Before we get into things, I think it’s important to get one thing straight—frizz is not a dirty word or anything that you have to fight if you don’t want to. Over the years, I have learned to accept that my hair’s natural texture often means that a dose of frizz is guaranteed when I’m in particular climates (i.e., hot ones), and that’s more than okay. On days I want a sleeker look, I might coax my strands into more of a defined coil, other times I’ll straighten it all out, and other times I leave my hair alone to do entirely its own thing—but it’s all on my terms.
On days that I want to keep frizz at bay, however, one thing is clear: Dry or chemically treated hair (or both in my case) and humidity do not mix well. “Frizz can be caused by humidity as it causes the hair to swell,” explains Michelle Sultan, Imbue creative director. “This is because hair is hygroscopic, which means that the bonds can be broken in the hair structure by absorbing water. If your hair tends to be damaged or dehydrated or you have split ends, then these areas will be more prone to going frizzier faster in high humidity.”
Luckily, after much testing, I’ve found a few products that truly work when it comes to keeping frizz at bay during the summer months. First though, my philosophy on getting your hair ready to face the humidity: Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. Yes, anti-frizz products are all well and good, but minimising frizz for all hair types actually begins with your cleansing process—even more so if you have drier hair like I do. Opt out of clarifying shampoos that strip the hair, as this is a fast track to frizz and breakage, and instead pick creamy cleansers that are low-foam or SLS-free. Then, finish your routine with a nourishing conditioner to seal in any moisture.
And if you have curly or coily hair that you prefer to style as a wash-and-go, then Sultan had some great advice. “I make sure that I only apply products to hair when the hair is soaking wet. This works really well to not break up the curl pattern thus causing frizz,” she explained. “When you have coily hair, a really good way to help prevent frizz is to do things like twist out after washing and conditioning. This is where you apply leave-in conditioner, mousses or gel to your coils and then divide the hair into four sections and proceed to divide the hair into smaller subsections, depending on the density of your hair.”
Now that you’ve got your cleansing routine down, the styling products that you opt for are essential to the efficacy of your frizz-combatting routine. For straight hair, Adam Reed, UK editorial ambassador for L’Oréal Professionnel, suggests using a “leave-in conditioning product to really lock in moisture.”
“I always keep a control cream in my kit as well,” Reed explains. “Pop a few drops onto damp hair, spread through the lengths and ends evenly with a comb and either blow-dry or leave to air-dry depending on your styling preference.”
For me, if I’m wearing my hair with natural texture, then I swear by using an oil or balm to deal with any frizz or flyaways on the go. Using these kinds of textures to deal with frizzy areas piece by piece almost helps to weigh it down and means that it falls in line with the rest of my hair. When I wear straighter styles, then layering on an anti-humidity hair spray is normally a great option too. I spray it on and then literally roll the can over my locks to gently press in the product.
Ahead, shop the best anti-frizz products:
1. L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair 10-in-1 Oil
Apply this oil to the lengths and ends of freshly washed damp hair to keep frizz and flyaways down without weighing down your locks. It’s perfect for thicker hair types.
2. Twisted Sista Intensive Leave-In Conditioner
If you have curly hair that you prefer to air-dry, this is a great leave-in to rake through wet curls as you detangle for definition and hydration.
3. Vtessia Hair Seal
A little of this natural balmy butter goes a long way. For Afro-textured hair that is on the drier side, target frizzy bits by working a little of this seal between your index finger and thumb and then smoothing it over the strands in question to bring them into formation with the rest of your style.
4. Aquis Hair Turban Waffle Luxe Blush
As I said, the cleansing stage is really important to a frizz-free style, and using the wrong-textured towel can ruin it by roughing up the hair’s cuticle. Avoid this by opting for a gentle fabric like this turban from Aquis.
5. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat/UV Protective Primer
This is perfect for thick and wavy holiday hair. Spritz it into damp hair before venturing into the sunshine to protect it from heat damage. For a laid-back hair vibe, spray it into towel-dried hair and then plait. Unravel when your hair is completely dry for killer beach waves, whether you’ve been away or not.
6. Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
A cult classic and frizz-fighting icon, this spray coats porous locks without weighing them down to stop moisture in the air from puffing up your hair cuticle. Think of it like a rain mac for your hair.
7. Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray
I avoid aerosols as much as possible in my hair routine, as I find them quite drying across the board. However, when I do need that extra bit of hold, this spray is a go-to, as it keeps hair looking shiny, too.
8. Cantu Avocado Hydrating Curl Activator
Reactivate curls easily with this weightless lotion. If your curls have frizzed out, simply damp down your hair and apply section by section, twisting as you go.
9. Bleach London Hair Elixir
Bleached hair is very prone to frizz, so the team at Bleach London created this pocket-sized serum to smooth down finer locks.
10. Kérastase Curl Manifesto Gelée Curl Contour Gel-Cream
The beauty of a curl cream is that it gives the hold of a gel without drying out your curls like others can. This is the perfect pre-styling addition for finer curls to create definition that frizz can’t touch.
11. Imbue Curl Worshipping Shine Oil
Without leaving any hint of greasy residue, this oil is a great final step for sealing in moisture on wash-and-go coils, curls and waves, thus preventing frizz.
12. Centred Unwind Detangling Primer
Styling hair from coily or curly to straight can often result in flyways or static. This primer preps hair for blow-drying sans frizz. The lightweight formula is particularly good for fine hair that’s prone to knotting.
Up next: Thinking about getting braids? These are the products you need in your routine.