Show Your Hair Who’s Boss With These Frizz-Fighting Tricks
Summer brings to mind sunny days lolling on the beach, refreshing dips in the pool, zipping around town in a convertible with the wind in your hair. But for many of us, summer also means excessive heat, strand-swelling humidity and damaging rays -- resulting in fried, frayed, frizzy hair.
You don’t have to settle for strands that look like shredded wheat. With a little patience, planning and TLC, you can smooth frizz, repel humidity and maintain chic, sleek locks.
What Is Frizz?
Frizzy hair is serious. So serious, in fact, that meteorologists use an instrument containing human hair to measure the level of humidity in the atmosphere. The pouffy-haired among us don’t need science to tell us that -- all we have to do is look in the mirror to see that our stylish chin-length bob has shriveled up to resemble a Q-tip.
Here’s how frizz happens: A strand of hair has a protective outer layer, the cuticle, that looks like a series of fish scales along each strand. When the cuticle is exposed to moisture, the hair shaft soaks it up like a sponge and swells, lifting the cuticle’s surface, so it’s no longer smooth. The trick to fighting frizz is getting the cuticle to lie flat and keep it that way.
Frizzy hair is usually overly dry, porous hair in which excessive heat, harsh chemicals, and over-processing have created tiny gaps in the surface, gaps that gorge on any available moisture, get roughed up and make hair go haywire. That’s why nourishing shampoos, serums and oils are the answer -- they fill in those gaps, thereby smoothing the surface of each strand.
So you can see how important it is to keep your hair happily hydrated. Some ways to nurse those thirsty locks back to health:
- Shampoo with lukewarm, not hot, water to avoid stripping hair of natural oils.
- Use only sulfate-free and natural-oil-infused products (like the NuMe White Truffle line of shampoo, conditioner and serum, which are brimming with botanicals such as antioxidant-rich white truffle, shine-boosting jasmine and hydrating orchid).
- Apply NuMe Gloss Boss Serum to your ends regularly after styling to smooth cuticles and enhance shine. Carry some in your purse for tress-taming on the go.
- Deep condition at least once a week for added hydration. NuMe Mane Goals Deep Repair Mask drenches your hair in nutrient-packed sunflower seed and argan oils, plus ultra moisturizing shea butter. You can also use it as your regular post-shampoo conditioner.
For severely stressed strands, try this heavy-duty overnight treatment:
- After shampooing, when hair is damp, apply Mane Goals from mid-length to ends and comb through.
- Twist hair into a bun and wrap in the NuMe Microfiber Hair Wrap.
- In the morning, rinse and style. You’ll have bouncin’ and behavin’ hair!
Cool It, Hot Stuff
Heat styling tools can be weapons of mass (hair) destruction. Here’s how to minimize their wear and tear on your hair:
- After shampooing, wait until your hair is 90 percent dry before blow drying to cut down on heat exposure. Before drying your hair, after a shower, leave the steamy bathroom.
- Always apply a thermal protectant like NuMe Blah to Bouncy Blow Dry Cream before exposing hair to heat. This lightweight cream protects, seals cuticles and conditions for professional-level blowouts. Comb or brush it through hair with the cushioned, wide-bristled NuMe Paddle Brush, which can be used on wet or dry hair.
- Keep your dryer on ‘cool’ and dry hair in sections, always pointing the nozzle downward to keep the cuticle closed. Make sure hair is thoroughly dry -- any remaining dampness will cause -- you guessed it! -- frizz.
- Use a ceramic, ionic hair dryer. The NuMe Signature Hair Dryer, Stealth Hair Dryer, Bold Hair Dryer and Technique Hair Dryer, have ceramic grills to prevent breakage and split ends, plus negative ion conditioning technology that seals hair’s protective cuticle to make hair smooth and shiny.
- Here’s a way to use heat to your advantage: If you’re hanging at the beach or pool, apply conditioner or a mask to your dry hair and put it up in a bun. The product not only protects against sun, saltwater and chlorine but the hot sun helps it penetrate hair better.)
And here’s how to reduce damage from chlorine and salt water: Because dry hair soaks up any liquid like a sponge, before taking the plunge into the pool or ocean, saturate your hair with plain water so there’s less room for chlorine or salt water to seep in.
Another major cause of frazzled strands is friction, which roughs up hair’s cuticle, preventing a smooth look. You can combat it on many fronts:
- Frizz fighting begins the minute you step out of the shower. That’s the time to grab a plush NuMe Microfiber Hair Wrap and gently blot your hair -- never wring or rub!. The wrap quickly absorbs 80 percent more moisture than a cotton towel. The quicker you remove excess water from your hair, the better.
- If your hair is knotty by nature, remove tangles carefully, beginning at the ends and working your way up. Be patient. Take your time.
- Sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce friction and keep hair’s cuticle layer closed; cotton is abrasive and can deplete moisture. (Added bonus: Sleeping on satin helps discourage facial wrinkles.) If your hair is long, braid it loosely before bed.
- Trim ends every six to eight weeks, but if you’ll be in hot/humid weather, don’t go in for a major haircut. Leave layers an inch or two longer to give the hair more weight to fight frizz.
- If you pull your hair back, opt for a bun over a ponytail. When you wrap hair around itself in a bun, it smooths and hides flyaways.
- You know those pesky flyaways that crop up around your hairline? Smooth them back with a toothbrush spritzed lightly with hairspray.
Tinseltown Hair Textures
Fame and wealth provide recognition and money -- but they can’t stop celebrity frizz. Only chemical straightening can ensure that hair stays stick straight and silky beyond your next shampoo. It works by permanently changing hair’s structure, which weakens and damages hair.
Hollywood’s hair-obsessed handle their temperamental tresses in a variety of ways. Some go with the flow, embracing their natural texture and even enhancing it with curl-coddling cuts and products. Among these are the Olsen twins, Alicia Keys and Shakira. This approach works especially well in music circles.
But then again, curly girl Taylor Swift has opted to play it straight these days, torturing her strands into pin-straight submission. Her die-hard frizzy-to-straight sisters include Julia Roberts, Keri Russell, Nicole Kidman and Mariah Carey.
And then there are those who go both ways, wearing cascading curls one day and super-straight strands the next. Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens and Ariana Grande fall into this category.
Or, you could always shave your head or get a buzzcut, a la Kristen Stewart, Sinead O’Connor and Amber Rose.
Hope for Hyperactive Hair
Yes, frizz is relentless and overwhelming, requiring constant vigilance to keep wayward locks in line. But there is hope for calming kinks, controlling curls and taming unruly hair when you make it your mission to get your hands on the right styling tools and hair care.