Sarah Potempa On How To Combat Frizz & A 5 Minute Hair Trick

Rachel Adler

With the unpredictable summer weather that we’ve been having (100 degrees one day, rainy and 70 degrees the next) controlling our hair hasn’t exactly been the easiest of feats. Between figuring out which product will combat the frizz, and which one will give you that perfect curl, sometimes all we really want to do is throw it up in a ponytail and perhaps glue the flyaways to our heads.

Luckily, celebrity stylist Sarah Potempa explains below how to combat summer’s crazy weather as we transition into fall, and also gives us some great hairstyle ideas!

Summer means humidity and frizz. Do you have tips for both curly hair and straight haired girls for ways to try to eliminate bad hair days even when it’s gross outside?
Apply a deep conditioner, like Aussie’s 3 Moist Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner to protect your hair and keep it healthy. This is my favorite product to bring on vacations, to apply before swimming, and to use directly after coloring. It’s rich conditioning, easy application bottle (squeezes from the bottom — no need to twist off in the shower, which I love!), and smooth finish create the perfect foundation for constant good hair days.

For curly hair, bring a large toothed comb into the shower and comb out all knots with your conditioner. After towel drying, avoid all brushing or combing to keep curls in tact and reduce the friction that causes frizz within curls. Apply a serum, like Aussie’s NEW Smoothing Serum to individual curls and keep hair drying in the natural direction while remaining frizz free for up to 24 hours. Allow to dry naturally or with the summer sun.

For straight hair, lock in your style by applying an anti-frizz cream before blow drying or ironing. This will lock in a smooth and shiny finish to your hair.

Oftentimes in the summer we resort to throwing our hair back in a slick ponytail or bun. What other styles can we try that are cute and fun but won’t result in a frizzy mess?

Twisted Updo All the hair is knotted, twisted and pinned with volume at the base to create a rocker-chic updo. This is great in the summer because it keeps hair off your neck for coolness and adds volume and style to an otherwise boring bun.

How: Tease roots and curl with a small 3/4″ iron for texture, especially around the top hairline.

Then separate out the top and clip to add volume. Take pieces from the sides and back, add anti-frizz cream and tie into multiple knots (like tying your shoes) until you reach the end of the section.

Or try the Faux Bob Long hair rolled under into a chin-length bob. This style is your new summer haircut without the commitment. It’s super cute and much easier than it looks.

How: Create a side-sweeping part, spritz a heat protection spray like Aussie’s NEW Heat Protecting Shine Spray which will help guard hair from the negative effects of heat, as you add waves to your hair with a 1″ curling iron.

Then with a long, soft sponge roller in your hair color (available at any beauty supply), wrap the hair from the ends all the way up to the base of the neck and secure with large 2″ bobby pins.

Finish by spraying flexible hold hairspray to keep the style frizz free.

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You work with many celebs such as the Olsens and Emmy Rossum, who often have gorgeous tousled waves. What’s the trick to getting this style to hold all night?

There are a couple factors that can get great tousled waves to last.

1. Use a strong setting product, like a mousse, on damp hair and loosely blow-dry (without a brush) for a natural-looking finish with volume.

2. Spray a hairspray before you curl the hair. I love using a flexible spray to get a locked-in hold that also allows for movement. Then the most important step is in the curl.

The curl needs to be just as tight at the root as it is on the end (as opposed to bouncy curls you get from hot rollers).

How: To do this take a 1″ iron, hold it upside down, and wrap each section around the rod in a spiral motion all the way down. Hold the end and then slide off. Allow each section to cool before you run your fingers through it, this will make the curl last longer.

Do you have a “5 minute hair trick” that you can rely on when you have to rush out the door?

My best hair trick is spraying an anti-humidity hairspray directly on a brush to style hair instead of spraying a “top coat” all over. I love this trick because it instantly tames fly-aways on waves or makes a perfect ponytail in less than 5 minutes. Another trick is to add a 2-strand braid or a side braid to a messy or bad hair day. Within 5 minutes, I feel like my hair looks unique and, combined with a great pair of earrings or a headband, I have a style that looks like it took 30 minutes.

What are your top 5 favorite hair products that you always keep in your kit?

In my kit I always have my favorite products, which include a conditioning mousse, flexible hairspray, anti-frizz cream, and dry shampoo. Here’s why: this to me is one of the most genius products out there for your hair. It’s a styling mousse that adds volume and hold, combined with a moisturizing conditioner that leaves your hair soft and shiny. I apply it before every blow dry. I like Aussie’s Catch the Wave Mousse + Leave In Conditioner.

A Flexible Hold, Curl Enhancing Spray- Hairspray should be a staple in everyone’s beauty bag. I love using hairspray as a styling tool and a finishing tool, especially one that’s soft and flexible so it will hold your style without leaving it stiff and crunchy.

Frizz serum, like Aussie’s NEW Anti-frizz Cream. This is a brand new product that will get rid of frizz for up to 24 hours. That’s exactly what everyone needs, especially when on the go this summer. I use this cream before curling hair for super shiny look and after I’m done styling (any style) to keep hair frizz free.

A Dry Shampoo- This is a great way to add volume to unwashed hair. It absorbs any excess oils that the scalp has produced, along with other product residue that is weighing the hair down. I often use this product directly on the roots and then blow dry to evenly disperse the powder finish. I also use it to add a dry textured look to messy waves.

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