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How to Tame Lifelong Frizzy Curly Hair

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the frizzy state of your naturally curly hair? It’s been haunting you all of your life and you cannot figure out how to tame your frizzy locks. To establish a real strategy to tame your frizzy hair, you must first understand what causes your hair’s frizz factor.

Why Your Curly Hair Is Frizzy

why curly hair gets frizzy

First, did you know that dry hair or hair that lacks adequate moisture is at the greatest risk for becoming a frizzy mess? Frizzy or “poofy” hair occurs as a direct result of your hair’s insatiable quest for moisture. Those with curly or coily hair have a hair structure that is naturally drier than straight hair, boosting its risk for a frizzy state significantly.

When this mass of bountiful curls confronts humidity or a humid air mass, it becomes a frizzy mess that is very difficult to tame. Your curls and drier hair cannot stop itself from soaking in the air’s moisture, thus eliciting the appearance of an untamed, poofy mess.

There are a few things that can exacerbate your poof:

  • Heat: The excessive application of heat through blow-drying or curling/flat ironing can also contribute to a hair texture that’s drier than it was originally. This creates an increased risk for frizzy hair.
  • Towel rubbing: After shampooing and conditioning, putting your hair through a vigorous towel rubbing session can also contribute to your frizz. Towel drying can raise hair cuticle shingles and break them right off, damaging your hair and disrupting efforts you’ll make to seal in moisture thereafter.
  • Hot water: Yes, very warm water on your scalp can be so relaxing, but it also raises your hair cuticles. When they are raised, your hair gets frizzy and tangled.
  • Brushing: Brushes should go nowhere near dry curls. Curls are curls because they clump together when moisturized. When you brush out your curls, they become dry and frizzy.

How to Tame Frizzy Hair

So, now you know a few of the reasons why hair tends to become frizzy. What can you do? Believe it or not, all is not lost. You can take many actions to win the war against frizzy hair.

Here are six ways to tame your frizzy hair.

1. Air Dry When Possible to Reduce the Risk of Over-drying Your Hair.

hair plopping to tame curly hair frizz

Avoid blow-drying your hair, as it can dry it out. Instead, you can create incredible, frizz-free curls by plopping. Plopping dries your hair naturally. To try this method, start with soaking wet hair.After raking product through it, accordion your hair into a t-shirt. Leave the t-shirt on to absorb excess water for about twenty minutes. Next, release and allow your hair to air dry without touching it. You’ll be amazed at the results.

2. Avoid Hair Products that Contain Alcohol Denat.

So that includes dry shampoo and some gels and hairsprays. Some alcohols are fatty and moisturizing but not denatured alcohol. Alcohol denat can be very drying to your hair structure, creating a hopeless cycle of frizz.

Also, try to avoid petrochemicals like mineral oil, petrolatum, silicones and carbomer (major gel ingredient). Petrochemicals do not allow water to penetrate through them to the hair.

For that reason, these are great at fighting frizz in the short term. But they will dry your hair in the long run. 

3. Pre-shampoo, Applying Oil such as Argan or Coconut Oil to Your Hair.

apply oil before shampoo to tame frizzy curls

Coconut oil can help you in your battle to tame your frizzy hair when you use it as a pre-shampoo. Pre-shampoo oils need to stay on the hair for a minimum of two hours, and the longer, the better.

Coconut oil provides nutrients to the hair and helps keep the hair cuticle from getting damaged in the shampoo and detangling processes. When the hair cuticle is intact, the hair isn’t as porous and dry.

Argan oil or even some hair waxes or pomades, lightly applied, of course, can help your hair in your efforts to seal in moisture. It can also help to weigh down those frizzy stragglers that are trying to thwart your efforts toward frizz control. Remember, a little bit goes a long way!

4. Find Hair Products That are for Curly Hair.

This probably seems like an obvious step in taming frizzy curly hair, but focus your efforts on purchasing products specifically designed to establish and maintain healthy, curly hair.

Don’t forget, curly hair is drier than straight hair. Therefore, you will want to purchase hair care products that are moisture-rich or emollient-rich. Some of these products might include anti-frizz serum, hair masks or even a good leave-in conditioner whose duty it is to maintain moisture. Just make sure that there is at least one natural ingredient in the top five on the list–apart from water. The product should contain aloe vera or a rich, nourishing oil within the top five ingredients.

5. Don’t be product stingy.

If you find something that works well for your hair, use it! Don’t be stingy and try to use only a little when using more products that might tame your frizz. Curly hair products can be expensive, true. So always try to keep on the lookout for sales.

6. Evolve with the Seasons to Keep that Frizzy Hair Tamed!

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that those wonderful products that carried you through the summer months will also carry you through the winter months.

Do your research to find which products work best on your hair during summer months versus which products work best for your hair during winter.

While moisture-based gels may be great during the summer months, cream-based oils or hair butter products may work better on your hair during those drier winter months.

7. Alternate between a co-wash product and shampoo.

Shampoo is drying to curly hair. Even if the label claims it’s moisturizing, what they mean is that it’s less drying. But shampoo is a necessary evil to remove sweat and product buildup. That doesn’t mean you have to use it each time you cleanse, however.

Try a co-wash product for one cleanse and shampoo for the next. Co-washes build the moisture that frizzy curls are looking for mid-week.

8. Cover your hair when you sleep or try a silk pillowcase.

cover curly hair before sleep to tame frizz

It’s a luxurious feeling to sleep with your hair over the pillow. But if you’re doing that on a cotton pillowcase, you’re going to remain a frizz ball. Cover your hair with a satin bonnet at night, or at least try a satin or silk pillowcase.


My curly hair has frizz at the roots. Why?

It sounds like you’re not applying your conditioners and curl definers to the roots of your hair.


What can I do about curly hair with frizz around the face?

You can set them in place with hairspray on a toothbrush. Or just go for a new style and lay your edges flat on your face with a natural gel.


My curly hair is frizzy by the end of the day. Why?

Your hair products aren’t managing to lock enough moisture into your hair.


What are some good curly girl anti-frizz products?

If you have good moisturizing products, it’s not so much what you have as how you apply it. There are hundreds of curly girl-approved products, but just using one probably isn’t going to get you frizz-free. Try the LOC method, liquid-oil-cream. When you see the curls start to form after raking the products through, seal everything in with a gel.


What can I do about frizzy curly ends?

Those are split ends. You should probably cut them off.


Is there a curly girl-approved Frizz Ease?

John Frieda’s Frizz Ease is a silicone-based product that helps to tame flyaways. You can do the same thing with a mascara wand and castor oil, which has about the same texture as Frizz Ease.


How is it that I’m a curly girl who’s frizzy even when wet?

It sounds like your hair is low porosity. Consider using a heating cap while deep conditioning to allow moisturizing ingredients to enter your hair shaft.


How can I tame frizzy curly flyaway hair?

Try castor oil on a clean mascara wand to tame dry, flyaway hair.


What can I do about curly frizzy gray hair?

Gray hair seems to have a mind of its own. That’s because with age, the hair follicles produce less sebum to moisturize hair and lay it down. Try pre-shampoo treatments with coconut oil.


Is frizzy hair actually curly?

Sometimes frizzy hair is curly hair, but more often than not, it’s just dry hair of whatever curl pattern.


I have curly hair frizzy no matter what. How to tame it?

There are ways to tame frizzy hair, even if you’ve lived your whole life with it. Try some of the tips in this article, particularly the pre-poo treatment.


What is this curly hair frizz on top of my head?

That might be regular frizzy hair searching for moisture, or it could be static that’s making your hair stick up. A lot of times, though, what looks like frizz is new growth coming in, or hair that’s broken off and is now short.


Where can I get a good curly hair anti-frizz oil?

Most anti-frizz hair oils on the market contain a blend of natural oils and a blend of silicones. It’s actually the silicone that tames frizz in these formulas. If you want to use silicone, just know that moisture doesn’t actually penetrate it, so these anti-frizz oils are short-term treatments only.


What about a frizzy curly pixie cut?

A new pixie cut is the perfect way to tame the kind of frizz you get when your hair is damaged and breaking off.


Do I need a curly hair frizz routine?

If your hair is dry and frizzy, you can benefit from some of the tips in this article. Yes, they do form a routine. Dry hair doesn’t go away just like that.


What is a curly girl anti-frizz towel?

Try a microfiber towel to dry your curls instead of a cotton terry towel. The cotton fibers overdry your hair, making it frizzy at the outset after washing.


Why is my curly hair frizzy when straightened?

Straightening your dry locks is going to make them more dry. Yes, frizz will result.