Frizz is mostly caused by a lack of moisture in your hair, but humidity can also contribute to it. "Your hair loses moisture throughout the day, so midday, the cuticle [the outermost layer on your strands] opens up and lets the outside air in, creating a frizzy mess," celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend explains. Townsend, New York-based stylist Mark Garrison, and Ursula Stephen, who does Rihanna's and Kerry Washington's hair, offer up their tricks for fighting frizz.
1. Choose a sulfate-free, glycerin-packed shampoo.
Look for one with glycerin high up in the ingredient list (the closer ingredients are to the top of the list, the more concentrated they are), since it helps combat frizz by penetrating the hair shaft and hydrating it from the inside out. It also creates a protective coating over the outside of the hair shaft so it doesn't break, says Townsend.
2. Don't skip conditioner.
It's all about depositing moisture in your hair, or else the cuticle will open up to let moisture in and turn your hair from smooth to frizzy. So, look for a conditioner that contains glycerin as well as other hydrating ingredients (like shea butter), and apply it from midshaft down to your ends, keeping it away from your roots if you're worried about it weighing down your hair.
3. Twice a week, only use conditioner on your hair instead of shampooing it.
You might think your hair needs to be shampooed several times a week, but it doesn't. Every two days, apply conditioner instead of shampoo and then rinse it out. Conditioner contains a small amount of surfactants (what shampoo uses to cleanse your hair), so it will clean it without stripping your hair of its natural oils. Garrison suggests using a lightweight conditioner if you have fine hair,
4. Use a hydrating mask once a week.
Doing a special treatment at least once a week, especially in colder months when the air is dry, will help fill any holes in your hair shaft that soak up outside moisture and contribute to frizz.
5. Let your hair dry 90 percent of the way before you blow-dry.
Too much hot air focused directly on your strands dehydrates it, making it frizzy— especially during the winter months when the air is less humid. If you have straight to slightly wavy hair, let your hair air dry 90 percent of the way, Garrison says, and then use a dryer on it for the last 10 percent.
6. Brush your hair regularly to help distribute its natural oils.
Hanging your head upside down and brushing your hair with a boar bristle brush helps distribute the oils from your scalp/roots onto the rest of your hair, keeping your hair hydrated and helping to block out humidity, Garrison says.
7. Keep straight hair from getting frizzy by brushing dry oil through it with a mixed bristle brush.
While your hair is still wet, apply a moisture-locking dry oil from your ends to midway up your hair shaft; oil acts as a barrier, keeping liquids from penetrating. Once your hair is 90 percent dry, use a round brush with mixed bristles (the plastic ones pick up the hair and pull it into the boar bristles for added tension, which makes the hair super straight) to seal the cuticle for a smooth finish. You can also flat-iron your hair after it's dry—nothing will seal the cuticle like intense heat, Garrison advises.
8. De-frizz wavy hair by putting it in a bun after it's dry or defining your waves with a curling iron.
After you've shampooed, conditioned, and applied the dry oil from ends to midshaft, blow-dry your hair, and either put it in a bun if you want looser waves (the frizz-fighting happens as your hair cools, when your cuticle locks into place) or define your curls with a barrel iron. Townsend says the heat will keep the frizz at bay.
9. Tame frizzy, thick, coarse, and curly hair with a cream hydrator and a diffuser.
After you've shampooed and conditioned your hair, while it's still wet, apply a cream-based product from root to tip. When you apply the product, instead of rubbing it in, warm the product between your palms and fingers, and squeeze it onto your hair. Then, wrap your curls around your fingers to shape them exactly how you want, and let your strands air dry. You can also use a diffuser on low speed, high heat (aiming it downward to keep it from ruffling the cuticle) to dry it.
To smooth textured hair, after you apply the cream formula, section your hair into quadrants and blow one area at a time dry. Use a boar bristle brush since it gives you the best tension for straight strands.
10. Throw a product in your purse for touch-ups.
If you have fine or slightly wavy hair, use a lightweight spray serum from your ends to your midshaft. Keep it away from the roots to keep them from getting oily. You can also put your hair into a braid to keep your hair controlled and contained, if you don't have any products handy.
If you have thicker, coarse, or curly hair, and are wearing your natural texture, Stephen recommends a quick-drying foaming wrap lotion since highly textured hair needs a lot of moisture to keep the cuticle flat and the hair hydrated. If you've blown your textured hair straight, a frizz serum is your best bet for touch-ups. Apply from root to tip to tame flyaways.
11. If you get caught in the rain and your hair poufs out, hair serum will be your BFF.
Apply to finer hair (or a cream or oil formula for textured hair) over your fuzzy trouble spots and secure it into a bun while it's still damp to smooth it back down.
12. Use hand or body lotion to tame a frizzy ponytail.
If your hair is in a ponytail and the sides start to frizz up, smooth them down with hairspray. But if the back of your pony turns into a frizz ball, squeeze some lotion into your palms, rub them together, and gently run your fingers through your hair to make it look polished, Garrison suggests.
13. If the underside of your updo tends to get frizzy, pack bobby pins to help tuck away your flyaways.
Keep a travel-size hairspray in your purse. Whatever you do, don't try to smooth frizz with serum because it doesn't hold, Garrison says.
14. Put product in your hair prior to your workout.
The sodium in your perspiration can dehydrate your hair, so it's always a good idea to apply a leave-in condition to your strands before working out.
15. Sleep in a silk scarf if your hair is super textured.
To keep your cotton pillowcase from sucking up all the moisture in your hair, wrap it up at night in a bun, and then tie on a silk scarf, which will retain moisture, says Stephen.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.