If you have curly hair, chances are you’re used to dealing with frizz — a curly-haired girl’s number one enemy. Learning how to care for your specific hair type is essential to creating smooth, sleek strands. It’s also helpful to learn some tips and tricks for how to style frizzy and curly hair.
“Curly hair is more prone to frizz because it is naturally drier than straighter hair,” says celebrity hairstylist Dave Stanwell. “So it’s really important to know how to properly style frizzy hair, as well as create cute hairstyles that embrace its naturally coarse and curly texture.”
Read on to learn some of our top tips for styling curly hair, then try out one (or all!) of our four easy-to-achieve hairstyles for curly, frizzy hair. They work like a charm, no matter how you plan to style your hair.
How To Style, Frizzy, Curly Hair
- Use a wide-toothed comb
- Comb from the Bottom Up
- Use a Deep-Conditioning Hair Mask
- Get Regular Trims
- Tend to Your Ends
- Slather on a High-Powered Serum
- Make a Curly-Hair Cocktail
- Reach for the Curling Iron
- Try the Pineapple Trick
- No Touching
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Read on to learn more about these tips for styling curly hair.
Tip #1: Use a Wide-Toothed Comb
Why? It detangles curly hair.
Because curly hair is so dehydrated and fragile, brushing it dry with a traditional bristle brush can wreak havoc on the hair cuticle. Instead, use a wide-tooth comb to comb out your knot gently. "It's much more gentle on the hair shaft and won't cause friction or disrupt the cuticle," says Dave Stanwell.
Tip #2: Comb from the Bottom Up
Why? It prevents breakage.
If you start detangling your hair from the top, you risk pushing the knots farther down, which can cause breakage, unruly ends, and frizz. A better technique for working with your curls without frizz is gently removing tangles from the bottom up, using your comb to tackle each knot one at a time.
Tip #3: Use a Deep Conditioning Hair Mask
Why? It moisturizes without stripping the fine curls.
Treating your tresses to a deep conditioning hair mask at least once a week will go a long way toward taming frizzy locks, especially if it's color-treated hair. Dave Stanwell suggests looking for products with ingredients such as milk protein and avocado oil, which quench curls and add moisture to your hair.
Treating your tresses to a deep conditioning hair mask at least once a week will go a long way toward taming frizzy locks, especially if it's color-treated hair.
Tip #4: Get Regular Trims
Why? It gets rid of damaged ends and keeps your hair healthy and bouncy.
Getting a trim every six to eight weeks is essential for keeping hair healthy. It keeps split ends at bay and makes curly hair more manageable and easy to style. Worried your stylist might chop too much off? "Ask for a dusting," suggests Dave Stanwell. "Whereas a trim typically involves cutting off length, a dusting never takes off more than a quarter-inch and targets only the messy, frayed ends." If you’re looking for more than a trim, choose a haircut that is well-suited for thick, frizzy hair.
Tip #5: Tend to Your Ends.
Why? It gets rid of frizzy hair.
In between cuts, get rid of frizzy hair by using a leave-in conditioning spray right before you style, paying extra attention to your ends.
Tip #6: Slather on a High-Powered Serum
Why? It hydrates curls and adds shine, definition, and separation.
"Hair serums are great styling products for curly hair, especially when you want to air dry," says Dave Stanwell. "They not only fight frizz, but also help define each curl and give them shine." For best results, drop a dime-size amount of serum onto your palm and rub your hands together, then distribute evenly to soaking wet hair.
Hair serums are great styling products for curly hair, especially when you want to air dry," says Dave Stanwell. "They not only fight frizz, but also help define each curl and give them shine.
Tip #7: Make a Curly-Hair Cocktail
Why? It gives your curls definition.
To add definition and bounce to your curls, try creating your own cocktail by mixing a nourishing oil with your favorite styling product (such as a smoothing cream or mousse). While the cream or mousse locks your look into place, the oil hydrates your hair, seals the cuticle, and prevents your curls from feeling stiff or crunchy.
Tip #8: Reach for the Curling Iron
Why? It revitalizes your natural curls.
Using a curling iron on curly hair may seem redundant, but it's a great tool for revitalizing saggy, limp locks between shampoos. The trick is to use a thin barrel iron (no bigger than an inch) to curl any ends that have gone flat gently.
Tip #9: Try the Pineapple Trick
Why? It prevents frizzy hair after sleeping.
You can adjust many aspects of your nighttime routine to help tame frizzy hair. If you want to prevent your curls from changing shape while you sleep, try the pineapple trick. Gather your hair into a high ponytail and secure it with a scrunchie. Let the curls fall naturally to each side (you'll look a little like a pineapple, hence the name), then cover them with a silk scarf or sleeping cap and hit the hay. When you wake up and remove the cap and scrunchie, your curls will remain intact.
Tip #10: No Touching!
Why? It prevents frizz.
As tempting as it may be to play with your hair, it's something you want to avoid. Touching your hair causes frizz, so once you're done styling, keep your hands off.
4 Simple Hairstyles for Curly, Frizzy Hair
If you're wondering how to style frizzy hair, check out these step-by-step tutorials for curly, frizzy hair.
Hairstyle #1: Voluminous Pony
- After washing and partially drying your hair, spray a generous amount of volumizing blowout spray from root to tip. Finish drying with a blow dryer and a hot air brush.
- Pull your hair back and use an elastic to tie it into a loose, high ponytail.
- Divide your ponytail into two parts, then pull them apart with each hand so that the elastic rises up, tightens the ponytail, and adds volume to the top of your head.
- Finish by spraying the top and ponytail with a generous amount of hairspray to protect from excess moisture and humidity.
Hairstyle #2: Curly Chignon
- Apply one pump of hair primer for frizzy hair to clean, wet hair. Let air dry or blow dry with a diffuser.
- Part your hair where desired, then gather your hair together at the nape of your neck.
- Twist and roll your hair into a rough, messy low bun.
- Secure the bun with four to six bobby pins. Don't go crazy or worry if some pieces or curls stick out — the point is to keep it loose and natural-looking. Pull some pieces out in the front to frame your face.
- Spritz on some flexible hold hairspray to set the chignon in place.
Hairstyle #3: Perfectly "Plopped" Ringlets
- Using a wide-tooth comb, detangle your hair while you shower and have conditioner on. Rinse out, but do not touch or towel dry your hair (you may want to put a towel over your bathmat to prevent it from getting soaked).
- Dispense a generous amount (at least two to four pumps, depending on how much hair you have) of styling foam for wavy hair onto your palms and spread evenly throughout your hair.
- Place a cotton t-shirt on a surface in front of you, then flip your head forward so that all of your hair is in the center of the shirt.
- Place the bottom of the shirt at the nape of your neck and tie the sleeves into a knot behind your head. Tighten the knot until it's secure, and sit up.
- Grab a book and chill for 20 to 30 minutes, then undo the hair wrap. Shake hair out and finish with a light mist of styling spray to define curls and prevent frizz. This awesome no-heat hair-drying technique, called plopping, will create bouncy, spiral curls that are thick and defined.
Hairstyle #4: Long, Loose Curls
- Spritz clean, wet hair with a sea salt spray to add texture and volume to your hair, then blow out using an ionic hairdryer. Don't worry about getting it stick straight. What's most important is that the top is smooth.
- Pin half of your hair up and separate the other half into small sections.
- One at a time, wrap each section around a curling wand designed for waves, holding it away from your face and above your hair so that the curls drop down from the barrel.
- Section the top half and do the same, but avoid curling all the way to the root. Instead, start just above the ears.
- Let the curls cool for about five minutes, then mist your hair once more with sea salt spray and run your fingers through them to break them up.
With these tips for styling frizzy, curly hair, you don’t need to let frizzy hair ruin your day. For more frizzy hair tips and tricks, check out Frizzy Haircare Tips on the John Frieda blog.