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If your hair has any bit of wave or curl pattern, then brushing it can make it poof-out and look frizzy. Just remember: Having frizz doesn't always mean your hair is dry hair, so don't freak out and let's sort this one out for you. In fact, it always drove me crazy when a hairdresser would decide to brush my hair, only to say it was dry... can you relate?? Ugh!!

I'll paint you a picture:

First, imagine a thin piece of rope hanging vertically. Got it?

Now feel that rope, and you'll notice it has "scales", yes? Tiny pieces of material that surround it, some sticking out and some intertwining back into the rope.

That's your hair dude! Just like this:

Now imagine 10 pieces of this rope, or maybe 20 if you want get all excited, and they're all dangling there vertically. You give them a good shake and they will all intertwine, mix, and get tangled, right? It's a good visual of what hair is like and what happens to it when one hair rubs against the other.

In all seriousness, this is what hair actually looks like, zoomed in a bajillion times over (pretty cool huh?)

Healthy hair (less or no frizz) vs. dry hair

When hair is healthy, the cuticles are flatter than when the hair is dry. With dry or damaged hair, the cuticles stick up more (called "raised cuticles") and can rub against each other, sort of "stick together" in weird patterns due to static, and it's this separation we call "frizz".

But the fact that these hairs are all sticking up in weird patterns and trying to keep separated doesn't always mean your hair is dry or damaged.

It's the hairbrush that can cause this issue when there is no clumping matter (like leave-in conditioner or oils) to keep them together and smooth. And waaay more so in wavy, coily or curly types.

When hair is dry and damaged then yes, it'll become more difficult to not suffer from poof-ness because these cuticle bits will naturally be sticking up. All the time. And when the hair is dry (as in, "not damp") it will stick out even more. Enter: frizz. :(

What can you do to prevent frizz?

Hmm... Nothing really, unless you want to oil your hair all the time, which would not be advisable because then you'd look like a greaseball. But there are some tricks and tips to prevent frizz from happening – let's share, shall we?

  • DO NOT brush your wavy or curly hair! For goodness' sake, PLEASE, just use a wide comb or a pick instead. Don't use a brush unless your hair is thin, wet, and covered in product like a leave-in conditioner or a gel. Even so, I'm actually not a big fan of recommending brushes at all, not even those "Denman" brushes... but that's a topic for another hair blog.

  • Try not to bleach or highlight your hair. I know, I know... it's a "thing you must do" but here's the kind of damage that happens to your hair when you highlight or bleach it: Those cuticles we talked about earlier, LIFT and open up in order to allow the melanin (natural colour in your hair) to be lightened. By lifting, they get dry and harder to slick back down. This is why many of the highlighting kits come with these harsh conditioners that help it slick back down – and all with silicones and other ingredients that force the cuticle back down. Is it bad? Yes, because silicones are like putting a plastic film over your hair, then it will be more difficult for it to be nourished, right? You try breathing with a plastic bag over your face and see what it feels like! Silicones are actually quite heavy for your hair strands. Just try and avoid it if at all possible.

hair pulled up in a pineapple style
The hair "pineapple" style for sleeping
  • Sleeping friction is not your friend! If your hair is long-ish, try to pull it up in a pineapple to sleep. Just pull the whole thing up on top of your head and throw an elastic around it – or tie it up in a bun. The friction that sleep causes by rubbing your hair back and forth against the pillowcase and against other hairs, will cause frizz. This is especially good for those with thin hair that wake up all knotted up (kids, anyone?)

  • Attention swimmers! Whether you're swimming in a chlorinated or salted pool, or in the ocean, these natural chemicals can have the same effect on your hair as bleaching. Same advice applies as #2. Plus, rinse your hair out in the shower after swimming, and apply some conditioner on it or a leave-in. Done.

hair plopping using a t-shirt
Hair "Plopping" is a great way to dry hair after a shower
  • Plop. When you're out of the shower, while your hair is WET, wrap it in a plopping towel (we're releasing our fully-biodegradable one early 2023 so stay tuned!). A cotton t-shirt will work fine for now. Just tie your hair up in one of these rather than using a regular towel. The tiny loops in towel material can get caught in the raised hair cuticles, pulling them apart and causing the look of frizz. Doesn't mean your hair is damaged, but it will look frizzier, right?

  • Use a light product on your hair. Every day. Whether a leave-in conditioner or a light oil, these products do a great job of not only nourishing your hair but helping the cuticle to lay flatter, reducing the look of frizz. Use something on your hair lengths (not the scalp) every single day.

The other piece of advice is to learn a little bit about the pH that hair needs. We wrote a whole article about it [HERE] and I highly advise you to read through it because it will help you better understand the difference between what your hair needs and what your scalp needs – which are very different requirements – and the type of products you should be looking for.

As always if you need some hair advice, reach out! We're happy to answer your questions on our Instagram (DM us!) or by email.

Comment below: Do you have frizzy hair? What has worked/not for you? What is your hair type? We'd love to know.

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