Top 7 Hair Frizz Factors and How to Tame Your Mane

Donna Kim-Brand

We say April showers bring May flowers, but what they could also bring is relief from dry, static-y, fly-away, frizzy hair.

Frizzy hair is the bane of those who seek naturally cooperative hair that looks like you actually made effort to style it. Sure you can control frizz with applying a range of products, but ironically some of those products contain chemicals or characteristics that are the root cause of that very frizz. Following are the top seven causes of frizzy hair.

Lack of Moisture-The key reason for frizz, and the ultimate reason behind most of the following six reasons for hair frizz is lack of moisture; either by lack of adequate moisture or elements that strip out the moisture.  Hydration and suppleness in hair is gained from both external supply sources like fresh, clean water and products which deliver and seal in moisture, as well as from internal bodily sources. Sufficient fresh water intake, B, E & C vitamins, trace minerals and nutritious dietary intake will all affect your hair hydration from the inside out. You can support hair hydration by making conscious choices to protect and shore up your luscious locks from both inside and out.

Products & Processing– Even though there is a trend towards using natural products, we are still consumers of many lotions, potions, bleaches and dyes which contain harsh chemicals.  Especially those products using alcohol or peroxide which suck the moisture from your tresses and can cause chemical damage to your hair will exacerbate your frizz. And, do note, labeling a product as natural doesn’t automatically mean it won’t be harsh or damaging to your hair, so do your homework and choose tested products or those your stylist recommends.

Heat– It’s no surprise that frequent blow drying, especially without a diffuser, can dry out your hair. But the dryness extends beyond immediate removal of wetness to drying out of hair shafts and follicles. This causes the hair shafts to wither and wrinkle, ending up in classic frizz. Isn’t it ironic that we use hair driers to straighten  our hair to look less frizzy?! They key is to keep exposure to the heat minimal in time and intensity, and perhaps use moisture protective products in the process.

Direct sunshine
– Too much exposure to direct sun rays and heat can suck out moisture in your hair and even damage your tresses by burning your strands and follicles. Cover up when in direct sunlight whenever possible. You could even use the heat and head sweat to soak up moisturizing product if you stuff your well-moisturized hair under a hat when out in the sun.

Ethnicity– African-American hair tends to be curlier than Caucasian hair, which opens hair cuticles to exposure and loss of moisture. So certain ethnic groups tend to have to make a more concerted effort to control input or loss of moisture, and product lines at salons or shops reflect that. Take advantage of what’s available and develop a routine that addresses your tresses as needed to minimize frizz.

Harsh Brushing, Hair Styles & Accessories
– Brushing hair while wet or tangled can stretch hair strands to the breaking point, and you end up with lots of broken strands that become candidates for frizz. So exercise care and caution when brushing, and use conditioner to ease your brush through tangled hair. Brush bristles, especially synthetic ones, can cause static electricity in dry hair, which is like frizz on steroids. Select natural bristle brushes or those which do the least damage to your type of hair.

Tight ponytails or sharp clips can pull on hair follicles and break strands all over your head, causing loose ends flying about in free-form frizz. Wheee! Do treat your hair with care to minimize these hair orphans that spoil your cultured look.

Too Much Moisture– Cousin to frizz is kinkiness, for some people brought on by there being too much moisture in the atmosphere by way of humidity. Ironically, some of the same products mentioned above to moisturize your hair in a dry environment will also lessen the amount of kinkiness by coating the hair shafts. This keeps them ‘full’ of moisture, thus leaving less room to take on extra external moisture. So that means less ‘kink’.

All in all, frizz management comes down to keeping your hair under control through appropriate moisturizing, care and treatment according to the type of hair unique to you.  There’s a large portion of frizz-control that YOU can control through your choices. Let’s let Spring Fling refer to the energy and joys of the season, and not your frizzy hair!

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