Fight the frizz, and keep hair healthy, with hydration and protein treatments


Humidity and hair damage cause unruly, frizzy hairdos for women and men across Clark County this time of year. Battle Ground cosmetologist Tara Dunn from Could 9 Salon,  614 E. Main St., Battle Ground, offers tips for keeping hair healthy and hydrated to minimize frizz.

A healthy haircare routine should involve regular shampooing and conditioning, Dunn said. She also recommends that people apply topical oils and serums for extra hydration and reduced frizziness. Finding the correct product, however, is important.

“It’s really important to pick something appropriate for your hair type. Always remember you have to shampoo for the condition of your scalp, and then you condition for the condition of your hair,” Dunn said. “Every professional product line is gonna have something amazing that’s gonna be geared toward somebody.”

Hair types are split into four major categories by texture, according to cosmetology school Avenue Five Institute. Hair can be straight, wavy, curly or coiled. The hair texture determines the types of products that can be used, as curlier hair can tolerate heavier products and more hydration without looking oily.

Before selecting a product for frizzy hair, people should understand what is causing it. Frizzy hair stems from three major sources: dehydration, damage and genetics. Sometimes it’s a combination of all three, Dunn said.

Dehydrated hair will frizz, especially when exposed to rain and humidity. One of the easiest ways to slow or prevent frizz is by applying synthetic or natural oils to the hair after showering. Dunn recommends light synthetic oils for thinner hair, and heavier natural oils for thicker or curly-textured hair. Products that combine synthetic and natural oils are also available, Dunn said.

With enough exposure to moisture, hair will eventually frizz, Dunn said. To prevent excessive rain exposure from ruining a hairdo with frizz, Dunn recommends using an umbrella or wearing a hat when outdoors in Washignton’s rainy, humid weather.

“Some oils and conditioners will help with frizziness, but the reality is it’s only gonna help for so long when you’re getting too much humidity,” Dunn said.

Frizz from damaged hair may require more intensive treatments to make it manageable, Dunn said. When hairs are damaged by heat or chemicals, the protein bonds within the strands break down. The damaged hair becomes coarse, frizzy and resistant to styling. Damaged hair is also more likely to break, causing further frizz. Though moisturizing helps damaged hair, protein treatments can mend some of the damage, Dunn said.

One protein treatment, a salon service called a Brazilian Blowout, is particularly effective at repairing damaged hair and taming frizz by applying a protein-infused cream, Dunn said.

“We clarify the hair deeply and then apply the product. We let it set for a few minutes, [and] then it’s blown dry straight. Then we take the flat iron and do anywhere from 5 to 10 passes on small sections to get the protein to cure [on the strands] from the root down,” Dunn said.

The effects of the treatment last from three to five months, as the cured protein layer eventually grows out and sloughs off, Dunn said.

Genetics can also cause frizzy hair. Naturally curly hair types are prone to frizz, Dunn said. She emphasized that frizz doesn’t always come from damaged hair, but hair types prone to frizz often need more conditioning to stay healthy and long. Coarse-textured and curly hair, such as Black hair, is particularly moisture-dependent and holds up well against heavily moisturizing oils and conditioners, Dunn said.

Applying hair sprays and gels can be a quick fix for hair types prone to frizz, too, but Dunn cautions against applying them during particularly humid or rainy days.

“I don’t use a lot of products, like hairspray, to keep the style if I know that the hair is potentially going to get wet,” Dunn said. “The humidity makes it a tacky, mucky mess.”

In the pursuit of taming frizz and curls, Dunn cautions people against further damaging their hair. Using strong chemical treatments, products or heat to force unruly strands to behave will cause damage. An over-heated flat iron will quickly smooth frizz and flatten hair but leaves hairs damaged. Likewise, brushing through hair after excessive product usage can break strands and tear hairs from the root. Though it’s a temporary fix, such harsh treatment will leave hair damaged, frizzier and more difficult to style in the future.