It may have seemed like you’d be able to leave all of your humidity-related hair problems behind come Labor Day, but I have some unfortunate tea to spill: Frizz season is in full swing. The fact that you might have woken up multiple mornings in a row to thunderclouds on your weather app and damp air to greet you at the door should be some indication that fall can actually be a really rainy season (this one goes out to you today, New York).
“Moisture in the air goes straight to your hair, causing the hairs to bend,” says Holly Mills, a hairstylist for Streeters. It’s especially true when hair is extra parched from heat styling and chemical treatments, which can leave strands dry and looking for moisture anywhere they can get it (i.e. the air). This coupled with static, which is the result of friction with scarves, coats, and the like, could surely make for some unwanted flyaways.
It’s a huge bummer all around. After all, science has proven that bad hair days can affect people’s confidence. To guard against bad-hair days and keep good vibes going strong, Mills says that the best way to preemptively deal with a full-on, frizz-induced freak out is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. “If hair is sufficiently moisturized the frizz can look and feel softer and is easier to manage,” says Mills.
Keep scrolling for solutions on how to squelch flyaways at every stop in your routine.
In the shower: Use a hydrating shampooo
The first step to a frizz-free life starts in the shower. “Your hair needs way less soap then you think,” says Mills, who swears by the frizz-fighting abilities of sulfate-free shampoos. Try one such as the Briogeo Rosarco Repair Shampoo ($24) which is packed with all sorts of natural oils such as coconut, argan, and rosehip to help mend and hydrate dry lengths as well as coconut-derived surfactants, which are meant to be much gentler on hair.
Once a week: Make time for a mask
“Since we’re washing our hair less and less these days, I tend to use a a deep conditioning mask almost every time I wash,” she says. Obviously, this depends on how often you shampoo, but once a week, try using a rich treatment such as La Tierra Sagrada Treatment ($44), which contains coconut and babassu oil as well as vitamin E to deeply hydrate even the driest lengths (bonus: it has an intoxicating palo santo scent). Apply it from roots to tips on dry strands and leave it for about an hour or sleep with it overnight. Then, rinse it out to find much softer, more hydrated strands that can better handle the moisture outdoors.
While styling: Apply a hair serum to strands
Real talk: Is there anything worse than spending an hour fixing your hair only to have it go haywire as soon as you leave your house? To begin fighting frizz from the moment you step out of the shower, don’t tousle hair with a towel, but instead squeeze out the excess water. This helps to avoid rubbing hairs against each other, which can cause frizz. Once strands are air-dried or blown-out, then slather on a hair oil. “I love a serum product to tame frizz like Qhemet Biologics Castor & Moringa Softening Serum ($36),” says Mills. “It should be the last product you put on your hair when you’re finished styling.” It creates a slip that helps strands from swelling up when they meet moisture outdoors.
As needed: Spritz a hair tonic
As tempting as it is to try to quick-fix your frizz by patting it down or running your fingers through your hair, it could actually be making things worse. “Don’t touch it!” says Mills. “Most people I know have a habit of running their hands through their hair throughout the day. It depends on your hair type, but likely, you’re roughing up your follicles and causing more frizz.” She suggests tossing a to-go spray in your purse, such as the Oyin Handmade Go Tea Grooming Spray ($14), which contains a bouquet of floral extracts and aloe juice to help hydrate. Give yourself a quick touchup when things start to get out of control.