As the summer humidity rolls in, those of us with frizz-prone hair know we have a bit more work to do. If winter means more parched strands, then summer means errant wisps. Now, let this be known: I’m actually one to enjoy a bit of frizz for my curly waves. I think it adds texture and tousle—more undone, less perfect. But it’s a delicate balance because chic-disheveled tips over into messy-disheveled very quickly.
That’s why it’s always great to have frizz-control products at the ready—to help rein in the style should the humidity levels call for it. Here, three very surprising household finds to keep your strands smooth this time of year:
Oils accomplish a lot for your hair: They can help strengthen and fortify the hair with natural fatty acids and nutrients. They can protect your hair from UV and free radical damage with antioxidants. They can condition the scalp and damaged strands. They help impart a slick layer of shine.
And for frizz? Well, they can help seal down the cuticle, which is what leads to frizzy hair in the first place. Not to get too into the science, but the cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft. The cuticle layer is made of tiny shingle-like platelets of keratin that overlap. When those shingles lift—due to humidity, damage, or just naturally—your hair separates, thus causing frizz. Oils (and other leave-in products) have the ability to smooth and hold these little platelets down throughout the day.
While there are plenty of natural, at-home options you can reach for—a hairdresser favorite is argan oil.
“It’s great for many conditions, especially dry, damaged hair because its trove of fatty acids locks moisture into the hair follicle,” says Bindiya Gandhi, M.D., an American Board Family Medicine physician and mbg Collective member. Even though it’s not actually possible to reverse split ends, there are some solutions that can help improve the appearance of them. According to hairstylist Lucia Casazza, using argan oil can help transform the appearance when used as a mask. “When hair is severely overprocessed, where ends appear fragile and gummy when wet, I would use argan oil as a mask under a cap,” Casazza suggests. “There are also times when I simply apply it as a leave-in treatment before and after a blowout for a clean, polished look with silky, smooth ends.”
If you have curly or frizzy hair, you’ve probably seen this hair hack go viral on social media: Skip the regular body towel, and opt for a gentle microfiber option for your strands. The idea is the thin, soft threads won’t tug and pull at the hair or cuticle, helping your hair remain smooth as it dries. Take it from texture specialist and artistic director at Matrix Michelle O’Connor: “Traditional towels take too much moisture out of the hair,” she says.
Here’s the great news: You don’t need to go out of your way to find one. Use a soft T-shirt instead. If you want tips on how to use it to air-dry your hair, check out our guide to plopping hair here.
So here’s a fun fact about your hair’s cuticles: They lift in higher pH levels (alkaline) and lay flat in acidic pH levels. Now, water, as you might know, is neutral—at a 7. Your hair is naturally a touch more acidic, so water actually makes those cuticles lift. This is why humidity causes your hair to frizz: The water in the air is messing with your hair’s natural pH. (Cool, no?)
Well, many professionals suggest you tame that frizz with acidic rinses. The most famous is perhaps the apple cider vinegar rinse (which we do endorse, for the record!). However, many complain that the rinse is too pungent smelling, turning them off of rinses altogether.
If this is you, we have another solution: carbonated water. Seriously. Sparkling water has a more acidic pH. Simply rinse your hair with the bubbly post-shower, and you’ll find your strands are more shiny post-wash.
Dealing with frizz this time of year is real. If you’re looking for some household quick fixes, don’t worry: There are plenty of options out there. Try these three surprising finds to achieve soft, smooth strands.