximum moisturizing capabilities are the ones that cause my hair to frizz the most. Yes, it feels softer, but it also tends to loosen my curls/waves and just turn my hair into one messy mop. This shouldn't be a problem if you're sticking to the -cone and sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners because they tend not to be super-thick or moisturizing. I find it's the very waxy Pantene-style conditioners that are the worst for this.


There are obviously a lot of tips for getting great, shiny curls, but these are the ones I find that offer the most dramatic improvement and don't require a lot of money or effort.

The one annoying thing for Canadian curlies is that the Kinky-Curly and Shea Moisture lines are available at Target, but very hard to find North of the border. You can definitely order them, but anyone on the West Coast who's taken a stroll through a drug store lately knows just how limited the natural curl sections can be.

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