Whether you’ve always had curly hair, or you’ve just discovered your curls and are battling to control your frizz. In this post I’m going to show you how to beat halo frizz. Don’t look at frizz as the enemy, just room for improvement. Frizz is just a curl reaching out for attention – usually the moisturising type. But there are other causes of halo frizz too.
Have you ever wondered why the hair underneath is so much healthier, hydrated, defined and curly underneath. But you’ve got dry, damaged, frizzy, looser waves or straight bits on top? If that sounds familiar then the tips in this post on how to beat halo frizz are for you! And you’ll most likely be surprised at what’s causing it. But those curls and ringlets underneath are a clue at the curl potential your hair has, once it’s properly hydrated and you’re using the right products for your hair. See this post on how to build a curly girl hair routine.
When I searched “how to beat halo frizz” on Google, pretty much all the top hits involved either products or methods that weren’t conducive to embracing or enhancing naturally curly hair. It feels like society is constantly trying to suppress, smooth and tame curls and our hair’s natural curl pattern. As if frizz is a dirty word, undesirable and must be eliminated by any means possible, even if it’s damaging to the health of the hair. Here’s how to beat halo frizz without compromising your curls.
How to beat Halo Frizz
1. Turn down the power
Having a power shower may feel great on your body, but it wreaks havoc on your hair! And if you think about it, standing under the shower head, where’s the first place all that power hits? The top of your head – your “halo.” Then it cascades down the back of your hair, pulling and stretching out the curl pattern, drying out the top layer leading to a frizzier, drier, loose curl pattern on top and resulting in – you guessed it – halo frizz! So my first tip on how to beat halo frizz is to turn the power down on your shower!
There’s some myths out there that you should turn the power up to help loosen dirt, grime and oil on your scalp. I don’t recommend that, just use a good quality cleanser, and use your fingers, or a scalp brush instead, like this one from Bouclème. If you’re in the USA, PuffCuff have one exactly the same here, use code CURLMAVEN for 15% off. Here are some of my favourite cleansers that are great for regular use and remove dirt, oil, grime, sebum and product build up:
- Bounce Curl Clarifying Shampoo – CURLMAVEN for 10% off, shop it here if you’re outside the USA – use CURLMAVEN for 10% off at The Clean Beauty Edit, who ship worldwide.
- Innersense Colour Awakening Hairbath, or if you’re outside the USA, shop it here and use CURLMAVEN for 10% off. Also available here at Cult Beauty in the UK.
- Act + Acre Hair Cleanse
- MopTop Detox or Gentle Bamboo Shampoo – CURLMAVEN for 10% off
2. Turn down the heat
Heat damage to your hair doesn’t just come from heat styling tools. Similar to point one above, hot water feels great on your body but it’s too much for your hair – it dries it out. And again, this hot water is hitting your halo first, also causing halo frizz. My second tip on how to beat halo frizz is to turn the temperature down! Ideally the water needs to be the same kind of temperature that you’d bath a baby in. Warm, not too hot, but not too cool either. You can do a cold water rinse at the end, especially if you want to add shine. But you need some warmth to cleanse and condition.
Another myth is that you need hot water to break down the oils in the hair and scalp – especially if you don’t wash your hair more than once or twice a week. Nope! Not only will warm water suffice, you actually want those natural oils in your hair to encourage curl pattern, reduce friction and breakage and maintain a healthy scalp. Don’t wash them away!
3. Do everything upside down
I feel like I say this in every post! But this method alone will hands down, massively reduce halo frizz! All that heat and power (should you ignore points one and two above) will hit the underneath layers of your hair. Therefore any frizz that you experience will be on the bottom layers of your hair. Underneath instead of your halo on top. If you use warm, low-pressured water to wash your hair upside down – you’re onto a frizz-free winner!
Please remember these tips take time! Think of how many showers, over how many years have you been washing with hot, high-pressured water beating down on the top of your head. You didn’t damage your hair overnight, you’re not going to fix or heal it over night either. It takes at least 3-6 months of consistently following these steps to see some improvement. But more like a year for the top canopy layer of the hair to properly heal, and look as hydrated and defined as the underneath.
4. Go longer between washes
When we were first roaming the earth, we didn’t wash our hair on the daily. Dry, or strip our hair using hot, high-pressured water or harsh cleansers. We used various botanicals to apply to our hair, but we’ve actually got the best one right on top of our heads! Our own natural oils, which if we stop washing our hair so much, will get a chance to build up, regulate and moisturise our own hair. Frizz is often caused by lack of moisture in the hair. So by going longer between washes, you will (in time) reduce your halo frizz.
The looser the curl pattern, the more you need to wash your hair. The tighter the curl pattern, the less often you need to wash. I recommend washing your hair 2-3 times per week if you have type 2 wavy hair, or a short style. Twice a week if you have type 3 curly hair. And once every 7-10 or even 14 days if you have type 4, afro or coily hair. This is because it takes longer for those natural oils to travel down the hair, due to the tighter the curl pattern. Imagine it like a slide, wavy slides are quicker and faster than curly slides.
5. Clarify & Chelate
Halo frizz isn’t just caused by lack of moisture or damage. If you have hard water, limescale, chlorine, metal and/or mineral deposits in your water. Or you swim in the ocean, sea, pool, rivers or lakes. These deposits can build up on the hair causing the hair to look dull, limp and lifeless. The hair doesn’t seem to absorb water or products properly into the hair. And you lack volume and definition and have lots of frizz!
This is because the film-like build up is preventing water from properly hydrating your hair, and your conditioners from properly moisturizing it. Resulting in frizz! A regular cleanser isn’t sufficient to remove these deposits from the hair. You need a chelating, clarifying shampoo – and the key ingredient to look for is Disodium EDTA or Tetrasodium EDTA. I recommend using it once a month if you live in a hard water area – Google “hard water map” followed by your country or State to check. If you swim regularly, more than 3-4 times a week, I recommend using it once every 7-10 days. Always deep condition afterwards. You can read more about clarifying in this post. But here’s some chelating shampoo recommendations, Bumble & Bumble is my favourite:
- Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo – or shop it here at Beauty Bay who ship worldwide
- Sally’s Ion Hard Water Shampoo
- Malibu C Undo Goo Shampoo
- Malibu C Hard Water Shampoo
- Ouai Detox Shampoo – CURLMAVEN for 20% off
6. Hydrate & Moisturize
Dry hair lacking in hydration and moisture is the most common cause of frizz. Think of it as a cry for help, your hair is literally reaching out into the atmosphere for what it needs: moisture. So make sure you’re cleansing (and clarifying) properly and regularly, to allow the water properly hydrate the hair. This post on the Golden Triangle of Healthy Hair is a great post to read! Then ensure you’re using a good quality conditioner, and regular deep conditioning treatments to keep your hair moisturized. Here are some of my favourite conditioner and deep conditioner recommendations, but remember hydration doesn’t have to be heavy:
- Innersense Colour Radiance Conditioner, or if you’re outside the USA, shop it here and use CURLMAVEN for 10% off. Also available here at Cult Beauty in the UK.
- Innersense Hydrating Cream Conditioner, especially good if you have really thick, coarse, dry, damaged or particularly thirsty curls! If you’re outside the USA, shop it here and use CURLMAVEN for 10% off. Also available here at Cult Beauty in the UK.
- Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner (protein free, hydrating but not heavy) – CURLMAVEN for 10% off. Shop it here if you’re outside the USA, and use CURLMAVEN 10% off.
- Act + Acre Restorative Hair Mask
- MopTop Bamboo Daily Conditioner – CURLMAVEN for 10% off
- Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner (protein free and potently moisturizing!) – CURLMAVEN for 20% off
7. Get Layers
Layers are a curly girl’s best friend! Getting regular trims, and especially layers, will really help to beat halo frizz. The outside layers of your hair are subjected to the most sun, heat, humidity and environmental damage. Keeping those outside layers healthy with regular trims will help to reduce halo frizz. Read this post on the best haircut for curly hair, how to communicate exactly what shape and length you want to your hairdresser. Here’s a video demonstrating it too!
8. Work from underneath
If you rake, comb or brush your hair (and this applies to everyone, even non-curlies), always brush from underneath your hair. Always have your brush bristles or fingers facing upwards. Using the wrong type of brush, or being too rough, can cause damage and breakage to your hair. Especially if you always brush, rake or comb your hair from the roots down, on the canopy (outside layers) of your hair, with the brush facing downwards and in towards the hair. Then it’s always the outside, canopy/halo layer of your hair that’s gets the most damage.
I recommend using this Denman cushioned paddle brush – CURLMAVEN for 20% off. Use when the hair is wet and has conditioner in. Then brush the ends first, gradually working your way upwards, from the underneath of your hair. Not only will you cause less breakage, you will also create more root volume, reduce frizz, knots and tangles. AND enhance your natural curl pattern and definition. WIN! WIN!
Finally, Heat & Colour Damage
If you spent years using heat tools on your hair, I bet the majority of your efforts were concentrated on the top, outer layer of your hair too – your halo. Therefore, this is where the most heat damage was done to your hair. The same goes for colour damage. See this post on how to maintain healthy hair when colouring. All the tips, advice and product recommendations in the world can’t repair heat or colour damage. So just be aware that although the tips in this post will help, you’ll need to gradually grow and cut that kind of damage out of the hair. Only then will you discover truly healthy hair, shine and curl potential.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tips, advice and product recommendations. Click here for more information on my Curl Clinics™. A completely bespoke curl consultation service tailored to suit you and your hair. Designed to help get your waves and curls back and achieve your healthy hair goals.
When my hair is soft and frizzy, lacks curl definition and bounce, I do this modified rice water rinse treatment – read more here and see my amazing results!
Once you’ve tackled your halo frizz, here’s how to get root volume!
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