"Frizz is caused by so many things we're not even aware of," says Adir Abergel, celebrity hair stylist and creative director of hair-care brand Virtue. Mainly, it's caused by a lack of moisture, which can lead to rough, bumpy cuticles, but another major cause, says Abergel, "is friction". This comes into play when we dry our hair, when we sleep on it, when we brush it and even when we go from hot to cold temperatures, aka chilly mornings and warm central heating. Sound familiar? Here's six things you can do to help smooth things along.
1. SWITCH TO A MICROFIBRE TOWEL
Towels aren't all that gentle on hair, and the back and forth motion when we rub hair dry can encourage it to tangle and frizz. The less motion you can use to dry it, the better. That's where microfibre towels come in. They're far more absorbent, which means you just need to wrap them around your hair and squeeze gently to dry, no rubbing or patting needed – which means things stay smooth. Aquis does a great version.
2. TRY SWAPPING TO SLS-FREE
Sodium laureth sulfate has become a bit of a Marmite product in the industry. In practice, it works as a heavy-duty cleanser and helps to give products the lather that leaves skin and hair feeling clean – it’s why many brands use it. The downside, however, is that it can be quite drying, which can cause problems for those prone to dry scalps or eczema and, of course, it can cause frizz (back to that lack-of-moisture thing). If you’re struggling to keep on top of frizz, try swapping to an SLS-free shampoo. I’ve been trying haircare brand Virtue, which recently launched in the UK. The whole range is SLS-free and packed full of protein-rich keratin. Not only does it give a more gentle wash, it helps to rebuild and restore hair so that it feels good as new. My favourite is the delicious-smelling Full Shampoo, which is volumising, so gives roots a bit of oomph, too.
3. USE A PADDLE BRUSH
Vigorous brushing can lift up our hair’s cuticles, causing it to frizz; it can also stretch the strands, causing breakage and damage. "Think of a new rope versus a frayed rope," says haircare brand Living Proof's senior chemist, Laura Trahan. "Which one is going to break? (The frayed one)". That’s not to say we should give up brushing entirely – a couple of days without a comb and I’d look like Chewbacca – but taking more care when doing it and using the right type of brush can help. Firstly, when brushing, you’re best off starting at the ends of your hair and gently working your way up. And, if you mainly use a brush while blow-drying, try using a vented paddle brush, which will allow the hot air to disperse more quickly to avoid damage. Philip Kingsley’s Vented Paddle Brush does exactly this, plus it has plastic prongs to help avoid scratching or tearing and, therefore, frizz.
4. GIVE A SILK PILLOWCASE A GO
It’s surprising how much our hair can frizz overnight, but it’s because when we sleep, we rub our heads and hair against our pillowcases. If you regularly wake up to frizz-ball hair for no apparent reason, it may be worth considering what pillowcase you use. Smoother pillowcases mean less friction and a silky version will provide slip and slide, and minimise rubbing. There’s lots of affordable options to choose from on Amazon, but, for a real treat, you could always invest in Slip pillowcases, which are made from 100% mulberry silk, come in a variety of pretty colours and wash well (so you can keep them for years).
5. AVOID BLOW-DRY-INDUCED FRIZZ
While lots of us will call on heat to help tame frizz, often it can have the opposite effect. Overheating hair with a blow-dryer can lead to a frazzled do. The trick is to reduce the heat, which means using a lower temperature setting and cutting down on blow-drying time. Living Proof’s genius Restore Smooth Blowout Concentrate is truly magic for this. Not only does it protect against heat of up to 230°C, it includes a whizzy, "speed-dry formula" that helps to significantly reduce drying time – it’s shaved a good five to seven minutes off my morning 20-minute hair-blitzing sessions. Use one pump for medium-length hair, half a pump for short hair and a pump and a half for long hair, and spread it evenly through damp lengths, avoiding your roots. The result is that it will save you time and leave hair looking much – MUCH – smoother.