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How Do I Deal with Curly Frizzy Hair?

By J. Beam
Updated May 17, 2024
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Curly hair by no means has to be synonymous with frizzy hair, but the two often go hand in hand. Naturally curly hair is often drier and coarser than its straight counterpart. While scientists have discovered the exact genetic cause for curly hair, it doesn’t change the fact that curly hair is often frizzy and even unmanageable. Most people with curly frizzy hair couldn’t care less about the science; they just want a way to manage their hair. Numerous hair care experts have chimed in on this topic over the years, but a few sensible approaches to curly hair care have stuck.

The best thing anyone can do for curly frizzy hair is to provide it with plenty of moisture and avoid harsh, drying chemicals. For this reason, the type of shampoo and conditioner used is of vital importance. Avoid shampoos with sulfates, harsh detergents that provide more damage than help for curly hair. Sulfates are found in the vast majority of marketed shampoos, so look for products that are labeled or coded as sulfate-free. When it comes to conditioners, sulfate isn’t the problem, but some experts believe silicone is. Silicone is artificial and believed to actually build up and encase the hair shaft, preventing moisturizers and conditioners from getting through. Look for conditioners that contain natural botanicals for conditioning and condition hair every time you wash or wet it.

In addition to cleansing and conditioning products, styling products are important to managing curly frizzy hair. Leave-in conditioners without silicone, styling creams rather than gels, and serums to reduce frizz are all popular products. Finding one or more of these products is simple, but finding one or more that actually work is another matter. The key is in the ingredients. In addition to avoiding sulfates and silicone, avoid alcohol. Alcohol is drying and curly frizzy tresses are usually dry enough. Avoid excessive heat during the styling process by allowing hair to dry naturally if possible or using a diffuser if not.

After shampooing and conditioning, hair styling products that provide protection from heat styling and serums that eliminate frizz without weight or buildup are very useful. Keep in mind the more you touch, tug, and otherwise mess with curly frizzy hair, the more frizzy it becomes. Absorbing excess moisture with a cotton t-shirt or towel, avoiding excessive rubbing, and allowing hair to air dry will result in reduced frizz. If flat ironing, be sure to apply a moisturizing serum to finished hair. Always keep in mind that curly hair can never be over-conditioned or moisturized.

While all the right products are essential to managing curly frizzy hair, the right hair cut is a boon as well. Find a good stylist, preferably one who has naturally curly hair of their own or at least extensive experience at cutting it. The combination of carefully chosen hair care products and a high-quality hair cut will go a long way towards managing even the curliest, frizziest of hair.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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