Beauty & the Brush: frizzy hair

Oh, Karachi - how the sea air, pollution, and heat causes our hair to misbehave every summer.


Maria Saadat June 17, 2010

Oh, Karachi - how the sea air, pollution, and heat causes our hair to misbehave every summer. This week’s question comes to us from another reader battling her unruly tresses.

How do you control frizzy hair in the Karachi summer?

To the reader from Karachi - we empathise. We too have suffered at the hands of humidity and the Pakistan sun. Our best tip? Most women with frizz have some kind of curl, wave or body in their hair. Embrace your natural texture and stop attempting to straighten your hair into submission.

Frizz control begins when you step out of the shower (of course, you’ve already used a smoothing shampoo and conditioner - right?). Wet hair should always be towel-dried, but instead of vigorously rubbing your tresses, squeeze them firmly with the cloth. Once the excess water is gone, run your blow-dryer on low (high heat will worsen frizz) until your hair is slightly damp. Allow your mane to then air dry. And remember - never, and we mean never, brush dry hair. Instead, when it’s wet, use either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb.

Any product you use should be applied after towel drying. We recommend you get your hands on a great mousse. If you have wavy hair, look out for one that is curl defining. Don’t worry, you won’t turn into Goldilocks - the mousse will cling to your hair’s body and give it smooth definition. Squirt a palm sized circle into your hand and scrunch through your locks. Air-dry for natural beach waves.

To avoid the crunchy effect, be sure to use the mousse when your hair is still damp. If you feel the product you chose is too heavy or gives you that awful slicked Miami Vice look, switch it up - there are plenty of mousses out there and at least one should work for you.

Mousse may not appeal to you, and if this is the case, try some hair spray. Generously spritz the product all over your hair and style as usual. Again, make sure to do this while your hair is still wet. This way, your strands will stay bouncy and manageable rather than hard.

If you need some product but don’t have any at hand, leave a dollop of conditioner in your hair (the regular conditioner you use after washing, not spray-in). Conditioner will help to fight frizz while providing control to your wavy hair. If you have extra dry tresses, work in a few drops of olive oil while your hair is wet. The oil will soothe your cuticles and tame any flyaways. This also works on dry hair - just be sure to use a small amount.

Absolutely can’t live without your flatiron? Don’t make the mistake most beauty salons in Pakistan do - be sure to protect your hair before applying heat. The more you flatiron, the more prone to frizz you’ll be and after a while you’ll notice the tool doesn’t work as well as before. Try a silicon-based serum on your damp hair. Not only will your hair shine, but you’ll also be saving yourself from split ends. A drop or two of serum can also be applied to dry hair for extra softness.

Women with extra frizzy hair who have already tried every technique and still feel they resemble a poodle should experiment with a combination of the products listed above. Mousse and conditioner together or olive oil with hairspray may be the perfect coupling for you. Yes ladies, it does sound like a lot of work. But, whoever said looking good came easy?

Maria Saadat is author of the popular desi beauty site Lipstick Masala.

QUESTION TIME

Do you have a question about make-up? Can’t figure out a hairstyle for an upcoming wedding? Do your attempts at smoky eye make-up leave you looking like a raccoon? Have no fear! E-mail your questions and issues to [email protected] and Maria Saadat will respond to them in an upcoming column.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 18th, 2010.

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