Humidity hair hacks: how to fight the frizz
Has anyone else's hair gone completely haywire this summer?
Shout-out to all you fellow frizzy, fuzzy-haired ladies who have been sporting an odd-looking mop of fuzz on your heads these last few months of hot, humid weather. My own barnet, when left completely to its own devices, has been a not-so-gorgeous-looking frizz ball at best, or, to put it more prettily - I've had a serious dose of Humidity Hair.
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What has caused my Bad Hair Season? As any poor hair stylist that had to work with my 'do during my modelling years will tell you, I have a fuzzy head of hair that seems to sport a permanent halo of frizz, even with professional help.
I also added balayage highlights this year (which I love - but hair colourants do definitely dehydrate our hair, no matter what) and the humidity and heat this summer have combined to make me look like I've had a shock to my system!
So, what is frizz? Frizzy hair is mostly caused by a lack of moisture in our hair, but humidity also contributes to it. Our hair loses moisture throughout the day, so half way through our day, the cuticle of our hair - the outermost layer on our strands - opens up and lets the outside air in, creating a frizzy appearance.
To get some sleek-looking shine back to my locks, I've road-tested some frizz-busting hair helpers and found some brilliant products to inject some hydration (without the grease) into my 'do.
Here I'm listing some top tips that work for me, and hopefully for anyone else sporting a Humidity Hair Head this season.
Ask the Expert: Tori Keane
Hair stylist and blogger
Why does hair go frizzy in summer?
Frizz is caused by heat or damp in the air. If you have drier hair, it is more likely to absorb moisture. When moisture is absorbed, it swells the hair cuticle and pushes out the hair shaft, making the hair look fluffy and frizzy. Using a conditioner such as Mane 'n Tail Deep Moisturizing coats the hair shaft and keeps outside moisture away.
Which hair type/colour is most susceptible to frizz?
Artificially coloured hair is drier and so more susceptible, particularly overprocessed or bleached hair. A lot of darker colourants now contain conditioning agents, though, so will combat frizz.
How do you fight frizz in short hair?
Shorter hair is actually easier to deal with than longer hair when it comes to frizz, as using serums and gels can make long hair greasy after a while. Depending on the length of your hair, de-frizz using wax or spray.
Your top tips on tackling frizz without resorting to heated products?
A good regime is as important for your hair as it is for your skin. Find a range that works for you and stick to it. Mix it up a bit if you feel your hair needs something a little different due to change of seasons or hormonal times. I use Mane 'n Tail Herbal Essentials as my everyday go-to shampoo followed by either its Herbal Essentials or Deep Moisturizing conditioner, depending on whether I've to do my hair a lot for a shoot or TV appearance. Then once a week (usually Sunday) I give it a good cleanse. This sets it up for whatever styling I need to do with it for the week ahead.
Top tips to help ease the friction
✦Wash your hair less often to help keep it naturally hydrated (but brush your hair more
often to help distribute the natural oils all the way through the hair shaft).
✦Let hair dry 90pc naturally before blow-drying: too much focused hot air dehydrates it.
✦Apply a hair mask once a week, and a nourishing leave-in treatment or dry oil daily.
✦Sleep on a silk pillowcase (I promise, this works). Silk protects hair, unlike creased cotton, which tugs it. Cotton also absorbs moisture from hair, causing more breakage.
✦Put product in your hair prior to your workout as the sodium in sweat can dehydrate it.
✦If you have short, fine or slightly wavy hair, use a lightweight spray serum, like Kérastase
Discipline Fluidissime, from ends to mid-shaft but avoiding roots; €25, from millies.ie
Six of the best: frizz-killing hair heroes
Best for super-straight hair
For people with naturally super-straight hair that may lean towards lank roots but frizzy ends, try this hair-strengthening spray. Used daily on dry hair, it will definitely give you a few more days out of your blow-dry. Mane 'n Tail Hair Strengthener, €13, from Boots and pharmacies nationwide.
Best for short, dry hair
When you have shorter, finer hair, some leave-in, anti-frizz hair products are just way too heavy and leave hair greasy. The fix? Use less product and choose a super-weightless, non-greasy version such as this one, which is based on plant extracts. Phyto 7, €20, from pharmacies nationwide and cosmeticsonline.ie
Best for frizz- free drying
If you're short of time in the mornings (who isn't?) with little patience for washing and blow-drying your hair every day, this hot brush will tame and smooth dry hair in a jiffy - just plug it in and wait for it to heat then brush dry hair as normal; the heat will banish all frizzy, fuzzy hair in seconds. GHD Glide, €169, from salons nationwide and ghdhair.com
Best moisture mask
This intensive treatment, with certified organic shea butter which is moisturising for hair and scalp, "superfruits", marula oil and biotin (said to promote hair growth and offer protection from the elements), will last you aeons. Shea Moisture Superfruit Complex Hair Masque, €17.95, pharmacies nationwide.
Best for fast de-frizzing
These portable frizz-defying sheets (set of 15) are your new secret weapon for banishing humidity fuzz. Just swipe from roots to ends of hair to eliminate static and tame frizz. Ouai Anti-Frizz Hair Sheets, €24, from Debenhams, Arnotts, cultbeauty.co.uk and theouai.co.uk
This budget beaut is jam-packed with keratin and castor oil to help reduce the appearance of split ends, reduce breakage from brushing and inject much-needed moisture into hydration-starved hair. I only use the teeniest amount to successfully fight frizz. L'Oréal Elvive Dream Lengths No Haircut Cream Leave-In, €5.30, from pharmacies/stores nationwide.