Every year around this time, my hair gives up. Months of controlling itself, despite humidity, heat and sun exposure, simply mount up when August's typically intense temps and moisture put it over the edge. That's because dry hair sucks up the moisture in the air, which causes the hair shaft to expand. Hello, frizz!
For hair that's hot, but not bothered, by summer's most intense days, I've rounded up the top 5 tips for fighting frizz and navigating the season of sunshine flawlessly.
1. Shampoo less
It's no coincidence that freshly shampooed hair has the most body and bounce. That's because shampooing strips hair of the natural oils that keep it tame. To reduce frizz, shampoo hair two to three times per week and use a sulfate-free hydrating shampoo such as Mixed Chicks' Sulfate Free Shampoo, $14.99 at salons or online at mixedchicks.net.
2. Condition more
When you do wash hair, treat it with a rich hair conditioner and leave the conditioner in for 10 minutes (unless hair is ultra-fine). Living Proof's No Frizz Conditioner, sold for $10 at Sephora, hydrates hair, blocks humidity and protects locks so that you can go longer between washes. Post-wash, be sure to blot hair gently with a microfiber towel; don't rub hair dry with a typical bath towel and don't wrap hair in a towel — both can cause hair breakage and encourage frizz.
3. Weekly hair maintenance
Once a week, spend a few extra minutes treating hair for seven days of no-frizz style. For thick and coarse hair, opt for a deep conditioner such as Miss Jesse's Super Sweetback Treatment (ideal for long hair) or Rapid Recovery Treatment (both $9 and up at missjessies.com). Super-damaged hair will benefit most from leaving the treatment in overnight. Fine hair does best with a hair mask applied once a week to the ends of hair only; I recommend Frederic Fekkai's Protein Rx Anti-Breakage Treatment Mask ($30 at fekkai.com).
4. Beat the heat
Let's face it, many of us couldn't survive without our flatirons, blow dryers or curling irons, but that doesn't mean that we can't protect hair from styling damage. This crucial step is the one most often skipped by otherwise smart women; don't even think of styling your hair with heat without first applying a heat-protective product. I swear by Pureology's Fortifying Heat Spray, which protects hair from heat styling tools up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Seal the deal
Experts use products that seal hair cuticles to fight frizz. That's why a product that acts as a protective coat for locks is the final step in fighting frizz. I'm a fan of Moroccanoil, which calls upon silicone, among other ingredients, to seal the cuticle, giving the appearance of sleek, smooth, frizz-free hair. It bears repeating that frizz is caused by the absorption of moisture and silicone prevents the absorption of moisture. Three Moroccanoil products currently on my vanity are Curl Control Cream ($22) for curly and wavy hair; Moroccanoil Original Oil Treatment ($41) and Moroccanoil Light Treatment ($41).
And remember, on summer's most brutal days, the key to great looking locks is embracing your natural hair with these five tips to celebrate, not change, the true texture of your hair.
— Carolyn Brundage is the founder of tampabay.prettycity.com, a guide to the best in local beauty. Need beauty advice? Tweet up with Carolyn on Twitter @tampabaypretty.