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How To Fight Frizzy Hair

Posted by Siofan | Wednesday June 8, 20119 comments

Frizz. Just whispering the word we swear makes our hair start to curl, if not our toes. Humid, hot, summer weather not only makes our hair expand, but the thought of blow drying and running tools through our hair becomes an idea too hot to bare. If you do go to the trouble, by the time you've completed your AC-free commute, what was in your bathroom sleek has morphed to eek. We spoke to Alain Larivée, John Frieda Canadian creative consultant and owner of Montreal salon CAJH Maîtres Coiffeurs about how to keep hair smooth and frizz-free through summer's humid assault.

First of all, what causes hair to frizz? The cuticle of the hair wants to draw moisture in to the hair shaft, so if hair is at all dry or the cuticle is not sealed it will draw in moisture from the air. While you may think that dry, winter weather is the time when you should be doing most of your deep conditioning, summer is just as important as healthy, moisture rich hair won't be as frizz-prone as damaged where cuticles are rough and left open in the hopes of catching a drink.

"If you don't prep the hair shaft properly then you'll get frizzy results," says Larivée. He says that's why it's so important to use frizz-fighting products every step of your routine, from shampoos and conditioners to serums and stylers. These have been formulated to seal moisture into the shaft and keep the cuticle sealed and flat, so it doesn't open up and draw in moisture from the air.

Know your hair type, too. "A very common problem with fine hair is that a lot of the straightening products are really heavy and can weigh down the hair," says Larivée. "I work with [John Frieda] 3-Days Straight, which is a very light spray, and it's really, really not heavy whatsoever." For those with course strands, he recommends a three step approach: a weather proofing shampoo and conditioner in the shower and then working through the hair with a comb a style sealant cream. "The action of the comb from root to end, and spreading the hair product evenly throughout the hair shaft, the hair will behave the same all over the head," he says, "not just in the areas where your hand has touched it with the styling product."

You shouldn't be afraid to embrace your natural hair texture and miss a few straight days. "Start with a curl-inducing shampoo—working with a shampoo that will encourage the natural curl formation of the hair," says Larivée. "My number one trick is I do a mixture: 'How do I use the products I have and blend them into a product I want?' Use a styling foam, like a curl boosting foam, and into your foam put the size of a dime of a straightening lotion in order to get frizz control. Your giving your curl the anti-frizz properties you want to have in your styling products. Comb it throughout your hair and let your hair dry naturally and your hair will stay beautiful until you wash it." And while you've likely heard this before, he can't emphasize enough the importance of leaving hair alone. "When you are letting your hair dry naturally, as it dries, don't play with it," he says. "Once it's fully dry the curl formation will hold into the hair shaft."

Technique is also important and Larivée says to take special care with how you form wet hair when letting it dry naturally. Start with adding your serum or styling product to sopping wet hair. Hair will feel smoother because the moisture has been locked into the shaft. "Preserve that feeling by sculpting the hair into its formation, if you come in and start scrunching the hair as you're drying you're going to look like Bon Jovi did in the '80s," laughs Larivée. "If you want to add motion and volume to the hair, what I usually try and tell people is squish the hair and leave it in clumps, leave the hair in its beautiful formation, don't rub fingers through it and scrunch it. Scrunch equals 1980s, and squeeze equals more where we're at as far as style goes."

If you are going to go the heat styling route, don't try and take shortcuts by flat ironing large sections of hair. "With thick sections, you cook the two outer layers, and the middle part never gets smooth because it never gets enough heat," says Larivée. "Be methodical—work section by section. Take the time, do it right and just touch it up as you need." And don't ignore the cool button on your dryer, it closes the hair shaft sealing in shine and helping the cuticle lie flat.

Lastly, Larivée has a reminder: "If you're going to the beach, if you're going to be playing out in the sun, hanging out in backyard, make sure your hair is protected from the elements. The nastier you are to your hair, the more often you're going to have to go to the salon is the bottom line."


John Frieda's new styling tool collaboration with Conair will be available exclusively at Walmart this July and features ionic technology and ceramic coating, important for smoothing hair and sealing the cuticle.
1. John Frieda Volume Curls 1 1/4" Curling Iron (C$49.99)
2. John Frieda Full Volume Dryer ($69.99)
3. John Frieda Flat Finish 1" Straightener ($89.99)


From shampoo and conditioner to creams, sprays, foams and serums make sure you're buying the right product for your hair type, and like Larivée says, don't be afraid to mix two to get the combination you want.
1. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Weather Works Shampoo (C$10.75)
2. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Weather Works Conditioner (C$10.75)
3. John Frieda Frizz-Ease Take Charge Curl-Boosting Mousse (C$10.75)
4. Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Smooth Sailing Anti-Frizz Cream (US$24.00)
5. Living Proof Wave Shaping, Curl Defining, No Frizz Styling Treatment (from US$15.00)
6. John Frieda Frizz-Ease 3-Day Straight Styling Spray (C$14.99)
7. Oscar Blandi Jasmine Oil Serum (from US$16.00)

Do you have a frizz-fighting technique? Do you let your hair air-dry in the summer or are you loyal to your blow dryer?
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9 Comments

on June 08, 2011  TammyK  1,073 said:

Really good tips! Will definitely use it for the summer for my frizzy hair

on June 08, 2011  jskim07  50 said:

@beachbabe, you're lucky that you have a natural wave! My hair is naturally straight, but the way that I sleep sometimes, I get a dent in the middle of my hair so that it's completely flat at the top and very poofy and frizzy at the bottom. Hence the straightening everyday :(. Wrapping the strands around a curling iron w/o the clip looks like a good idea though...I think I'll try that! Maybe I can get some really soft waves going on? I hate how the clip snags at my strands.

on June 08, 2011  beachbabe  4,164 said:

@jskim - it easily takes me at least half an hour! That's because I have long, thick and naturally wavy hair. That's why I don't even normally straighten my hair, it seems like so much effort sometimes! It's easier to just enhance my natural wave and go with that OR I will wrap strands around my curling iron (leave the clip closed) to add more waves. This takes like less than half the time lol So you're not alone!

on June 08, 2011  mamaluv  STAFF said:

This article is also very timely for me - thanks!

on June 08, 2011  jskim07  50 said:

These are some great tips! I was wondering how long it took people on average to straighten their hair? I used to take almost half an hour, but I really hope that's not the norm!

on June 08, 2011  beachbabe  4,164 said:

I'm pretty excited for these styling tools to come out! I'm in need of a new straightner and dryer so that's awesome.
My frizz fighting technique is a good conditioning treatment each time I shower, even if it's just with my regular conditioner. I soak my ends in the conditioner and leave it on for about 3 minutes. My hair is always so soft after and is much more cooperative in the weather! Also, a good serum does the trick.

@Siofan - I am guilty of that too! Then I'd give up and just put my hair in a bun. I agree that it's a good idea to just let your hair air dry every once in awhile. Using heat can be so damaging when you use it all the time, leading to even more frizz and a trip to the salon!

on June 08, 2011  Siofan  50 said:

I am totally guilty of flat ironing large chunks and wondering why my hair didn't stay straight. Slow and steady wins the race. And doesn't hurt to just let it air dry every once in a while.

on June 08, 2011  Ali de Bold  STAFF said:

I normally have poker straight hair with little to no frizz but when it's hot and humid there is no style I can wear down that doesn't look terrible. Great tips, Siofan! Maybe I won't have to resort to a bun all the time.

on June 08, 2011  shagtownlady  9,103 said:


there are some good tips in this article - and i definitely need all the help i can get when it comes to frizzy hair :P
when the weather is hot & humid i usually put away the blow dryer and let my hair dry naturally or braided / twisted to enhance the natural waves. it's much easier to deal with, and takes like no time at all to do!

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