With monsoons finally here, there are always both smiles and anxious faces waiting for and during the rainy season. While for many, rains herald the start of farming operations and cool temperatures, for many others they come with the feared prospect of dealing with humidity, stickiness, traffic hurdles and the hard-to-be tamed frizzy hair.
Hair strands comprise of an inner cortex and an outer protective layer, which is known as the cuticle, that further consists of a series of roof-like tiles. When these microscopic tiles lie flat against the cortex, the hair appears smooth. However, humidity, friction, too much styling, chemical damage, and lack of adequate moisture, can leave the cuticles unsettled and lead to frizzy hair. However, how you treat your hair before, during, and after the shower is what makes all the difference in managing the frizzy hair despite the most humid weather.
Frizzy hair is not an uncommon problem, and while it is not the most catastrophic issue, it certainly is a bothersome one, on an everyday basis. Experts suggest many ways in which one can handle and even prevent frizzy hair. The foremost necessity is to understand the reason behind the frizz in your hair, so you can take precautions accordingly. Frizz is usually a result of lack of moisture in the hair or excess of moisture/humidity in the air. Dry hair or damaged hair is another reason for the frizz. However, adhering to some of the following simple steps, and making them a part of your routine, can easily help prevent the frizz.
- Choose a shampoo with a high concentration of glycerin as the glycerin helps in fighting the frizz by penetrating the hair and hydrating your hair inside-out. Glycerin also absorbs the extra moisture in the air and forms a protective layer over the outside of the hair by trapping the moisture in.
- Ensure you have a sulfate-free shampoo, as sulfates deprive the hair of natural oil and leave them dry and hence frizzy. On the other hand, sulfate-free shampoos maintain the natural oil levels of the hair allowing them to have more moisture.
- Regular shampoo can dry the hair and the friction that follows comes with the frizz. Instead, try using a dry shampoo in between washes, to remove oil near your scalp.
- Contrary to the usual belief, you need not shampoo your hair several times a week. You can skip shampoo alternate days and apply conditioner instead, and rinse it out. The conditioner contains some amount of surfactant which cleanses the hair and small amounts of oil that may have attached to the hair, cleansing it away.
- Conditioner provides the moisture to the hair, so even after you shampoo, you must use a conditioner to keep your cuticle hydrated, allowing moisture to penetrate deep into each strand.
- Hydration is the key to avoid frizzy hair, as hydrated hair does not let the cuticles open up and let-in the moisture from the surroundings. Try to add a hair mask, or a specialized hair treatment, once a week to keep your hair adequately moisturized and less prone to damage
- You can also try many DIY hair masks, using various ingredients like coconut oil, honey, avocado, olive oil, bananas, almond oil, etc.
OILING YOUR HAIR
- Make sure you use quality products that suit your hair texture. Look for products containing castor oil or coconut oil, which are amazing for hydration. Oil your hair for some hours before you shampoo it, to let the oil penetrate and hydrate the hair
- Hair oil smoothens the hair as it penetrates deep unto the cuticle to add moisture to the dry ends. You can even drop a few drops of the oil on your palm and smooth over the frizzy ends
DRYING & BRUSHING THE HAIR
- Whenever you come out of the shower, gently towel-dry your hair and brush slowly from the bottom of your hair moving upwards. Then blow dry with a round brush to smooth the cuticles and take away the frizz.
- Avoid brushing wet hair
- If brushing is causing frizz in your hair, use your fingers to untangle when the hair is dry
- Every 6-8 weeks, get a haircut or trim your hair to get rid of the split ends which are among the major cause of unwanted frizz.
- Do not use products containing alcohol, as alcohol is also known to swell the hair cuticle, hence causing the frizz
- Do not over-process your hair through heat tools, bleaches, dyes, etc., which create breakage, open up the hair cuticle and leave space for excess moisture to enter, causing frizzy hair
Dr. Sravya Tipirneni Consultant - Dermatologist & Cosmetologist, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield