Formulate user Lissa is experiencing some major wintertime frizz:
I have curly hair and I've always struggled with frizziness. I got a Deva cut to try to help get it under control, which helped a little but not as much as I'd like. I'm just so over it. I've done the thing where you don't wash your hair very much and I use a curl cream but neither seems to make more than a tiny bit of difference. The cream seems to kind of work, but I also would love some advice on how to best apply it because I don't super know how to use it. I have a zillion different products in my closet but I'm sure I don't know how to use them. What else can I do? And how can I use my zillions of products in a way that actually helps my frizz?
Thanks for writing Lissa! We're sorry to hear about your curl struggles, but we're glad you reached out. We're happy to help. Here are some of our best tips for smoothing and defining frizzy curls, including several best practices for using curl definition and frizz reduction products on curly hair.
Kotryna Zinkeviciute is the lead stylist at the prestigious Radio Hair Salon in London. She recommends that you first have your hair assessed by a professional to find out what it needs most. Per Kotryna: "Are your curls frizzy and dry; or just flat and airy? Doing this will tell you what your hair needs more: heavy moisture or structure and hold."
Hairstylist and curl expert Krysia Mcdonald suggests that you stop using a terrycloth bath towel to dry your curls. "After washing your hair, using an abrasive bath towel to wrap your wet hair can lead to frizz. Instead, switch to a more gentle micro-fiber towel or even a cotton t-shirt, which can help reduce hair damage caused by improper drying."
Chicago based texture expert Alfred Campbell recommends applying product to hair while it's still "almost dripping wet." Per Alfred: "What you see is what you get. If hair is starting to dry and frizz when product is applied, that's what you'll lock in. But hair that's saturated with water looks super smooth, so lock that in for a frizz free finish."
Jada Jenkins, owner of L'Amour de Rose Salon, says that one of the biggest mistakes people make when defrizzing curly hair is that they only focus on the curls that they can see. Per Jada: "It's important to ensure there is proper application of styling products in the hair. Most people with curly hair don't section the hair when applying products, they just apply it on the top (what they can see), so not all the hair gets treated." To help get product into all your curls, she suggests separating your hair into sections using clips, and then applying product. "When applying product in each section, use a 2" subsection, this will ensure product gets into each curl evenly."
And speaking of product - Kortyna says that it's important to be generous with the amount of product you use. She also recommends layering different products, instead of just using one. "Curly hair is typically quite porous, meaning it absorbs product incredibly quickly. Two or even three products that do different things is the way to go. I would suggest applying something very moisturising like a wave lotion or buttery curl cream and then top it up with something to hold it in place; perhaps a sea salt spray, mousse or gel." Be sure to give each product a bit of time to sink in before you apply the next one - your goal is to layer your products, not to mix them.
According to Kortyna, touching your curls while they dry is a big no-no. "Regardless of the drying style you choose DO NOT touch your curls while they're drying. This is a true test of patience but believe me it works wonders. Wait until your hair is 80%-90% dry and only then start to zhuzh it around. The longer you wait the better chance you have in maintaining a very good curl structure."
You never know what's going to happen in a day - so Kortyna advises that you go into every situation prepared for unexpected frizz. She suggests to "always carry a mini sea salt spray or dry oil spray with you to defrizz easily whenever you need a top-up."
Don't forget - your curls are special! Per Alfred: "When it comes to curly hair, it needs to be remembered that this beautiful type of hair has a life and personality of its own. Each day is very different from the last, and you have to embrace it. Work with care, and remember that curly hair is rare, and many people pay lots of money to get that volume and extra oomph. Enjoy the positives, and the treatment will feel a lot easier."
Thirsty for more hair knowledge? Here's what to check out next:
How long does it take for hair to grow back after a bad cut?
The answer might be a little more complicated than you thought 👀
Hint: It's not air-drying 😲