Curly Hair 911: Experts Share Tips For Frizz-Free Curls This Summer

Kristin Booker
curly hair

Rick Gomez/Getty Images

Girls with curls know that fun in the summer sun also comes with a bit of caution: namely, taming their mane. What happens depends on your curl pattern, but from unruly frizz to coils spiraling out of control, curly and wavy hair can be a bit much to handle if you don’t know what to do.

Let’s get that situation under control. We called on the top experts in the hair care industry and asked them exactly what causes gorgeous curls to go wild and how in the world to stop that before it starts. Here’s the best advice from top hair handlers on how to get a whole summer full of great hair days from your curls and waves!

First of all, what causes curly hair to go out of control?
“Lack of hydration from harsh heat-styling tools, humidity-dense environments, and just plain old fussing with it too much can all strip natural hydration from your hair. All these issues force hair into a dry, brittle state, where it becomes unruly and hard to manage due to a compromised cuticle layer. When humidity hits, the cuticle swells and stays open.” – Joseph DiMaggio, Master Session Ambassador at Davines

“Quite often, curly-haired frizz is a result of simply not taking care of your curls properly. Shampooing too often, brushing your curls, using towels to dry your hair, blow-drying without a diffuser, and touching hair while it is still wet can all cause issues with frizz.” – Lisa Price, Founder, Carol’s Daughter

“Curly hair is naturally more dry than straight hair since its structure makes it harder for natural oils from the scalp to run down the hair with ease. Other contributing factors include diet, avoiding regular haircuts, and chemical treatments, such as hair dyes, which can dry out hair and create frizz. Also, watch for instigators like humidity, excessive winds, swimming in salt or chlorinated water, and excessive sun exposure.” – Miko Branch, Founder, Miss Jessie’s

“Humidity is the main source of frizz for all hair types, but especially those with curls as curly hair tends to be drier and thus more prone to swelling in humid air.  Because the hair is in a coil-like shape, when shorter hairs break away from the hairline, they’re more prone to frizz than straight hair, where the strands lay flat to the head. When those strands separate from each other in hair with curl, they can frizz.” – Edward Tricomi, Master Stylist and Co-Founder of Warren-Tricomi Salons

MORE: 15 Things Only Girls With Curly Hair Understand

Ok, so let’s get right to it: how do you prevent frizz?
“First step is hydration. Prep the hair in the shower using a curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner to hydrate hair without weighing it down. Dry the hair to release excess water — don’t rub, blot gently — and then generously apply a curl-building serum with your hands, working it from scalp to ends (you can flip your head over while applying for added volume.) Follow with Davines MELU Shield and apply that generously on top of your serum. It’s a heat protectant that will hold and seal the cuticle without turning crunchy or flaky. Once you’ve applied the product, place your hair into a desired style and let it air dry or use a diffuser. But, once it’s set — and this is important — DON’T touch your hair. You’ll distress the protective barrier you’ve just created.” – Joseph DiMaggio

“Practical changes include co-washing versus shampooing, and ensuring you’re deep conditioning your hair at least once a month to moisturize your curls. A lot of focus is placed on styling products and we forget moisture. The Hair Milk line addresses moisture and styling. Also, use an old cotton t-shirt to dry wet hair versus a traditional towel: it’ll cause less friction and frizz. Air dry your hair when you can, and always fluff and style after your hair it’s dry.” – Lisa Price

“Get a trim about every six months to prevent frizz and maintain your overall hair health. Also, use deep conditioner treatments that really hydrate the hair at least once a week, such as Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment, which is excellent for repairing dry, damaged hair and eliminating frizz.” – Miko Branch

“While you can’t prevent humidity, you can manage the impact it has on your hair. There are a ton of products that do a great job of combatting frizz. I like Biolage SMOOTHPROOF Serum. Products like this one moisturize the hair and prevent frizz by repairing and sealing dry, porous strands that soak up excess water from the air.” – Edward Tricomi

MORE: 10 Things No One Ever Tells You About: Hair Masks

Any extra helpful tips? C’mon, you can tell us…
“Less is more when it comes to curly hair; you should only use one or two products after shampooing and conditioning. Most products work beautifully on all curly hair types, thin and thick; it’s more about the amount of product used. Curly-haired girls should stay clear from using heavy oils because they attract dirt and can make your hair look and feel greasy.” – Joseph DiMaggio

“I use a method called LOC: Liquid, Oil, Cream. You start with a water-based leave-in-liquid, then follow up with a light oil or serum to seal in moisture, and finish with a cream (maybe one with a light hold to add definition) to completely seal the style. Your cream can also have a bit of hold for styling and definition. Personally, I use Carol’s Daughter Monoï Anti-Breakage Spray, Sacred Strengthening Serum and Hair Milk Leave-In Moisturizer.” – Lisa Price

“For tighter curls and kinkier textures, I suggest using products such as Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme or Curly Buttercreme because of their superb moisturizing abilities. They make dry, knotty hair softer more manageable, and can be applied daily to either wet or dry hair. For wavy to curly textures, a good leave-in conditioner will moisturize your hair after washing and before styling, keeping curls soft and more manageable.” – Miko Branch