Is frizz one of your main hair concerns? You are certainly not alone. There are literally thousands of products on the market to combat frizz and millions of women who turn to them for relief. But do you know what frizz actually is? Find out what’s going on under the surface and how to protect your hair and prevent what is an everyday annoyance for too many people.
What does frizz look like?
This may seem like a no-brainer but just in case you didn’t know—frizz is when hair appears puffy with ample space between strands. Hair will not lay smoothly when it is frizzy, creating flyaways and irregular waves and curls.
How does frizz work?
No matter if your hair is dry or moisturized, all hair is porous—kind of like a sponge. And like a sponge, it absorbs water—not just the water with which we shower but also water vapor (humidity) in the air. When water is absorbed into the hair, it literally swells. Yes, just like a sponge!
In our last blog about hair damage, you learned about vital structures of hair—the cortex (inner core) and cuticles (outer protective layer). When hair absorbs water, the cortex swells and pushes the cuticles open. Open cuticles are not ideal since they leave the cortex vulnerable. They also allow even more water absorption, more cuticle pushing. Thus, a vicious cycle is born.
Basically, frizzy hair is opened cuticles. Curly hair has particularly open cuticles, especially at the ends, unfortunately making it even more prone to frizz. The key to preventing frizz is to keep hair healthy so cuticles stay as closed and smooth as possible – not just using heavy cuticle-smoothing styling products that fake the look of healthy hair. Too much product will weigh down your hair as well, or worse, trap water in and lead to more damage in the future.
What else causes frizz?
While even perfectly healthy hair can absorb water and get frizzy, damaged hair is even more vulnerable. Heat, chemical treatments and bleaching, even sunshine can cause your cuticles to lift up and leave your hair vulnerable to humidity. Heat styling also reduces your scalp’s production of natural oils, which keep your hair moisturized. And did you know prolonged sun exposure can make your hair even more porous? Then it is even more vulnerable to frizz.
Do you know the pH levels of the products you are using? High pH products increase the negative electric charge on the hair’s surface. This creates more friction between your individual hairs, leading to frizz.
Leaving your hair wet for too long is also an issue. While air drying can prevent heat damage, water blasts cuticles open (more on that here) and neglecting to get it out fast (air drying) leaves them open, causing more frizz. And remember, wet hair is weak hair. By wicking excess moisture out quickly without rubbing, you can skip the heavy-duty bath towels that lead to frizz.
What can I do to prevent frizz?
Here are some obvious tips:
- Cut back on heat styling.
- Use chemical and bleaching treatments sparingly and always consult a professional.
- Use products that will ensure pH balance and reduce friction between hairs.
- Use leave-in conditioner (with low pH) on damp hair to lock in natural oils and seal cuticles.
- Limit sun exposure and use a hair sunscreen
But above all, always remember to be extra gentle with wet hair and protect it from water fatigue. The worst thing you can do to wet hair is expose it to harsh terrycloth towels, hair brushes, or hot styling tools. Blow dryers were meant to style damp hair, not dry soaking wet strands.
Our products remove water fast and gently. No more fighting frizz. Prevent it every time you wash with Aquis.