FRIZZ!!! Does the word make you immediately reach up and touch your hair? Or check the mirror?
If you have just ditched the dye, you might be noticing that new growth, those happy healthy sprouts, popping out to say, “Hi!” No worries they will get longer and subside, but this article should help you fight the frizz in the meantime.
If you have had silver for a while and battled the frizz of undyed hair that is finer or coarser than you expected. I’m talking to you too.
If you have curly silver hair and fight frizz on the daily, I am going to discuss this too.
This is ALL my tips on diagnosing the types and what to do to fight frizz, in one place.
Table of Contents:
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Different Types of Frizz:
They say that frizz is a curl waiting to happen, but this is not necessarily true. Curly hair is certainly more prone to frizz; however, if you have straight silver hair, you know frizz happens to all hair types, regardless. Below outlines the main types of frizz with some basic solutions.
This is what some people call functional frizz; it is a normal amount of frizz that helps create volume in wavy and curly hair. I don’t see this as needing to be fixed or changed.
Halo Frizz or New Growth Frizz:
This frizz looks a little bit like a halo around the top of your head or wiry frizz (as seen in the photo); usually it is new hair growth. Many silver sisters experience this after ditching the dye because the scalp recovers and is able to keep the new hair from falling out. Halo frizz can also be from having fine and/or thin hair.
Hormones dictate more about your hair than you may realize; including changes in your curl pattern, hair color, hair or no hair, hair loss, hair length, hair texture, and frizz. Hormonal frizz is often seen at your temples and sometimes the back of your head at the top of the crown.
It pops up around puberty, pregnancy, post-partum, reproductive issues, and surgical procedures, before and during menopause, and with certain thyroid conditions. Usually this is temporary and resolves around the issue as it changes or heals. Check with your doctor for solutions internally and possibly externally.
This is distinct; your hair feels dry and crispy like straw. If you have ever had protein overload or you have highlighted or bleached your hair you know this dry frizz. It is your hair in desperate need of moisture, and depending on the damage, may be time for a haircut.
Damaged frizz can also be from breakage around tight hairstyles, roughing up your hair with a towel, brushing, and blow-drying too high and too fast.
Use deep conditioners made for damage, many have bond builders and extra nourishing and strengthening ingredients to help repair your hair. Or consider a haircut to remove the worst of the damage. Do not use coconut oil, this could dry your hair out more and make the damage worse.
This frizz happens when your hair is wet. Also known as flash drying, which is usually a rapid (flash) drying of your hair possibly while you are still in the shower and you have just applied a product to wet hair. It can also occur in curly hair as it dries; single strands will dry and curl up independently. It is usually a reaction to a combination of ingredients or products in curly hair. As seen in the photo my hair is damp but the frizz is drying faster and separately.
The best solution is to evaluate your products, check for high protein and high glycerin content. If you find one or both in a product, discontinue using the product/s and try using low protein and low glycerin products instead.
Frizz caused by improperly balanced hair and benefits from more moisturizing products. Coarse hair is particularly prone to dry frizz when it is improperly hydrated. When properly moisturized and protected it may turn to waves or curls. This can also be caused by the wrong products in your hair like glycerin or proteins.
This frizz, ironically enough, can be caused by too much moisture. The hair swells and takes on a poufy look. Most likely, the type of frizz you will be fighting in high dew points. Think Monica in Barbados.
A Frizzy Experiment:
Frizz needs moisture, curls need moisture, and silvers need moisture. If your hair is lacking essential moisture and protection from the loss of moisture it can result in frizz city.
I go through a series of washdays with and without certain products to give you an idea of what happens when you add the right moisture and hold to your hair.
Ditch These 15 Things to Fight Frizz:
Washday Frizz Control:
1. Ditch the sulfates.
Sulfates aren’t necessary anymore. Sulfates are often heavy-duty detergents (the same ones they use in your laundry and dish soap) these detergents strip your hair and leave it dry and vulnerable to discolorations, breakage, and frizz. There are many brands across the haircare industry that offer great sulfate-free shampoos and they usually are clearly labeled, making them easy to find.
2. Ditch the cocktail of random products.
A one-brand line-up of products can be very valuable for frizz. When chemists create the products, ideally, they balance the pH in every step and design the products to work together.
The pH of shampoo has a higher pH (anywhere from pH of 4-8) for cleansing; it raises the cuticle, drives moisture in, removes build-up, and allows moisture in from the conditioner in the next step.
The higher the alkalinity of a shampoo the more frizz you get, because it causes friction between the hair fibers. Anti-Dandruff shampoo is usually over 5.5, while children’s shampoo is usually around 7 to prevent tearing. If the pH of your shampoo is under 4 or over 9, I’d ditch it.
The conditioner has a lower pH (usually around 3.5) for returning the pH of hair to its normal state, this helps close the cuticle back down, fills in any gaps created by damage, and seals in the moisture.
Leave-ins and styling products should be a low pH so they help normalize and maintain your hair’s natural pH (normal, undyed, undamaged hair has a pH of 4.5 to 5.5).
Essentially, the more you mix it up the more likely you are confusing your hair and this will cause more frizz. If you like mixing up your products, stick to using the same line of shampoo and conditioner. You can also get pH test strips to check your products.
Drying Your Hair without Creating Frizz:
3. Ditch the terry cloth towel.
You want smooth microfiber like the Perfect Haircare Towel, an old tee shirt or a soft tea-towel. The loops of terrycloth or some of the velvet or fleece-like textured microfiber towels will cause friction, which will make frizz. A smooth towel will also reduce time with the heat tool and the right towel can help prevent frizz.
4. Ditch scrubbing your hair with a towel.
Do not rub your hair with the towel, this friction can actually damage the cuticle, raise your porosity, and cause breakage and frizz.
Remember Friction Causes Frizz.
Fight Frizz with Your Styling Tools:
6. Ditch the everyday use of the hair dryer:
The consequences of repeated heat exposure are:
- It raises the porosity,
- Weakens the elasticity making the hair break easier,
- The hair tends to frizz more because of the increased moisture loss, friction, and breakage,
- Heat related yellowing.
You don’t have to ditch your blow-dryer, just use it on as low a heat as possible, use a diffuser even with straight hair, and keep the heat from direct contact with your hair. Always use a heat protectant on clean hair before heat.
7. Ditch your flat irons with the wrong plates.
This is the one heat tool I think you should invest in the very best because of the direct contact with your hair. It is worth it. Before buying, know what plates will work best for your hair type. Using the wrong plates can make your hair frizzy and eventually damage your hair.
- Tourmaline-coated: a crushed crystal coating, over any type of plate. When heated, tourmaline emits negative ions, which reduces static and frizz.
- Ceramic-coated plates: coating made of clay; they are gentler on any fragile hair type. Well suited for fine to normal and thin to normal hair types.
- Titanium plates: metal plates, best suited for coarse and thicker hair types. Titanium plates get VERY hot, so use with caution. Avoid if you already have damaged hair.
Overall, if you want to play it safe, stick to tourmaline coated ceramic.
8. Ditch your old irons.
It is time to replace your curling or flat irons if they are scratched or chipped; those scratches and chips can catch, cut, and damage your hair.
Ditch tools that are more than ten years old. New technology is being developed all the time to protect our hair, made to keep the temperature regulated, and prevent burning your hair.
Frizz Fighting with Your Finishing Products:
11. Ditch glycerin if…
You know your hair is reactive to it or you live in an area with very low or very high dew points most of the time. You may want to try life without glycerin temporarily just to see if your hair is reactive to it.
When is glycerin good or bad?
- Below ~45°F dew points, glycerin can steal moisture from your hair, creating dry frizz. Focus on hydrating your hair with moisturizing products.
- Dew points between ~45°F to 60°F, it will behave well with the balance of moisture in the air and the hair.
- Dew points over ~65°F, it will find moisture in the air and pull too much into your hair making the hair shaft swell with water resulting in poufy frizz. Focus on sealing the hair with anti-humectant rich products that protect the hair from excess moisture.
Your weather app can tell you the dew points in your area, just remember dew point changes seasonally, and check it regularly, especially, if you notice a sudden shift in weather or your hair. If you find you are in a low or high dew point area, you want to watch for glycerin in your leave-in products, like leave-in conditioner, gels, hair spray, etc. Moreover, it is usually only a problem for frizz if it is in the top six ingredients, if it is in the latter ingredients it likely isn’t going to cause frizz. If you put a hairspray or gel over all your products, make sure it is glycerin free.
The good news:
- Glycerin is a valuable humectant (hydrating ingredient), so do not ditch it or any other humectants unless you know for sure it is causing issues.
- If you live in a balanced environment and your hair is moisture balanced, glycerin and other humectants may not be an issue for you.
- If you have never noticed a blooming thing in regards to glycerin in your products, then you need not worry about it in the least.
I have a more complete post where you can learn all about Glycerin, Frizz, and Dew Points.
Curly & Wavy Specific:
12. Ditch the Idea of Perfect Definition:
The idea that “frizz is a curl waiting to happen” only applies to curly hair that clearly isn’t forming clumps and all the curl families are separated and frizzy, think Roseanne Rosannadanna, with that east to west fluffy do.
Think of each curl clump as a family. That family needs to stick together. If you see halo frizz or frizz around your roots, fluff your hair around it and use that frizz for volume, this is known as functional frizz. Not all frizz needs to be abolished. Not all wavy hair can clump together in perfectly defined ringlets.
Using these pointers, will help keep the families happily together:
- Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle on wet hair with conditioner in your hair
- Never rough up your hair with a towel
- Always blow-dry with a diffuser, lowest heat possible and lowest speed possible
- Again let your hair dry without touching it with your hands, the more you touch the more you break up the curl families and cause frizz and separation.
- Walk away from anyone who says wavy hair isn’t curly hair. Wavy hair needs the same care as curly hair because it IS CURLY HAIR.
With all that said, embrace what you have. Fighting your hair or the direction it wants to wave or curl can be a waste of time and energy.
Fight Frizz While You Sleep:
13. Ditch the cotton or satin pillowcase.
We spend 6-9 hours a day with our head on a pillow…that’s a long time to cause friction, breakage, frizz, and loss of moisture.
Silk Pillowcases prevent frizz because the silk thread has no hooks or loops in it, the way cotton does, so it doesn’t catch the hair or cause friction. Silk does not absorb moisture the same way cotton does, cotton holds moisture and stays wet. On the other hand, silk wicks excess moisture away and dries quickly, creating a moisture balance in your skin and hair.
Satin tends to get hot and stay hot no matter what time of year. Silk stays cool in summer and warm in winter, which is great for your skin and your hair in all seasons. It has also been proven to help prevent tangles, split ends, and hair loss.
You can also look for haircare products with silk proteins in the formula to prevent frizz and add strength to your hair.
Silk has become far easier to care for, more affordable and obtainable.
Tip: if you think silk is hot or you tried it and it felt too slippery, you may have inadvertently gotten satin. Satin is often marketed as “silk-like” or “silky” and you end up with polyester instead of the real deal. 100% silk is smooth, soft, comfy, and stays cool. The price point is usually the tell-all; satin is normally less than $10.00.
Use Silk Hair Ties, Scarves, & Bonnets:
If you have long hair and/or curly hair sleeping in a pineapple with a silk hair tie will also help you protect your curls and hair from frizz, allowing you to extend your washday.
I have a more detailed post where you can read all about the benefits of using silk over cotton or satin.
Extra Frizz Fighting Tips:
14. Ditch the dry air.
Use a Humidifier:
A humidifier is a great tool in dryer climates, or winter when you are running a heater indoors. Placing a humidifier close to the head of your bed will expose your hair to much needed moisture for those 6-9 hours you are sleeping. This is also good for your skin and sinuses.
15. Ditch Skipping Hair Cuts
To prevent damaged frizz, make sure you get routine haircuts. This helps prevent frizz caused by breakage and split ends. Depending on the health of your hair, you can go up to 8 weeks without a trim, but I’d suggest at least getting a dusting trim every 8 weeks, if not more often. This will also help prevent yellowing on your ends from oxidative stress and dry hair grabbing onto impurities.
If you have longer hair and need to cut it yourself check out this post on one of the ways I cut my own hair.
Club Soda’s Frizz Fighting Help:
Club soda has a pH of between 4.5 and 5, which is about the normal pH of healthy hair. Club soda is carbonated water, which often contains mineral salts like sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, potassium chloride, disodium phosphate, etc.
It works well for removing “clean product” buildup (since they usually contain water-soluble ingredients), it can be used after a swim to rinse chlorine out of your hair if you can’t shower right away, and as a final rinse if you have hard water and no shower filter to help pull some of the minerals. Added bonus for silver and curls—the carbonation fights frizz.
Clarify and Deep Condition Routinely:
Clarify routinely to help prevent buildup that causes frizz like humectants and some silicones. Proteins, bond builders, and some silicones can cause buildup that actually blocks moisture causing breakage and frizz.
Deep condition routinely, particularly dry and damaged frizz, to help hydrate thirsty hair and stop the frizz before it starts.
Do not overdo either of these because you can swing the pendulum too far and cause excessive dryness from stripping the hair of moisture with over-clarifying or cause hydration overload with over-deep-conditioning.
A temporary dye, usually clear but can be tinted. Gloss is usually used as a shine product to help you revive permanent color, which also helps reduce frizz and split ends. It can also be used as a toner when tinted for your desired color result. Some are clear and can just add shine and frizz control for silver hair, but buyers beware: staining silver is a risk. Talk to your stylist about clear gloss or tinted if you prefer.
SEEN is the Best One Brand Washday for Frizz, Breakage, Heat Protection & UV Protection:
Fight frizz from the start…use products proven to prevent fizz and strengthen your hair. SEEN, is my favorite brand because it is clinically proven to fight frizz.
Their styling products have 450°F heat protection and UV protection, so you also protect your grays from future frizz and damage from even occurring.
SEEN Magic Serum reduces breakage by 81% after a single use. With 450°F heat protection.
SEEN Shampoo & Conditioner reduce frizz by 74% when used as a regimen, and a 65% reduction in frizz is still visible eight hours later.
SEEN Shampoo – around 6.75
SEEN Conditioner – around 4.5
SEEN Curly Creme – around 4
SEEN Blow-Out Creme – around 4
I highly encourage you to give them a one or two month trial run. I personally, know they helped with my frizz issues especially in the winter months; check out my full honest review of the products to see what SEEN did for my husband and me.
You can get 10% off of your first purchase with code QUICKSILVER10.
I hope you found this post educational and helpful.
Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share.
As always it is about so much more than the hair.
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