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How I Deal with Frizzy Hair
When you are rich/famous/a movie star, frizzy hair need not be a problem. It is very likely that the frizziness of your mop will barely even register with you because you will always have someone dedicated to defrizzing. Certainly this will be the case during filming, and probably also when you are between jobs because you will have enough disposable income to be able to afford a trip to the hairdresser's every week. I am happy for you. One day I will have perfect hair like you. I am not jealous.
Because I have some secrets of my own. Actually, they are not secrets, they are just tips that I have picked up over the years from other frizzy friends. They do not always work, and it will probably always be the case that you will have to have frizzy days. Quite frankly, who can really be bothered to keep up perfection every single day, just so as not to look like a wild person when you drop the kids off at school or when you turn up to work? Sometimes it is alright to not care what you look like (I look like I never care about my appearance, but I have to work hard to achieve that look - it takes me seven hours of sleep, for goodness sake.)
You do not have only two choices, you know. It's not only a case of tying it back, or leaving it down. There are some things you can do to your hair. Keeping it long can be good, it can work very well, if you treat it with respect. I would recommend saving up some money, and paying for one really good hair cut, and then not having another trim for a good year or so. That one decent cut will last a person with natural curls a lot longer than it will a straight haired person. On straight hair it is much more obvious when it is time for another trim.
If you are keeping your hair long, then the best advice I ever had was to have some really good layers hacked into it, nice long ones. For long cuts you could consider trusting a junior stylist, or a trainee, if you need to save a bit of money. (Obviously trainees need to practise short styles as well, but let them practise on someone else.) Frizzy hair does not respond well to being all one length: it's as if the ends of the hairs are so repulsed by being close to their neighbours that their instinct is to move as far away from every other hair as quickly as possible. 'Don't touch me, man, back off!' That is how we get frizz in the first place, you see - we have hostile hair. Our hair is actually claustrophobic, and it has to find space. Long layers give each hair a little of the space it craves.
When you've got your layers that's not the end of the story. Remember, after the first day out of the salon, you still have frizzy hair, and you can't just go out to play with your friends like straight haired people can. Not yet. You need to wash it, and you need to condition it. Conditioning is essential, and this is actually where most of the work is done. Not too much conditioner, but enough so that you can tease the knots out with your fingers. Take your time over this, and treat it like a massage for your tired and stressed out tresses. Give them some love.
When you have rinsed well and all that, just wrap your locks in a towel and do not do anything else to them for a few minutes. Do not try to dry them with a towel, do not run a brush or a comb through them, do not take a hairdryer to them. Let them rest, as you would a nice juicy slab of fillet steak.
If you have washed your hair in the shower you might want to get dressed now.
Now you can remove the towel, and your hair should still be nice and damp. You are going to let it air dry. If you do much as show it a brush, or a hairdryer, your hair will frizz out. (Not brushing means also that you will be split-end-free for a very long time. A big plus over straight haired people. Let's be smug for a moment... ) You should separate your hair now, only using your fingers. Gently loosen all the hair, so that it falls in nice well-behaved curls or waves. It should now dry beautifully and relatively frizz free. If you take your hair outside on a windy day you will still experience frizzage, but there's not a lot I can do about that. You will just have to go home and start all over again. Also, without the layering of the hair, you will still look like a hairy pyramid.
There are some serums available to buy and they do actually work quite well. You can use them as an aid to straightening, or just to help your curls stay together. If you cannot afford the serums though, don't worry about it - embrace a little frizziness, because the chances are that it does not look as bad as you think it does. You probably look lovely, you know. Big hair is fabulous.
You can try experimenting with 'up' styles, but the same principles will apply - do not brush; only air dry, and just pull your hair into place. Some frizzy hair will behave when pulled and brushed into a tight ponytail, but some will not. If yours won't, because strands escape and within half an hour you look like you've been out in an electrical storm, then a loose and curly ponytail will look great.
There are some more options.
You could invest in a decent pair of ceramic straighteners. There are lots of brands of heated styler on the market, but the more expensive ones actually are better - they do the job properly, because they can retain the heat more effectively. Apparently the cheaper ones peak and trough in terms of temperature, and this is why they don't straighten as well. If you can only afford a cheap pair then I am tempted to be a little bit rude and tell you that you shouldn't bother, and you should just stick to curly hair. Cheaper straighteners are not up to the job of flattening the frizz. After about an hour, with cheap straighteners, you could achieve straightness, but it will still have fluffiness, and it will be properly frizzy again after a further hour. It's a truth that's hard to bear, but I think it's best if I'm honest with you.
Cut it off! Just do it. Get a pair of clippers - loads of people have them, just borrow a friend's - and give yourself a nice grade 2. If you are a bloke you will look delicious, and lots of ladies love a skinhead. If you are a lady you may be pleasantly surprised at the sensation you cause. Let me tell you, it is incredibly liberating. You feel so fresh and free when you first get rid of all that weight. If you shave your head in the winter remember that you might need a warm hat. Actually, depending on where in the world you live you may need a hat in the summer too. Perhaps if you live somewhere that is permanently cold you should not try this one. You could be risking hyperthermia and all sorts of nasty things like that, and I don't really want to be responsible for causing any deaths by hair-shaving.
Once you have cut your hair off there are still more options.
You may find that you have hair that resembles a sheepskin rug. Don't be disheartened. This is what my hair looks like when it's more than a quarter of an inch in length and left to its own devices. But short frizzy hair is still easier to deal with than long frizzy hair. All you need is a pot of hair wax. There are a huge number of products available and you will need to try a few out to see which one works best for you. They may seem expensive at first glance, but they last a long time, particularly on very short hair. At the moment I am favouring a very easy to achieve messed up look. I have shaved the sides off just to add a little interest, and I am looking a little like Elvis circa the army years. It's not my favourite, or indeed most feminine hairstyle, but it's fine. The good thing about very short hair is that it grows out very quickly, and you can try something else soon enough.
Cheap straighteners actually work very well on short hair. I know this from using gas powered straighteners when on a camping holiday last year. So if you are short of cash, time and patience this could be the way to go. You need to leave the straighteners to heat up for a good few minutes, but it is still better than nothing. With short hair and straighteners you can create very nice spikey styles, smooth styles, pixie styles or punky styles. It's very nice to experiment.
Dye it. If you are anything like me you will get bored of a hairstyle if you wear it for too long. Dyeing is the other thing I do to make things diverting. Currently I am enjoying black hair. This summer it was dark blonde. I am thinking of trying red, just on the roots, in a few weeks. Some people may not want to try permanent colour, but it is so much richer than wash out dyes. (Always do the strand test - dyeing hair with home kits can be dangerous - always follow the instructions, to the letter.) If you don't like the colour you can always shave it off and start again.
What I've learned over the years is that frizzy hair is fun, because it encourages you to try new styles. And new hairstyles encourage thoughts about trying other new things. Enjoying your hair can change your life! Cutting my hair off, to a grade 1 the first time, was the most amazing experience. I got so many positive reactions to it, so many people told me they couldn't be as brave as me (ridiculous, I know, but true) that I began to wonder what else I might be able to do. I learnt about a whole new adventurous side to my personality that I didn't know I had. (Sadly, so far, my lazy side always seems to win out - but I still fight it.)
Since I discovered conditioner, straighteners and hair wax, I have barely had a frizzy hair day. I have still had bad hair days, but mostly they've been on purpose.
Have fun with your frizz.