After several blistering weekends across Australia – and with more hot days imminent – it’s time to discuss fighting hair frizz. While we Aussies are very good at summer, many of our states have a humid climate, and humidity means frizz.
“The best way to eliminate frizziness is to understand why it’s [happening] in the first place,” says top colourist and founder of Que Colour Monique McMahon. Just as our bodies can become dehydrated, our hair can also become parched. When hair is damaged (thanks to anything from UV exposure to heat-tool use) it absorbs water quickly, causing the strands to swell, in turn creating undesired frizz. You know that halo of fuzz around the hairline? That’s the result of a raised cuticle layer, which allows moisture to pass through and swell the strand, splitting off into tiny little strands around the face.
“It’s time to feed it some moisture,” explains McMahon. She recommends treating your hair before washing it (wild, huh?). “Apply a hair oil before shampooing to deeply hydrate and nourish the hair, smoothing the lengths and ends where frizz is dominant.” McMahon recommends Christophe Robin Moisturising Hair Oil.
Colour treatment is also a factor. In summer many of us choose to go lighter, whether via sun-kissed highlights or a full head of foils. But instead of bleach, we should be opting for follicle-friendly tint foil. “Unlike bleach – which strips the hair of natural pigment leaving nothing behind – high-lift tint foils lighten the hair and deposit the tone all in one step,” says McMahon. That means smooth(er) sailing ahead.
Even when you do everything right, frizz can still get the better of you. “Using an anti-frizz product throughout the day is the best way to control fluffy hairlines,” McMahon says. Those with fine hair should opt for lightweight leave-in mists and lotions, such as Kerastase Discipline Fluidissme. Those with coarse or thick hair can go a bit harder, and use oils, gels and creams, such as John Frieda Frizz Ease.
If you’re really struggling to keep frizz at bay, session stylist, creative director for Acadèmie salon and consumer creative director for Wella Professional ANZ Richi Grisillo suggests using a combination of anti-frizz and anti-humidity products to discipline fuzz. “Anti-humidity products put a protective barrier from moisture on the hair, while anti-frizz products help nourish and soothe hair to a smoother texture that prolongs a softer, straighter hair strand.” It’s important to remember that heavy-handed applications can result in flat, greasy strands on even the thickest, thirstiest of hair types, so to maintain some semblance of volume and buoyancy, don’t overuse product. “A good rule of thumb is to start with one pump of product or a pea-size amount,” says Grisillo. “If you have coarse, thick hair you will most likely need more, but to prevent overusing, think less is more to start, then build up slightly.”
If all else fails and it’s just “one of those days”, concede victory and change direction. “Sometimes it can be a lost battle fighting the frizz on really hot, humid days,” says Grisillo. “So always have a few bobby pins and a hair tie to whip it up instead.” He recommends also having a hair balm like Wella Professional EIMI Perfect Me on hand to help nourish and tame the fly-aways. “Pull into a soft ponytail or bun and then use a hot iron to just tame the surface of your hair, or the parts that might frame the face and be visible. This helps create the illusion of having a tamed style without battling the entire head.”
Thankfully headbands and hairpins are on the sartorial radar, so should you wish to roll with the frizz, consider them the stylish (and easy) option to remedy fly-aways. Or, if you get really desperate, reach for a bucket hat – the quickest way to fix a bad hair day/cure all manner of (hair) ills.