The 12 Best Clean Leave-In Conditioners for Frizzy Hair
Ever spend over an hour giving yourself a gorgeous smooth blow out and then walk outside and scream in horror as a quilt of humidity lies itself right over those gorgeous tresses? We get it...frizz can ruin the best of hair days.
The best way to limit frizz is to start with the first step in your hair routine process which usually involves a leave-in conditioner or hair serum specifically formulated for hair frizz. Before we name these off, let’s first identify what frizz is and how to get rid of it depending on the type you have because again, like our hair, not all frizz is created equal.
Why is my Hair so Frizzy?
Frizz is caused when hair is dry and lacks moisture. Take my little drawing here for example...a healthy hair cuticle looks like a healthy, closed pine cone. Each cuticle lies on top of each other protecting the inside of the hair strand where all the protein and goodness is. When a pine cone is dried out and falls, it’s leaves sit open. While pretty, when the hair cuticle looks like the open-leaved pine code (due to dryness or chemical damage) it allows all kinds of stuff we don’t want to enter the hair strand and do further damage.
One of those unwanted elements, includes moisture from the air. When the hair is dry and the cuticle is wide open, the hair will take in the humidity from the air, causing hair to swell and frizz.
Why I feel it is important to understand what causes frizz, is because many people may think they have frizzy hair when in fact it is something else all together.
There is also the issue of flyaways. Flyaways are not frizz and therefore should be approached differently. Flyaways are little bits of hair, often new growth or broken hair, that just don’t make it to the length of your hair and therefore pop out, or fly away, from the rest of your hair. However, dry climate and static can also cause strands to repel each other.
The best way to tackle flyaways is generally a moisture rich hair conditioner followed up with a hairspray, balm or serum that helps lay the flyaways down into the rest of your hair. Hairspray is even great to tame static in your clothes!
HOW TO GET RID OF FRIZZY HAIR?
There are multiple things that you actually may be doing that could be causing frizz. Check out these 8 contributing factors and if any of these ring true, then in addition to picking up one of these leave-in conditioners, you should try to eliminate these from your hair care routine.
1. Avoid Sulfates
Sulfates are strong detergents that are often added to shampoos to create suds, which do nothing but dry out the hair and cause frizz. They have also been known to strip the hair and scalp of natural oils that are needed to keep the hair follicle and hair healthy and hydrated.
2. Avoid Alcohol
I don’t mean your happy hour martini. As if! But products containing certain types of alcohol dry out the hair, causing frizz (See Are All Alcohols In Hair Products Bad?). Not only that, alcohol in products can lead to brittle hair. Opt for a hair serum or oil to help lock in moisture and seal the cuticle.
3. Avoid Plastics
That's right...many hair care products have plastics in them. What looks like shiny, amazing hair in a commercial is actually melted down plastics coating the hair strand and reeking havoc.
Polyethylene Glycols (PEGs), are petroleum-derived compounds that are often loaded with byproducts. Since they’re thick and sticky, they’re typically added to shampoos and other cleansers to give these products a denser, “more luxurious” feel. However they also dry out your hair and create build up on your hair and scalp causing frizz and even hair loss.
Other yucky coating ingredients include resins, waxes and silicones like:
4. Avoid excessively hot water
This is a biggie and I understand how much we all love a hot shower or bath, but that high heat leads to multiple issues for your hair strand. First, it lifts the hair cuticle (remember our pine cone) causing frizz, but also hair color loss.
Do you feel like that beautiful blonde toner or rich red hair color is fading fast? That is likely due to washing with hot water. Use tepid water to wash your hair then throw it up in a bun or cute shower cap and crank up the heat.
5. Use a microfiber towel or man's t-shirt
Drying your hair with a terry cloth hair towel really roughs up the cuticle, contributing to frizz and hair breakage. Go for an ultra-soft towel or turban which are made to protect from damage and hair breakage.
6. Watch the heat on your hot tools!
If you are an avid heat styler, i.e. you love your blow dryer, curling iron or flat iron, then it is crucial to control the amount of heat you are putting on your hair. Like that hot shower, the high heat coming from those tools open the cuticle causing hair drying and eventually breakage. Protect your hair by using ceramic irons and hair dryers with ionic technology. Keep your dryer on the lowest setting and irons on low heat.
Always protect your hair by using a heat protectant spray or serum, like Oway Glossy Nectar. Also, ever notice that little concentrator nozzle that comes with your blow dryer? Use it. And always point your dryer toward the direction you want your cuticle to lie (i.e., down) which is roots to ends.
7. Avoid playing with your hair
This is especially important for your curly girls out there but is true for everyone. When your hair is still damp and air drying during a curly set, touching your hair breaks up your curls and can lead to massive frizz. Wait for your curls to completely dry before touching them.
8. Use the right pillow case
Cotton, linen and t-shirt blend pillow cases might be super comfy but they wreak havoc on your hair strands. Like the terry cloth towel, the edges are harsh roughing up the cuticle causing frizz and breakage. Go for a satin, silk or even the new sustainable Tencel blend pillow cases to keep your hair and your skin in-tact and youthful.
Even better, use a sleeping bonnet for hair whilst you sleep to ensure your don't rough up the cuticle or cause breakage against the pillowcase. Plus, it keeps your hairstyle looking great for days. Bonus!
When it comes to hair products geared to minimize frizz and flyways, finding the perfect arsenal of hair care and styling products is imperative. Remember, you want to invest only in hair products that are formulated specifically for your hair type and texture. The last thing you want is stringy ends or weighed-down greasy hair. Someone with thin hair would obvs not need a styling product as heavy as someone with coarse or thick hair.
Match the weight of the product to the texture of your hair for best results. Also look for products that tackle more than one hair concern, like heat protection and frizz to keep your products to a minimum. Overuse of products could lead to build up which isn’t great either. We recommend any of these leave-in conditioners depending on your hair type.
best leave in conditioners for frizzy hair based on hair type
All North Authentic products are free of: Sulfates, parabens, EDTA, 1,4 Dioxian, and many more all provided in our Hair Crimes List. While we work with our brands to become even more conscious, we identify additional "Free Of" ingredients on every product page.
Shop "Free Of" ingredient preferences using our Filters. You can also take the North Authentic Hair Quiz to get your personalized hair care prescription of the best products for your hair curl type.