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What’s Best Way to Fight Frizzy Hair?

Q: I have naturally curly hair that I often-but-not-always wear straight, and in this humid weather, it becomes totally unmanageable. All the products I try don’t really seem to help. How do I beat the heat and fix my frizzy hair? —Victoria, Toronto

It’s the telltale sign of summer for me, you and just about everyone else: a halo of frizz that feels decidedly un-angelic when it crops up 20 minutes after you went to the trouble of blowing out our hair. I can’t tell you the number of times my hairstyle hasn’t lasted the length of the taxi ride to a steamy summer wedding. It’s frustrating, but luckily, I have learned from the error of my ways over the years.

The first step to tackling frizzy hair is to see it for what it truly is. It’s not a pointless thorn in your side, but rather, it’s a cry for help, says Janet Jackson, owner of Toronto’s JouJou Hair Salon and a Maui Moisture ambassador who has worked with top models from Iman to Winnie Harlow over her impressive styling career. “It’s searching for moisture,” she says. “When your hair is extremely dry and humidity kicks in on top of that, you’re suddenly dealing with a lot of frizz.”

Textured hair dries out in a snap, so curls need constant hydration in order to stay glossy. (No shame in slacking on your hydration duties: we’re busy, we have bills to pay and Internet wormholes to fall down for 28 minutes before we realize we really don’t care what vegetable we should never ever eat if we want to avoid belly fat.)

Your first order of duty is to treat your hair to a nourishing wash in the shower. Proceed gently with lukewarm water and a sulfate- and alcohol-free shampoo packed with natural oils and humectants. And don’t overdo it: While third-day curls are often a bit wonky, over-washing your hair will strip its natural oils and leave you frizzier than ever.

“If you work out a lot or just feel the need to wash your hair often, consider co-washing,” says Jackson. Co-washing is a huge beauty buzzword, but it essentially means just washing the lengths of your hair with conditioner (or a conditioner-like specialty product) and skipping shampoo altogether.

“Usually, when people have really frizzy hair, a lot of it stems from the fact that they’re not using the proper products,” says Jackson. “When you’re trying to tame it with products that have silicones or alcohol, you’re just damaging your hair and it will never look the way you want it to.”

Instead, use light, natural oils to prevent water loss, and add moisture regularly. Some of us may still shudder at the suggestion of adding oil to clean hair, but the key is to pay attention to your hair type and see what it can handle. (Bear with me and let’s briefly get into some necessary hair education here. There are four basic categories assigned to texture. Strands that are pretty much straight are type one; natural waves are referred to as type two; type three is associated with hair that forms natural ringlets; and coiled curls are type four.)

“Finer hair types could do with a little oil every couple of days, but type three or four hair requires more moisture, so you can use oils daily—or even twice a day,” says Jackson. “If you focus on products that help you define and highlight texture, the frizz will bother you less.”

Jackson is also skeptical of the go-to move of most people with frizzy hair: cocktailing. I’m guilty of doing it all the time—one product doesn’t offer enough hold and another doesn’t de-frizz to my liking, so I layer them on and hope for the best. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the practice, says Jackson, but curl systems are often designed to work as a set and mixing arbitrary brands can lead to crunchy or stringy curls.

“I recommend to my clients that they become familiar with each product on its own before mixing them,” says Jackson. “A lot of people jump from one product to another right away but it’s not fair to try a product for a day.” Jackson, who is A-type, it seems, suggests keeping a hair log to see how the products work over time, but I, not at all A-type, would never be that organized. Where we find common ground is in a common-sense approach that involves being patient and paying attention, moisturizing, avoiding drying ingredients and not heaping on different products every day aimlessly in the hopes of banishing humidity-related frizz.

It’s a losing (and expensive) battle—and it’s summer, don’t you have more fun things to do than moping about the fact that your curly hair isn’t straight? Stop flat-ironing, ditch blowouts and opt to air dry or diffuse instead, to suit your texture.

“Often the real root issue is that people are not comfortable with their hair texture, because frizz is just a form of texture,” says Jackson. “In most cases, when someone feels like their hair is frizzy, dry or unruly, it’s because they’ve been forcing it to stop doing something it naturally wants to do.”

Get a haircut that works well with your texture, suggests Jackson, and then embrace it. “If you have frizzy hair, you want to stick to longer layers and lobs,” she explains. “The thicker and coarser your hair, the more you want to avoid cutting it too short.”

Well-moisturized curls are the first step to a carefree summer, because it’s not really the frizz that’s the issue: it’s the fight.

For more information on fighting frizz, follow the link here.

Have a question about frizzy hair? Drop your question in the comments below!

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Five Ways to Refresh Dull Natural Curls

There’s nothing worse then spending the night perfectly styling and defining your curls for the next day, only to wake up to undefined, frizzy curls. If there were a magic product to keep your curls defined and moisturized through a night of tossing and turning, we’d all own it. For now, we’re offering you these tips to refresh your curls quickly and efficiently during your morning routine!

1. Water

Dull curls is typically caused by dryness; and because of this sometimes the key to refreshing dull curls is moisture. If you’ve already applied leave-ins, stylers or gels to your hair in the days before, these products may reactivate with a spritz of water and scrunching or finger coiling.

2. Leave-In Conditioner (in Spray form)

You can either purchase a leave-in conditioner spray or make your own by mixing your favorite leave-in conditioner and water. Either way, a light spritz of leave-in conditioner can moisturize and refresh your hair for the day.

3. Gel

For curls that have lost definition overnight or throughout the day, gel can help provide definition and help your style last much longer than it would without it. Simply spray some water or a leave-in conditioner spray on your hair to add moisture to your curls, and then apply a minimal amount of gel to the section or curls to regain definition. You can either scrunch or finger coil afterwards to bring your curl pattern back to life. Finish it off by air-drying or blow-drying the section of hair on a low, cool setting.

4. Finger Coils

Transitioning hair has a much harder time holding definition and moisture than healthy natural hair. Try applying a styling product to your curls, then twirl your hair around your finger until it appears curly once more. Since transitioning hair has a harder time retaining moisture, it’s better to let your hair air dry vs. blow-drying.

5. Perm Rods or Flexi Rods

If you’re trying to refresh a perm-rod set or a flexi-rod set, you want to rewrap the section of hair quickly especially if this is during your morning routine. Simply apply a setting product to your hair, then re-roll the undefined section onto the rod to reset. Then blow-dry on the lowest heat setting until the section is cool and dry. You can then unravel the hair to reveal the defined curl once more.

What’s your favourite way to refresh your curls? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Benefits of Protective Styling

Summer is ending and fall is soon approaching! With the colder temperatures drawing nearer, it may be time to re-evaluate your natural hair routine. Colder weather brings dryer tresses, and dry hair can lead to split ends and breakage. But not to worry! A great way to retain length and avoid breakage is protective styling!

Protective styling can be any style that tucks away and protects your ends from the elements, which prevents breakage and promotes length retention. It also keeps hair from being constantly manipulated (styled), which can also cause breakage. Natural hair can be somewhat sensitive to changes in weather. Usually in colder temperatures, hair tends to break as it can become dry and lose moisture necessary for growing and maintaining healthy hair. Protective styles can shelter your hair from dry weather, as long as your hair is moisturized while in a protective style.

There are several types of protective styles including buns, weaves, braids, wigs and twists. Some of these styles can keep your hair protected for several weeks, and some naturals see a lot of growth when the style is taken down. The key to this however, is that your hair is moisturized while under a protective style. If your hair is dry, and is not moisturized while in the protective style, you may actually see more breakage and split ends as a result.

Remember to never install any of these styles too tightly, or for too long. Tightly installed styles can cause thinning or balding edges, and sometimes this damage can’t be reversed. When styles are installed for too long, it may cause matted, tangled hair. Be very gentle when taking down these styles, you don’t want to pull or cut your own hair, as that can cause balding in certain areas of your hair. Try not to keep a style in for longer than 60 days, and moisturize and wash your natural hair if possible.

What is your go-to protective style? Let us know in the comments below!

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Co-Washing 101

Don’t be grossed out, but I’ve never been that into washing my hair. After shampooing, my natural curls are clean, yes, but also slightly dried out and frizzy. (Not a good look.) I prefer to do a thorough rinse and pile on the leave-in conditioner. In that sense, I’ve been on the co-washing bandwagon since before it was cool — or a major product category.

Co-washing (which stands for conditioning-washing or conditioner-only washing) is exactly what is sounds like: washing your hair with a cleansing conditioner. It eliminates the use of shampoo, which usually contains harsh detergents that can strip oils from hair. And because curls are naturally drier in texture (their spiral pattern makes it difficult for oils to travel down strands), shampooing them can backfire. Cleansing conditioners, on the other hand, are praised for what they lack: foaming agents, sulfates and silicone.

So does this news mean curly-haired women should never shampoo again? Well, no. “Every curl is different, and people have different lifestyles,” says Janet Jackson, celebrity hairstylist (not the singer) and owner of JouJou Hair Studio. “If a woman works out all the time, [frequent] washing can be drying, so a co-wash would work for her.” Your hair care routine — hair oils, mousses, etc. — should also be taken into account. “The products that you use to enhance your curls on a daily basis will build up, so you do need to shampoo at some point to remove them,” Jackson says. I personally co-wash two to three times a week, and I see the best results when I take the time to section my hair, work the product from roots to ends and let it marinate for a few minutes before rinsing. I also use a clarifying shampoo once a week to reset —  okay, every 10 days. But my curls aren’t complaining.

You can read more about co-washing here.

How often do you co-wash? Let us know in the comments below!

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3 Essential Products for Low-porosity Hair

Having low porosity hair can be challenging for those who also struggle with retaining moisture. Hair with low porosity has cuticles that are very compact, making it difficult for water and other hair products to penetrate the strand and provide the optimum amount of moisture.

You may have low porosity hair if you’ve noticed that water tends to bead up on your strands or if you experience dryness no matter what you do!

Fortunately there are methods that can help you retain maximum moisture. Here are three products you can use to help your low-porosity hair absorb as much moisture as possible:

Clarifying Shampoo

Product buildup on your hair will create an even greater barrier for moisture absorption. Use a clarifying shampoo to help remove the extra gunk from your strands and prepare the outer layers of your tresses to absorb and retain maximum moisture.

Light Oils

Heavy oils don’t moisturize hair strands very well (especially if they are low-porosity) simply because the molecules are just too large to actually penetrate the hair shaft. Using  lighter oils are much more effective in providing a real moisture boost.

Deep Conditioner

Regular deep conditioning treatments are a must for maintaining the moisture levels in your hair. Whether you choose to add heat to your treatments, or opt for a DIY deep-conditioning solution, you can rest assured that this essential habit is key to a healthy, moisturized mane. If it’s not a part of your current regimen, add it in ASAP!

Low porosity hair has a tougher time retaining moisture simply because of how it’s naturally structured. All this means is that if you have low-porosity hair, you have to up your moisture game to reap the maximum benefits from your hair regimen. The most important thing to remember is to love the hair that’s on your head and treat it well!

Here’s to healthy, happy, moisturized hair!
Did you try out our suggestions? Tell us how these products worked for your low-porosity hair in the comment section below!

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