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Summer is coming—and with it, frizz. The warmest months of the year have a romantic reputation for being all long days in the sun, beachy waves, and the perfect amount of warmth. It’s easy to forget that with all that seashore weather comes humidity and its accomplice, frizz. If you regularly straighten your hair, the level of moisture in the air can wreak havoc on your ‘do.
As it turns out, the secret to salon straight hair is less complicated than it seems. Ashley Lee, Mizani brand ambassador and stylist, believes beating frizz comes down to a combination of quality products, patience while styling, and a little luck.
Just like any superhero, you have to understand your enemy before you can beat it. In this case, frizz is often caused by dry hair that seeks moisture from the outside climate.
The opening of the cuticle involves the raising of the scales that the outside of the strand is comprised of. This is what gives the hair its rigid appearance versus smooth, when the cuticle lies flat. This frayed appearance is what we call frizz.
It’s not just the weather than can bring out your frizz, either. Hair that’s been damaged during a color service or between salon appointments may frizz out because the cuticles on the strand can no longer close properly. That’s why Lee, like all stylists, advises preventative care over treatment after the fact.
“I believe the greatest preventative measure that you can take to combat frizz is consistent salon visits for trims and treatments to keep hair looking optimal,” she says.
If you’re already experiencing frizz, have no fear. With an arsenal of products formulated for smoothness, getting a sleek, straight finish is within your grasp.
Contrary to the beliefs of many, one hair care line does not fit all occasions and styling decisions. There’s a practical reason shampoos and conditioners make claims like “smoothing” or “volume”—that’s what they are designed to create. If you’re straightening your hair and gunning for a satin-like finish, choose products formulated with that end goal in mind.
From Mizani, Lee is a big fan of the brand’s Thermasmooth Shampoo and Conditioner. When used with the conditioner, the shampoo cleanses, detangles, and conditions dry and brittle hair. It’s enriched with Mizani’s C3 Smoothing Complex that infuses nourishing coconut oil, fortifying ceramide, and surface polishing agents into the hair to soften and help start the smoothing process.
Once you’ve shampooed, conditioned, and rinsed, it’s time to start heat styling. If it helps, think of your goal style as the roof of a house and your products as the building materials. You have to layer many bricks to get there, ensuring the roof is secure and held in place.
Lee starts by sectioning the hair and prepping it with a heat protectant before turning on the blow dryer. Lee recommends your hair be most of the way dry before you get the brush out.
“My goal here is to get out as much water as possible so any product I use can successfully penetrate the hair and offer the best results,” she says, recommending doing all styling with the help of a round brush. “For blow-dry prep, my favorite Thermasmooth product is Sleek Guard Smoothing Cream for clients with tighter curls and greater density. For finer hair, I love Style & Style Again, adding a drop of the Smooth Guard Serum if the hair is on the drier side.”
Products in place, it’s time to get to styling.
Use no-crease clips to create two L-shaped sections from temple to ear on either side of the head. Start by rough drying the back of the head before moving to the front two sections. This technique allows you to conserve energy and avoid overheating your hair, ensuring you haven’t dried the same areas multiple times or missed a spot.
If you often find that straight hair looks beautiful but sits limply against your scalp, Lee’s sneaky trick for added volume will be your new favorite. Once you dry an inch section of hair, curl it into a roller shape and pin it in place. It will set with added volume, avoiding the old helmet head situation. Note that the bigger the loop, the less of a ringlet you’ll get at the end. The same goes for brush size.
Once your curls are all pinned in place, let them cool before removing the pin from each section. If all goes well, you’ll be left with bouncy, straight hair that’s practically salon-fresh. As a final step, add a texturizing product to ensure your ‘do still feels modern and casual.
Still seeing some frizz? That’s perfectly okay. Lee got this good at smooth texture with hours of practice, and so will you. Repeatedly trying to the technique at home will mean you’re fully prepared to execute it at your next formal event.
Although a frizz-defying shampoo, conditioner, and styler can get you beautiful, sleek hair, the best way to keep frizz at bay is by making sure your strands are always moisturized and trimmed. Lee recommends using at-home hair mask when your mane feels dry or brittle.
“Using a moisturizing mask is best when hair is unreasonably dry, and adding a strengthening component to a hair masque is necessary for low porosity hair,” she explains, recommending the Strength Fusion Post Chemical Treatment.
On the days when you wear straight hair and want to help avoid frizz, layer a leave-in treatment into your styling routine. Lee recommends applying 25 Miracle Milk immediately after you’ve gotten out of the shower.
In addition to at-home care, the serious mane lover can also invest in in-salon treatments. Often, customers pair their color service with some intensive TLC under the watchful eye of a professional. If the idea intrigues you, ask your stylist about what might be right for your texture.
Between appointments, style and straighten with confidence thanks to Lee’s tutorial. Frizz is firmly a thing of the past.
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