We don’t consider frizz a bad word here at LUS, but we do have a love-hate relationship with it. On one hand, it can give us the volume we crave, but on the other hand, it can crush our dreams of ultra-sleek curl definition. If you’re looking to fight excess frizz, and stop asking yourself “why are my curls frizzy?” Once and for all, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled some of the top causes of frizz to help you diagnose the root cause. Ready to dive in?
Here are 9 things that could be causing your curls to get frizzy.
1. Dryness and Damage
We can all agree that highlights and balayage look stunning but with curly hair, you have to be a little more cautious when it comes to colour treatments.
This is because the chemical process of dyeing or bleaching lifts the cuticle of the hair—a protein-based coating that gives hair its strength and shine. Once this layer is lifted, the strand becomes vulnerable to splitting, breaking and, yes, frizzing. And excessive heat styling can have the same effects, too. Although this type of damage can happen to all hair types, curly girls are particularly vulnerable to it.
When hair grows in a spiral pattern, the strands are naturally more fragile and the hair cuticle is rougher around each spiral, making it more prone to damage. So once you add heat and/or dye to curly hair, you get a double-whammy of damage. When this happens, you lose that “spring” in the hair because your curl pattern goes wild and starts to frizz.
If you want to switch it up and lighten your locks, make sure to go to a trained professional. Talk to your hairdresser about safely and gradually lightening your hair over a few sessions until you get the look you desire. This allows your hair to recoup and stay healthy between sessions!
2. Your sleep set-up needs an upgrade
Most people sleep on cotton pillowcases, but sometimes they can wreak havoc on curly hair! As you move around during sleep, your hair gets caught in the rough pillowcase fibers, causing friction. This results in major frizz and is also why hair can get so tangled in the morning. So what’s the solution? Try a silk or satin pillowcase. It’s one of the easiest ways to control excess frizz. Silk or satin pillowcases let your hair glide smoothly over a soft surface, which means no tangles for you! Don’t have a silk or satin pillowcase? No problem! Try our Satin Scarf, which is large enough to cover a standard pillow, allowing you to DIY the pillowcase of your dreams.
3. You’re stressed
When we’re feeling anxious, our body releases a hormone called cortisol, which causes inflammation. In this state, our hair follicles swell up, making our hair more vulnerable to damage. In this state of high stress, a higher percentage of your hair follicles can go dormant which can cause those strands to fall out or break in the middle of their growth cycle, which can slow the production of your natural oils as well and make your curls thin, fragile, and frizzy.
To get a handle on stress, support your mental health through relaxing activities like yoga, outdoor walks and positive thinking. Things like not skipping meals, drinking enough water, and sleeping well are also essential!
4. Your products aren't curly-friendly
Using products that contain ingredients known to be harmful for curly hair could be a major reason why you’re experiencing frizz.
Which ingredients are known to be the worst for curls? Silicone is one of the usual suspects on our list. It’s a deceiving material: it feels luxurious and adds shine at first, giving the illusion of smoother, silkier locks by coating your hair in a rubbery gloss, but over time, silicones create a buildup of synthetic residue on your curls. This ultimately dehydrates your hair, leaving your strands dull, lifeless, and frizzy.
If you’re after the silky-smooth shine that silicones are known to give, try our Elixir Oil to nourish and hydrate your ends instead.
Another culprit of frizz is sulfates. Sulfates are detergents that attract dirt and oil and make it easy for shampoos to cleanse your hair. The issue is that they tend to do too much and remove more of your natural oils than they should, which dries out your scalp and hair and ultimately depletes your curls of the moisture they need.
If you’re transitioning from silicone and sulfate-based products, give your curls some time to recover! You may not see the difference right away but in time you’ll be amazed at how healthy your curls will look.
5. You're layering too many products
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: curly hair does not have to be complicated! We’ve been brainwashed to think that we need several different products to get the results we desire, but that’s simply not true. Using too many products to style your curls can cause an overload of buildup, which can leave your roots greasy and your ends frizzy.
That’s why we focused on simplicity with the Love Ur Curls 3-Step System. After cleansing and conditioning, the All-in-One is your one-stop-shop to hydrate and style your natural waves, curls, and coils without any fuss. The best part? All of the products in the line are silicone-, paraben-, sulfate-, gluten- and cruelty-free.
6. Your styling technique might be off
After you’ve washed, conditioned and styled, if you’re still asking yourself “Why are my curls frizzy”, you might need to tweak your styling routine. For starters, always apply your leave-in products to wet hair. It’s the best way to get good curl clumps and definition and reduce frizz, since your curls are in their most defined state when they’re wet. Watch our founder explain more here!
Water also helps you easily spread product throughout your hair. Even distribution is essential, because failing to apply your styling product evenly from root to tip can leave you with super defined ends and frizzy roots—or vice versa. Applying in sections will help give every curl the same amount of product and attention.
The next thing you need to do is experiment with different defining techniques. Understanding your curl type can help you learn which application will work best to help clump and define your unique texture. If you want to see how other curlies are doing it, we've got alllll kinds of product application vids here. 😉
7. You're abusing your curls
Some of us were taught to brush our hair everyday to smooth out the tangles, but if you’ve been here a while, you know that this rule only applies to those with straight hair.
Avoid brushing and detangling your curls when they're dry. Most detangling tools can tug against your natural curl pattern, causing serious breakage. Instead, try detangling your curls in the shower using your fingers while your hair is saturated with water and conditioner.
The slip from the conditioner will help melt the knots and tangles without the pain. Need some extra help? Try our Wide-Tooth Comb or Detangle & Style Brush(which is so gentle it can be used on wet or dry curls), both of which get the job done without any pain or excessive tugging.
8. Your curls need moisture
Curls tend to be naturally dry, even when you take care of them. Due to their spiraled shape, it’s harder for the natural oils produced from your scalp to travel down and coat the strands, which is why they can get so frizzy.
To give your curls the extra moisture they crave, make sure you stick to a weekly or bi-weekly deep conditioning treatment to help nourish your hair. Our Deep Condition & Repair is formulated with naturally hydrating ingredients like aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter to give your curls the TLC they deserve.
It’s important to note that while moisture is crucial for healthy, frizz-free curls, it is also possible to overdo it. When this happens, curls can experience over-moisturization (also known as hygral fatigue) which can also cause frizz. You’ll know this is happening if your hair becomes limp, starts to lack structure and hold, and feels a bit gummy when wet. To avoid over-moisturizing, listen to your hair! Deep condition when it starts to feel dry and always follow the instructions so you don’t leave it in for too long.
9. Your drying process needs help
Are you using a diffuser for a gentle blow dry? Great! Are you moving the diffuser head up, down and all around like crazy as you dry? Stop right there!
When you shake, rotate, or bob the diffuser head up and down, it causes your curls to separate and create frizz. Instead, hold your diffuser nice and steady for 5 to 15 seconds per section. Learn more about how to properly diffuse here.
Now, let’s tackle air drying. Rule one: don’t touch your hair while it dries. Rule two: avoid using a terry cloth towel (the longer fibres will catch your curls and make them frizzy). Instead, use a microfiber or t-shirt towel!
Down to try something new to dry your curls? Try the plopping method! It’s one of the easiest ways to get frizz-free results when air drying. Once you're out of the shower, apply your styler and gently scrunch your hair upwards towards your scalp. This action forces the curl pattern to become more compact and defined. After scrunching, you’ll “plop” your hair into a towel or t-shirt and set it above your head to absorb the excess water. Then voila! Once dry, you’ll have big, bouncy, gorgeous curls — minus the frizz. See how it’s done here!