Banish the Frizz! 8 Steps to Managing Your Summer Hair

Because fuzzy hair isn't cute.

Summer’s sort of the best of times / the worst of times when it comes to looking good. The higher humidity that makes skin look so glowy and hydrated also frazzles a perfect blowout into a fuzzed-out mess the moment you step a toe outside your comfortably air-conditioned home. Ahead, eight tough-love steps to turn around the bad behavior better known as frizz.

STEP 1: BRUSH

Your first step might seem a little out of order, but we promise, it makes all the difference. Before you step into the shower, run through your hair with a good bristle brush, working out the kinks and freeing the tangle of shed hairs (you lose 100 to 150 a day!) to make evenly distributing your anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner an easier job. Another bonus: So much money saved on Drano without all those extra hairs clogging up the drain.

Mason Pearson Universal Nylon Bristle Brush

BUY FROM: Net-a-Porter, $125

STEP 2: PRE-TREAT

If your hair is just a little stressed out, you can skip this step, but if it’s currently looking as bad as that 6th grade class picture that therapy’s helping with, it might benefit from the hair care equivalent of a detox. This product rebalances strands’ moisture content over a 10-day span. Apply it to dry hair, let sit for 10 minutes, and then step into the shower and rinse.

John Frieda Frizz Ease 10 Day Tamer

BUY FROM: Amazon, $8.41

STEP 3: SHAMPOO

I’ll share with you a little secret that I picked up from Christy Brinkley (or maybe it was Cheryl Tiegs?) in the beauty pages of Teen magazine before I was even a teen myself. Her tip: To avoid over-stripping that leads to frizz, suds up just your scalp and let water pull just enough cleanser through your hair as you rinse. Numerous hairstylist have since confirmed to me just how right Christy (Cheryl?) was—turns out, it’s a pretty standard pro shampooing technique. Pair the practice with a specially formulated shampoo that’ll up your chances of getting through tomorrow’s 95-percent humidity forecast frizz free.

Living Proof No-Frizz Shampoo

BUY FROM: Amazon, $15.30

STEP 4: CONDITION

Hair that’s frizzy usually suffers from an imbalance of moisture within the strands, causing swelling in certain spots that results in snakey kinks. Conditioning takes care of much of this problem, but a too-heavy formula can also leave you looking like you’ve bought into the conspiracy theory that shampooing is the source of all hair evils. A lighter weight conditioner, however moisturizes without the potential for leaving you looking all greased up.

Redken Frizz Dismiss Conditioner

BUY FROM: Ulta, SALE $19.00 (Regularly $38, 50% Off!)

STEP 5: TOWEL DRY

You probably already know that vigorously rubbing your wet hair with a towel will lead to breakage and other ills. And you probably do it anyway. The reason for continuing your bad behavior is simple: Without rubbing, hair stays sopping wet and doubles your time under the dryer. Unless, that is, you use a special moisture-wicking towel like this one that leaves hair half dry with nothing more than a little gentle blotting.

Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel

BUY FROM: Sephora, $30

STEP 6: APPLY SERUM

Use the smallest drop you can of this lightweight serum on your toweled-off hair, working it from tips toward the scalp to add gloss while you tame frizz for the long haul. It also shields hair from heat, which leads us to our next step...

It’s a 10 Miracle Styling Serum

BUY FROM: Amazon, $15.08

STEP 7: DRY HAIR

Heat is just one more factor that ups your chances of frizz, so for this reason, set your dryer to its lowest temperature setting, then feel free to blast away. Technically this hairdryer claims exclusive rights on curly-haired women—it even has a funny little curl diffusing attachment shaped like the hand of a friendly (if grabby) lizard. I’ve found, though, that it works just as well at leaving my slightly wavy hair frizz-free.

DevaCurl with DevaFuser

BUY FROM: Sephora, $159

STEP 8: TAME FLYAWAYS

Still have a few flyaways after all those steps? Wow, so much work. OK, tap your finger on this frizz cream—just the tiniest amount, seriously—and then sweep over the remaining stragglers. Grab a toothbrush (in the name of politeness, please don’t make it your husband’s, child’s, roomate’s, or any other human’s) and give them a final sweep. Done and done.

Kevin Murphy Easy Rider Anti-Frizz Flexible Hold Creme

BUY FROM: Amazon, $39.99

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