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Summer is already next month, which means it's time to start pulling out your cutest sundresses, shorts and sandals. For those with curly hair, though, that also means it's time to break out your strongest frizz-fighting products. While the constant sun and heat is sure to provide relief after a particularly long winter, it can dry out curls and cause frizz.
Instead of just accepting frizzy hair as a given, Shop TODAY spoke with some of the hair industry's top pros. We're determined to fight back against this pesky beauty woe with a vengeance, and are even arming you with some top-notch products to help you in your frizz-fighting journey.
Best shampoos and conditioners for frizzy curly hair, according to experts
Ever wonder where frizz actually comes from? Holly Dear of House of Dear Hair Salon explained that it's related to your hair's pH balance.
"When hair is dehydrated or the pH balance is raised, this causes the cuticle to open and causes the hair to frizz," she said. "You can help maintain the pH balance by using proper shampoos and conditioners."
Hairstylist Michelle Cleveland echoed Dear's sentiments and recommended starting your frizz-fighting journey in the shower with this hydrating shampoo from Briogeo. "It's sulfate-free and hydrates and cleanses without stripping hair of natural oils," she said. Lucky for us, it's also available as a hair mask!
When you find a shampoo and conditioner that work wonders for your locks, it's always worth spending a bit extra. "For natural waves or curls, a curl enhancing shampoo and conditioner will definitely help bring out natural waves and body," hairstylist Marilee Albin said.
This curl enhancing duo is perfect for dry, frizzy locks, and it's no wonder that the stylist adores it. The creamy shampoo enhances texture and volume without turning curls crunchy while the conditioner adds volume, hydration and softness.
Shampoos are one of the most basic hair care products around, but they sure can work wonders for your frizz-fighting routine. "There are plenty of smoothing shampoos that treat frizz. I have found that anything super hydrating that helps moisturize and seal the cuticle works the best," hairstylist and founder of Cooper West Hollywood Cory Aaron Scott said.
The stylist recommended this smoothing duo that cleanses and calms a wild mane while nixing frizz. One of the key ingredients is pink pomelo, a citrus fruit that's full of vitamins A, C and B1. We also dig the fact that both products are free of sulfates and parabens.
If you've never given shampoo and conditioner bars a try, now might just be the perfect time. Michael Dueñas, hairstylist and consulting creative director, named this set as one of his go-tos when he's fighting off frizz.
"It has colloidal oatmeal in it as a main ingredient, which helps add immense amounts of moisture to the hair. The more moisture you have, the less frizz you will have. Plus it is plastic-free — what else could you want?" he said.
Dueñas used the word "phenomenal" to describe the frizz-fighting abilities of R+Co's cassette line. The shampoo hydrates, adds shine and prevent breakage, while the conditioner softens, smooths and defines curls.
"With a heavy amount of lightweight oils, this product packs a ton of moisture and control. One of the top ingredients is aloe leaf extract, which has been known to tame all types of frizz and curls," he explained.
Best leave-in products for frizzy curly hair, according to experts
Dehydrated curls are frizzy curls, and Cleveland emphasized that this annoying hair blunder is often totally preventable. "The best approach to avoiding frizzy hair is to layer on the moisturizing products," she explained.
When she wants to nip frizz in the bud, the stylist reaches for this Black-owned product that's perfect for defining natural hair. "This is a great product to help stretch out those super kinky curls while providing an added layer of moisture throughout the day. It has shea butter and avocado oil for super high shine as well," the stylist told us.
There are far too many causes of frizz to list here without boring you, but these are a few that Scott highlighted when we spoke with him: "Weather can be a main factor (humidity is its worst enemy.) Another thing that causes frizz is friction from towel-drying your hair too hard with a towel made from inexpensive fabric or fussing with your hair while it air dries."
Scott swears by this Virtue styling cream that hydrates, softens and adds shine. Not sure how much to use? He had a few tips for that, too: "Hair texture will determine how much product to use in every step of this frizz treatment process. For fine hair, use about a nickel-size amount of product. For thick and coarse hair, use about a quarter-size amount of product. And anything beyond that, use about a half dollar-size amount of product."
Anything from weather to genetics can cause frizziness, but you don't have to just accept it as a part of life. Bianca Hillier, colorist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles, recommends keeping a leave-in product on hand to help fend off frizz.
"[It's a 10 is] a restorative, deep conditioning treatment that delivers instant results. It's an ideal solution for smoothing hair, eliminating frizz, restoring shine and enhancing natural body," she told us.
Having trouble fighting frizz when it appears? Get ahead of the issue! "Moisture-based products such as masks and leave-in products are a great and easy way to combat frizz before it ever happens," celebrity hairstylist Jill Buck said.
Hairstylist Sophia Porter agreed and said she digs this leave-in conditioner that's chock-full of organic fruit extracts and herbs that hydrate hair as it smooths the cuticle. "It's free of aloe, protein and heavy ingredients," she told us. "It also works wonderfully on low-porosity hair."
Ever wonder why curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair? Porter broke it down for us, explaining that the oils from the scalp don't travel down curls as easily. The mane maven named this curl cream as one of her "all-time" favorites and revealed why it's so special.
"It has medium hold with a soft finish that tames frizz. This cream is very conditioning and helps lock in hydration from your leave-in conditioner," she said. As an added bonus, it also helps add definition and bounce!
The frizz prevention process might start in the shower, but once you start to blow dry or diffuse your hair you should also take steps to help keep frizz from popping up. Albin suggests using a heat protectant like this one all over wet hair.
The multitasking product shields strands from heat and fends off frizz for up to nine hours, all while leaving hair looking polished. In other words, we'll take two please!
Albin gravitates towards styling creams that have the consistency of a body lotion and named this as one of her go-tos. The lightweight product softens and defines curls while adding a healthy dose of shine.
The stylist also had a refreshing tip to share to help us in our ongoing battle against frizz. "If you need to place in a part or tame a cowlick, use your fingers or a wide tooth comb. Less messing and touching will really reduce frizz overall," she instructed.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Decode your curl pattern once and for all with these expert tips
- 22 ways to refresh your beauty routine this summer
- 13 stylist-recommended blow dryers to make every day a good hair day