As it turns out, a perfect hair day isn't so elusive.
woman brushing hair
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Frizz is a bummer, especially when the weather seems to work against your hair dryer. So, what's a girl to do? Well, if you're lucky enough, you talk to Gail Federici, co-founder of Color Wow and the godmother of anti-frizz (she helped develop one of the most iconic anti-frizz products of all time, Frizz Ease at John Frieda!). Here, she explains the most common causes of frizzy hair and what you can do about it.

Why Hair Frizzes

Frizz happens to good people, and mostly because of damage that happens to the hair cuticle over time. According to Federici, this could be caused by chemical processing: dyeing, relaxing, or perming your hair, or even overexposing it to the sun. Excessive shampooing and mechanical stress, such as wet combing or brushing, are other contributing factors. Perhaps the worst news of all is that frizzy hair can also be an inherited trait. If your hair that hasn't been affected by any of the aforementioned problems, then each individual strand has a cuticle that lies flat against the hair shaft, has gloss or shine, and is silky and supple. Frizzy hair, on the other hand, has a raised cuticle and is porous, which means it has minimal elasticity, is prone to breakage and splitting, and is also very susceptible to high humidity conditions. In other words, when there is a ton of moisture in the air, the hair will reach out for it, and you end up with frizz. Since frizzy hair has a jagged cuticle, the uneven surface layer does not catch or reflect light uniformly. That means that not only does the hair look frizzy, it also looks dull.

How to Tame Frizz

Thankfully though, solutions do exist and they do work. Typically speaking, anti-frizz products contain a blend of silicones which are applied to wet hair. As the hair dries, the product forms a film that coats each hair, holding the cuticle cells quasi-flat and bonding them in place against the hair shaft. Federici explains, "The coating on the cuticle cells doesn't allow them to have the opportunity to become raised and opened, therefore eliminating the frizz." What you get is smoother and shinier hair.

Anti-Frizz Products to Try

The good news is there are a number of amazing anti-frizz products on the market, and they are all super effective. For example, Frizz Ease by John Frieda launched a pre-shower treatment that lasts for 10 days. Color Wow has a spray frizz-busting miracle called Dream Coat, that works the same way a raincoat does to protect your hair from frizz, while not wearing it down. If you're looking for a vegan-friendly option, Reverie Milk Anti-Frizz Leave-In is a great buy, and we like that it's silicone-free. We also like Mizani Miracle Milk, which gives your hair an instant dose of moisture. Interestingly enough, the amount of product you should use is based on your hair texture. People with thick hair or coarse texture require a heavier product and likely need to use more of it, while people with fine hair that has frizz need to use less product to avoid adding too much weight.

Conditioner Is Key

If you really want to conquer frizz, this piece of advice from Federici is key: Use an anti-frizz conditioner. This is especially important if you don't wash your hair every day: "Start with a shampoo that does exactly what a shampoo should do-clean and freshen your hair and scalp," says Federici. Your frizz-fighting ingredients should be in your conditioners, treatments, and styling products. And if you do use a frizz-fighting conditioner, it's essential that you apply it two inches below your scalp and concentrate it on dry ends. Another tip: Don't rub your hair with your towel. Instead, use your towel to grab your hair in sections and squeeze and release from root to tip. Once your hair is towel dried, apply your treatments or serums, and proceed to style or air dry. Fighting frizz is actually surprisingly simple, provided you know how frizz-fighters work. Maybe a perfect hair day isn't as elusive as we originally thought.


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