Most curly-haired women hate frizz. We understand why, it impedes curl definition, can make hair look messy (even though you just styled it), and can make your strands more difficult to manage. However, frizz typically isn’t the primary issue but a symptom of a much larger problem.
While frizz can be caused by high humidity levels or natural hair care products with damaging ingredients like sulfates, the most common reason for frizz is dry, damaged hair. This is particularly true when it comes to tighter textures like Type 3C and Type 4A-4C hair.
Frizz control is not a one-size-fits-all problem and therefore, requires a much more tailored solution. Many hair care products, companies, and articles seek a solution to frizz but only tackle the frizz itself (by applying oil or gel to hair) but that doesn’t get to the root of the problem. Similarly, different curl patterns and hair types might require different methods or products. There are many ways to control frizz on curls and coils, like applying our lush Moisture Miracle Leave-In Conditioner, and we’ve rounded up our top 8 ways to manage frizz and help repair brittle, dry hair.
What Is Frizz?
First things first, what exactly is frizz? Essentially, frizziness is a collection of tangles and knots combined with a loss of curl or coil definition. Frizz usually appears around the top or crown of the head but can extend down the hair shaft as well. You can also get frizz around the ends of your hair but this can be easily combated by getting a quick trim.
While most frizz is a result of moisture or protein loss, there are typically two kinds of frizz: environment related and health related. Environmental factors like UV rays, heat, and humidity can cause frizz while health issues like hair damage or dryness can also contribute to frizziness.
Does Frizz Mean My Hair Is Damaged?
Not necessarily. Frizz is very common on curly or coily hair due to the unique structure of the hair cuticles. Tighter textures make it more difficult for moisture and sebum to travel down the hair shaft, resulting in dryness and brittleness. This is especially true for Type 4 hair textures.
While frizziness can be a sign of hair damage, it’s usually a signal that your strands need moisture and a little TLC. Frizz only means your hair is damaged when it’s combined with excessive breakage, shedding, and brittleness.
What Causes Frizz?
Hair frizz happens when the cuticle layer of your hair isn’t laying flat or if the inner fibers of your hair are exposed. The most common cause of frizz is when hair is dry and dehydrated. This makes the hair cuticle rough and unable to absorb moisture. Severe dehydration or damage also contributes to frizz as the outer layer of the hair cuticle becomes cracked and therefore, is even more vulnerable to dryness and damage.
If you already have dry hair, humidity makes the frizziness worse as the outer layers of your strands will gather moisture from the air but not absorb it into the hair shaft, instead it causes the outer layers to swell up, resulting in frizz.
Another common cause of frizz is using products that are overly harsh on your natural hair. These include formulas that contain parabens, sulfates, alcohols, or other harmful chemicals. These products can strip hair of it’s natural oils which will result in increased dryness…even if the formula claims to be hydrating. While there are numerous causes for hair frizz, it’s usually a combination of several environmental and health factors that contribute to this nuisance. In order to gain some frizz control for your natural texture, you should tackle both causes of frizz.
Frizz Control For Natural Black Hair
Managing frizzy or fried hair is a multi-level issue. It’s important that in order to find a long term solution to this problem you tackle the actual cause of the frizz and not just seek a quick fix. While it can be tempting to slather on some gel and call it a day, this will only end up doing more harm in the long run.
Instead, handle frizz the way you would a breakout. Masking a pimple in a thick concealer everyday isn’t fixing the actual zit or preventing future breakouts, it’s likely making the issue much worse. Similarly, be sure to take a gentle, caring approach in order to achieve healthy, hydrated, and frizz-free hair. Here are some of the top ways to control frizz in your natural hair.
Hydrate Your Hair
This is arguably the most important aspect of natural hair care. No matter what hair type or texture you have, you can always use more moisture. Start the hydration process internally by drinking enough water a day, typically 6-8 glasses. Next be sure to use only water based formulas with natural, nourishing ingredients like Coconut Oil, Argan Oil, Olive Oil, Aloe Vera, or honey. On wash day your hair is extra susceptible to moisture-loss meaning it’s incredibly important that you seal in all the moisture you can. Before shampooing use a pre-shampoo to gently detangle hair and prep it for washing. Then, after using shampoo and conditioner, massage your scalp and strands with a nourishing blend of African Pride 5 Essential Oils or our Hair & Scalp Sealing Oil which promotes hair growth and restores the natural nutrients your hair needs. Refresh hair in-between wash days by lightly spritzing with water and a leave-in conditioner.
Protective styles, whether you are fully natural or not, are integral to maintaining the overall health of your hair. From twists to braids, these chic styles protect your curls and coils from heat styling, breakage, and environmental damage while contributing to moisture and length retention.
Looking to style hair into a wash and go? Be sure to define your curls and coils using a frizz-fighting formula that won’t dry out your strands. Our Moisture Miracle Coconut Oil & Baobab Oil Leave-In Cream gives hair lasting moisture while protecting it from breakage and our Flaxseed Oil Curling Cream helps define curls and coils, leaving hair soft and manageable.
Swap Your Towel
A simple fix that can make a huge difference! Instead of drying your wet hair with a regular towel opt for a microfiber one or cotton t-shirt. These not only speed up the drying process but heop reduce frizz by leaving hair cuticles undisturbed.
Even when drying with these effective super-absorbant fabrics, avoid wringing, rubbing, or combing through soaking wet hair. This created friction, breakage, and damage that can lead to frizz. Instead, gently scrunch out water with your fingers and wait until hair is damp to comb through it.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Most natural hair types and textures don’t respond well to sulfates, alcohol, parabens, petroleum, and other harsh chemicals. Unfortunately, these things are often found lurking in many natural hair care products. Beyond not being great for your overall hair health, these harsh ingredients strip the scalp of its natural oils and sebum needed to moisturize your strands.
Look In Your Kitchen Cabinet
Honey is naturally two things, an emollient which is a smoothing agent, and a humectant, which is a moisturizing agent. Both of these elements make it one of the best ingredients for natural hair and the perfect ingredient for managing frizz.
Humectants take moisture from the air by bonding with water molecules and seal that moisture into the scalp and dry hair strands. Honey’s emollients also smooth hair follicles, which adds a shine that will keep your curls poppin’. You can find honey in several of our Moisture Miracle products. Read more about the 7 Ways Honey Can Transform Your Natural Hair.
Avocado oil, Coconut oil, and Olive oil are just a few other great natural ingredients that can be found in your kitchen to help tackle frizz and hydrate hair.
Protect Hair At Night
Using a satin pillowcase or bonnet helps to keep your strands full of moisture as satin won’t damage your natural hair, cause tangling, split ends, or frizz. Bonus points, satin is also known to help your skin breathe. It’s one of the easiest ways to ensure you wake up flawless.
Another important step to add to your nighttime routine is preserving your protective style or loose locks. Pineapple hair your hair or loosely braid it to avoid knots and tangles while you sleep. Need more tricks for caring for hair overnight? Check out 8 Ways To Protect Your Natural Hair At Night.
Deep conditioning hair adds vital moisture and nutrients back into your natural hair. It also helps prevent damage, softens strands, and restores shine. You can deep condition hair by massaging your regular conditioner into freshly shampooed hair and leaving on for 10-15 minutes before gently rinse out.
For an extra boost of moisture you can apply a targeted hair mask like our MoistureRestore Treatment, apply a plastic shower cap and let sit for 30 minutes. For best results, deep condition once a week.
Apply Moisture Miracle
Leave-In Conditioner: Refresh hair after washing, in-between wash days, or whenever hair feels slightly frizzy or dry by spritzing hair with a lightweight leave-in conditioner. Our Moisture Miracle Coconut Milk & Honey Leave-In Conditioner is formulated with nourishing natural ingredients like Castor Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, Olive Oil, and more to replenish moisture, add shine and soften hair.
All hair regardless of type or texture will experience frizz and flyaways at some point. If you’re out there enjoying life, the appearance of your hair shouldn’t be the primary thing you’re worried about. However, managing frizz is about more than just aesthetics, it’s about keeping your hair healthy and happy.
African Pride products are specifically formulated for every type of natural hair. Our ultimate goal is to keep your curls and coils hydrated so you can spend less time worrying about how your hair looks or feels and more time enjoying life. Our best-selling Moisture Miracle collection has everything your hair type needs to restore moisture, refresh dry or damaged strands, and maintain lush, healthy hair.
Looking for more ways to add moisture to your hair? Check out our Top Tips To Keep Natural Hair Moisturized and learn how best to wash braided styles in Braid Cleanser Hacks: 5 Frizz-Free Tips For Washing Braids.