The secret to bouncy curls without any frizz lies in your hair routine. Here are some tips and tricks to keep that curly mane as gorgeous as ever…
A bit of moisture in the air and my hair goes poof, for I have been cursed with curly locks since the day I was born. And the staunchest enemy of curly hair is frizz that refuses to be tamed and is finally hidden behind a plethora of hair accessories. Bunching up your hair into a ponytail or under a scarf may take you through the day, but frizz needs to be tackled at the root itself.
What causes frizz?
Damaged hair: Women with wavy or curly hair tend to be rough with their hair – simply because kinky hair gets tangled quite a bit, and detangling it becomes more of a war between the brush and the strands. This results in breakaways – hair strands that are broken somewhere between the roots to the tip.
Static charge: Shampoos work by stripping the sebum, the natural oils of the hair. This leaves the outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, exposed. The cuticle has a negative charge and if you already have damaged hair, adjacent hair strands begin to repel each other (chemistry 101: positive attracts negative and vice versa while positive-positive and negative-negative repel) and rise up. If you have extensive hair breakage, then the hair will rise up at different levels – resulting in frizzy hair. Excessive brushing can further add to static charge, as can wool and winter headgear.
Humidity: Humidity is frizzy hair’s worst enemy – the dry strands soak up the moisture from the environment, making the hair swell up which creates the “big” hair effect.
Tips to contain frizz:
Oil up: Oils like coconut, jojoba and olive have been scientifically proven to reduce and prevent hair damage. One simple frizz remedy is to heat equal measures of coconut and castor oil and drop in some curry leaves–once the leaves sputter and smoke, turn off the heat. Strain and let the oil cool. Massage this all over your scalp and dab a little on the hair as well. Cover with a shower cap for an hour, or leave overnight if you can – shampoo and condition, as usual, the next day for visibly softer curls.
Choose your shampoo well: All shampoos basically have the same chemicals in them, to be able to clean your hair better without leaving any residue. For frizzy hair, you can always choose a shampoo that proclaims “anti-frizz” or is specifically meant for curly hair. Avoid shampoos meant for ‘oily’ hair and use ones that proclaim hydration for dry hair instead. Any and all products that are sulfate - and paraben-free will be doing your mane some good.
Condition, condition, condition: A shampoo strips the hair of its oils and leaves the hair cuticle exposed, thus making it more prone to damage. A conditioner soothes the hair shaft and effectively closes the cuticle, making the hair appear softer, smoother and more ‘tamed’! Remember to look for conditioners that promise both moisture and protein to really lock in the hydration. Deep-condition your mane at a salon or at home, as you prefer. A simple home remedy is to use olive-oil mayonnaise: just dab all over your scalp and hair, and put on a shower cap. Keep on for 30 minutes and then shampoo and condition as usual.
Rinse with cool water: Always rinse your hair a final time with the coolest water you can stand – this will close the hair cuticle and let you avoid frizz that little bit more!
Brush while still damp: Wet hair is prone to damage – the hair stretches more and is easily broken. But detangling dry curly hair will only make them frizzier. The solution? Gently pat hair dry with a towel and while still damp, dab on a detangling product (a couple of olive oil or castor oil drops will work perfectly) on the ends and then run a wide-toothed comb through your hair, starting from the ends and moving slowly upwards.
Feed your hair: As much as hair masks will work on the hair, you need to make sure your diet feeds the follicles too. Vitamins B, C and E, along with enough proteins from lentils, eggs and meat (amino acids) will improve your hair. Hair is dead tissue (which is why we feel no pain when we get a haircut) and is basically made up of a protein – keratin. You need vitamins and amino acids for this protein itself to be strong.
Tame with products: Anti-frizz serums or leave-ins, curl protect gels and sprays are all good and the more organic they are, the better. They further smooth down the hair cuticle, giving your hair a much more ‘groomed’ look. If out of products, dab a bit of the conditioner you use on your palm, blend in a few drops of olive oil and spread on your hair, avoiding hair close to the scalp. Style as usual.
So the golden rules: once your hair is dry, keep the comb away and always remember to oil your hair twice a week… Happy curly locks to you!