I've been battling frizz since sometime shortly after birth when my thick, curly-meets-wavy hair grew in. Even as a kid, I never had that silky smooth childhood hair that most have until grade school — mine was ready for an oil treatment basically from Day One.
For the past several years, I’ve been embracing my big, curly 'do and rocking my natural volume, especially on hot summer days. But the frizz? The frizz is a whole other struggle. Five years ago I would’ve just relied on a keratin treatment, but now that I’m a little older and wiser, I’m doing my best to limit the number of harsh chemicals I put on my head (it's next to my brain!).
Here are four gentle methods I tested to keep frizz from taking over my life:
Have you heard of the plopping movement? Apparently, it’s a trend in the beauty blogger community where you gently wrap your hair in a soft cotton T-shirt turban-style, before heading to bed for the night. You quite literally “plop” your waves or curls on the top of your head by wrapping a T-shirt around it and securing by tucking the excess material under one of the folds.
Verdict: Let me break this down with some honesty for you. This is either for people who don’t frizz unless they’re in a literal steam room, or it’s some type of Internet pyramid scheme that I have yet to figure out. Either way, this did 100 percent zero for me, and I was entirely uncomfortable sleeping in a makeshift Hanes turban. Pass!
2. The avocado slick
Let me just preface with this: I spent many of my childhood years in the depths of the hot Floridian jungle and learned a thing or two from my girlfriends. If you take a nearly overripe avocado, scoop out about half a spoon of oily green flesh and then rub it vigorously between your palms, it somehow magically emulsifies to a perfect smoothing balm. True story.
Verdict: It still works like magic, but does weigh down the hair a little. Also, you can’t sleep in it and you end up smelling like the back of a DIY salad restaurant. All-in-all, it’s a great emergency or beachside touchup option.
3. The non-keratin salon treatment
A while back I heard about a treatment called Supersilk, which is supposed to be the modern, keratin-free answer to salon-level smoothing. I was excited because keratin treatments scare me with all their associated health risks, and even a lot of the “keratin-free” formulas still have 3 percent keratin in the bottles (which apparently is low enough for them to claim being free of the chemical, sigh). Supersilk is popping up at boutique salons around the country and promises to be a safer, easier approach. Then, of course, there's the price, which can range from about $65-$100 for the express treatment (mine cost $80).
Verdict: It took roughly the same amount of time as any regular wash and blowdry, but the product was flat ironed into my hair. There was a gentle suggestion to not wash for a day or two, as opposed to the usual strict don’t-even-think-about-going-any-place-damp for a week that keratin typically demands. I had a gentler form of the treatment that's meant to last only 2-3 weeks, but I gave it a good test by spending an entire week going to spin classes and walking through the disgustingly humid streets of NYC without giving my hair a second thought. The second and third time I washed my hair, I noticed that I was putting less effort into grooming, but eventually by the fourth wash, the effect nearly vanished.
I consider this treatment like a gel manicure — not an everyday necessity but a huge helping hand before vacations, long trips, or times when you just know you won’t have any extra energy for fighting frizz.
4. The drugstore solution
Just about every drugstore shampoo line has their own version of a frizz-taming formula. Frankly, it’s a bit overwhelming, so I decided to try an after-shampooing solution like a leave-in balm or cream. After what felt like a lifetime roaming through the aisles and asking for suggestions from another gal, I settled on John Frieda Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon.
Verdict: This product is ideal for rubbing between palms and re-twirling already existing curls that may have separated during the evil frizz-creation process (also called “walking outside”). While it didn’t do much when I applied it to wet hair pre-blowdry, it was a perfect little tube to throw in my purse for smoothing out the little baby hairs that pop out of ponytails and buns, as well as an excellent way to tame and seal the ever-aggressive ends of my hair. It seems this Goldilocks has found her frizzy hair fix.