Humidity Monday, or the taming of the frizz

frizz frizzy
Howdy, dear Posse folks! Hope everyone is doing well. I’m doing great, but my poor hair is not. I need major help taming the frizz!

After nearly a lifetime of fairly smooth, sleek, straight hair, my tresses have been done in by all the recent rain and the thick-as-pea-soup humidity in the air. That, coupled with the fact that I have allowed a decent amount of gray to creep into my hair, and you have a recipe for out-of-control frizz. I read somewhere that gray hair is more wiry and less sleek than pigmented hair, so if that’s true, it explains a lot. So does that mean if I get my hair completely (and professionally, ha!) colored, the frizz will diminish somewhat?

My teen will be a high school senior starting this fall, so I’m thinking of biting the bullet, getting it colored by a pro and maintaining it well until we get the child off to college. Then I’ll regroup and consider the best way to go gently into the gray zone.

But in the meantime, to fight the frizz, I’ve tried several heavy-duty conditioners and an argan oil shampoo and conditioner already. Those helped for a day or so after my shampoo, but then the wild, Bozo-like tresses came storming back. What’s a girl (or guy) to do? Someone mentioned John Frieda’s anti- frizz line but I’ve not been able to get that yet. I’m hesitant to try a serum or oil that you put on clean, dry hair as I don’t want to look greasy, but at this point, I’m willing to keep a very open mind.

Anyhoo, here’s hoping that you all know of some good smoothing products or some tips that I can use to help keep my hair sleek and out of the frizz zone. Thanks, and everyone have a great week!!

  • Cara says:

    My wiry hair with body has decided to get finer and flatter as I’ve gone gray so I’m moving in the opposite direction: I used to use the oils and now I’m looking for things that add body. I’ve done a little professional coloring with a semi permanent color because the gray came in weirdly patchy. My beautician selected a color close to my natural one and then it would fade out. Now the gray is more even and I don’t think I’m going to go to the trouble of all over color. Good luck!

  • malsnano86 says:

    Can’t help with product suggestions… my very straight hair is returning to the state that drove me SO CRAY when I was a tween: it won’t hold a curl for longer than an hour. I do have a good cut, and the hair will *take* a curl, it just won’t *keep* it, even with product in there. The salt spray March mentioned seems to help, but 60 minutes tops. Boo. (Hormones? Perimenopause is looming.) I’m starting to get some gray, but I’m planning to continue coloring my hair. Right now, the gray is around 15% of my tresses, so there’s a ways to go.

    I watched my MIL, my mother, and three aunts go gray over the past 25 years, and my observation is that if you have either naturally dark hair (like two of my aunts) or naturally fair/blonde hair (like my MIL), your graying process tends to be quite attractive — but if your hair is a light-to-medium brown or dark blonde shade, the gray tends to wash out the face.* That’s the case for me, which is why I’m probably going to continue coloring.

    *Once it’s ALL gray, I think it looks great. I’m just not willing to wear piebald hair for the next 20 years (which is how long it took my mom’s hair to go completely gray).

  • March says:

    Here from the land of humidity — I don’t like the serums because they make my hair look greasy. I mostly wear my long (silver!) hair up in a bun. To deal with the surface frizz I learned this from my daughters — a spritz or two of Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Salt Spray. I spray the surface of my hair, smooth it, and it stays that way. I think it’s a whopping $5 at most drugstores.

  • Caroline says:

    Agree with DinaC above about air-drying on super humid days. Brush use=frizz. During summer, I often wash with Living Proof No Frizz, apply their Prime Style Extender, comb in desired shape, blast with a diffuser to hasten drying, and comb out about an hour later.
    I occasionally add lowlights to my salt & pepper hair, but not more than once or twice a year. Color maintenance is drudgery in my book!

  • DinaC says:

    Ann, my hair has gone from long, brown straight to medium-long silver wavy over the past couple years. I had to learn how to deal with wavy/curly hair after years of having straight hair. Nowadays, this is my routine: 1. use a microfiber towel, not a regular towel to dry, 2. I use a few drops of pure argan oil on my damp hair after I’ve carefully pressed the water out. No tousling or rubbing the hair at all. 3. I use Marc Anthony Strictly Curls Curl Envy curl cream, a blob of it gently patted into the length of my hair. 4. then I just part my hair and let it air dry. Ouidad and Deva Curl also make really good products for wavy/curly hair. Good luck! 🙂

  • Maggiecat says:

    My hair has ALWAYS been frizzy -coloring it helps. So do H
    Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil Primer, Alterna 10 in one leave in styling cream and Alterna hydrogel leave in product. The Alterna stuff is pricey but you need use only a dab, so it lasts. Hope this helps!

  • Stephanie says:

    I’ve had good luck with Renpure Organic’s Argan oil conditioner for taming frizz

  • Alison L Miller says:

    Lots of good advice here! Let me chime in by suggesting a weightless leave-in conditioner. This goes on after you’re out of the shower and you’ve used your old t-shirt or microfiber towel as suggested by Cee. Used sparingly it will calm your hair down without making it greasy. Start at the ends and work up, but avoid your scalp. I have had good success with the Giovanni line, available on Amazon and at stores like Whole Foods, and very affordable.

  • Cee says:

    Ann, I’d recommend taking a look at YouTube videos and sites for women with wavy/curly hair. I like Jessicurl but there are many other sites and product lines.

    I stopped coloring my hair 5 years ago and let it grow out to silver. I have always had curly hair but the texture changed considerably as I got more and more white hair. One of the most important things is to get a good haircut because frizzy hair can look like a huge, shapeless mass without a proper cut. Try a stylist who works with curly or ethnic hair. Do not buy into the thinking that women of a certain age cannot wear longer hair. With a good cut, you can wear your hair at any length.

    Avoid any products with silicones as they will coat your hair and eventually dry it out and ultimately make it frizzier. Give your hair protein and moisture. Don’t dry it with a regular towel-use an old t-shirt or a microfibre towel. Once your set/style is in place, handle your hair as little as possible as the touching and handling while it dries increases the frizz. Even though it looks and feels like a weed, frizzy hair is delicate so coddle your hair with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Don’t over wash it, either. Daily washing is really not necessary but a rinse in the shower and a co-wash of your scalp with conditioner can make your head feel fresh if you are transitioning from daily shampooing.

    Coloring your hair is not going to do anything for the frizz so don’t waste your time/money unless you are already coloring it.

    It’s often hard to deal with the changes of age-thinning, frizzy hair, wrinkles, sags, less eyebrow and eyelash, lines over the lip line, favorite products and looks no longer working and so on. I’m grateful to be aging in the time of the internet where so much practical information is available.

  • Cyndi says:

    I’ve had curly, frizzy hair all of my life, and I color it. Oil products and/or serums like Moroccan or Argan Oil that go on dry hair are fine as long as you use it sparingly to avoid a greasy look. And it really does cut down on the frizz and make it smoother. That’s good you’re already using a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Also, the mixture of warm and low lights, as suggested by Marcellavmiller, will also help you from looking washed out. Good luck. And I agree with you about humid days – it’s brutal on hair!

  • rosarita313 says:

    I agree about not coloring it. I have a couple friends who have spent small fortunes on their hair over the years and the growing out process with stripping out the color damaged my best friend’s hair right into a platinum pixie for a while. Talk to your stylist and see what they think about adding in some layers to help work with the frizz….I (genetically) have very little gray but my hair has thinned out to about half of what I had in my youth, and of course now grows on my chin and upper lip. Stuff no one tells you about getting older. Hugs!

  • Portia says:

    Grey is so on trend Ann,
    Keep it.
    Cut it short.
    Portia xx

  • patricia boutilier says:

    I decided to go gray at 60. 66 now. I keep it short and “wispy”. I have never been happier with my hair. Use products to keep it shiny and silvery.

  • It’s very true that gray hair is indeed more wiry and therefore less sleek! Ugh. I have natural slightly darkish blonde hair. It’s always been straight, shiny and sleek. No more!
    The problem is, if you die your hair (like a friend of mine who shall remain nameless!) you will only end up with color treated wiry and less sleek hair. Yeah. It sucks.
    Talk to your hairdresser. Maybe some highlights with low lights will bring some dimension and warmth to the color. Gray tends to make hair look dull, frosty and subsequently makes us looks washed out.
    Focus on warming up the colour without dying. It’s less maintenance and a nice multi-dimensional texture created by the inter-woven effects of lighter and darker warm tones will distract the eye from the frizzy, wiry, cotton wool look.
    Good luck! More aging fun to come no doubt!! I pay it no mind now. Ya, right! Wah!

  • Tara C says:

    If you’re not dyeing it now and only plan to do it for a couple of years, my advice is don’t do it! It is a royal PITA to grow it out once you stop. I practically shaved my head and kept it super short for 6 months to get all the dye grown out. Never again. I just live with it au naturel.