What should I be doing with my hair?
August 25, 2017 12:43 PM   Subscribe

I'm 23 years old and way too neurodivergent to understand the beauty world. I want to start taking care of my hair better, but I don't know where to start and am getting overwhelmed with all the information and products.

My current hair care routine is:
- Wash and condition it 3 times a week
- Let it air dry (my hair has been blow dried probably a grand total of 6 times in my life)
- Spray some leave in conditioner because if I brush without it my hair basically starts defying gravity
- Brush with a boar bristle brush because plastic brushes also make my hair defy gravity

It works... okay. My hair is pretty, healthy, I think? It's got a lot of elasticity (fancy new word I learned from an article .02 seconds ago), and it's thick. I THINK it's very fine, though? I don't know, I don't go around inspecting other people's hair so I don't know how to tell. I compared it to some sewing thread and it was smaller than that though. But I definitely have a lot of it. At least that's what people are always telling me.

In general I think my hair is pretty dry, but again! Don't know what to compare it to! It looks okay a day after washing; on the third day it starts to get greasy but also, maybe that's what hair is supposed to be like? Maybe mine's just super dry and I'm not used to the feel of properly hydrated hair? I have dry skin and am frequently dehydrated, so this is a very real possibility.

My main problems are:
1) Aforementioned gravity defying. I don't know how to describe it other than everything just sort of seems to lift up and get lighter. If I brush on the inside it lifts towards my face and clings and I HATE it, if I brush on the outside it lifts out and gives me this weird halo look. The leave in conditioner + boar bristle brush only really moderately help this.
2) Frizz. Constant frizz. Especially on the top of my head, which looks ugly and awful. I brush it down and it bounces right back up. I use anti-frizz gel or cream or whatever and it stays down for half an hour and then it's back up again.

A lot of the advice for these issues is geared towards heat damaged hair. My hair is not heat damaged. The only time my hair ever gets blow dried is when I get a hair cut and forget to tell them not to blowdry my hair. I'm super bad at getting haircuts and have been getting them probably only once a year (trying to change that! There were only six months between my last haircut and the one I just got today and I put it on my calendar for six weeks so here's hoping??) so that doesn't happen very often at all. Even as a teenager I almost never blow dried my hair, and I only tried curling it 3 times before giving up entirely.

I just got a haircut hoping that trimming the split ends would help with the frizz (??? maybe??? again, know nothing about hair) and I was too awkward and shy to ask the hairdresser about my hair or what I should be doing. Here's what it looks like now (after she blow dried it, which I guess makes it 7 times in my life my hair has been blow dried, but the frizz level is pretty much how it usually is, maybe a little less but I suspect that has to do with blow drying it straight, which I'm not going to do):

Here you can see the poofy frizz mushroom on the top of my head.
Size frizz.
Does this tell you anything? Idk.

(P.S. That's not my natural hair shape, she did some weird brush magic while blow drying to make it all flippy like that, I'm sure it'll curve different once I wash it but I'm impatient and wanted to post this question now)

And then here's me on a bad frizzy day before I got my hair cut.

I am not a person who has the time, energy, or passion to spend hours carefully styling my hair. I'm sure with enough product I could get my hair completely flat, but I don't want to go through 20 steps to get my hair ready in the morning. What can I do for my hair that's either a) a treatment, not styling (I'll put in time at the end of the night for whatever treatment will help my hair be healthier/look better in the long run, but I am not doing that in the morning before I leave) or b) quick and low maintenance styling that will actually hold throughout the day (I have the patience/time for maybe... MAYBE one touch-up. Maybe. Depends on how good it actually makes me look)?

I feel like this has got to be possible. I'm not looking for super styled, every hair in place kind of look. I also have some natural s-waves after my hair has been washed (it gets flatter the longer I go without washing), but I can rarely take advantage of this because after it dries it's super frizzy, and if I brush it the frizz goes down somewhat but all the waves are gone. I just want to be able to take care of my natural waves, and also have them smooth enough that I don't feel embarrassed going out like that. I've found approximately 12 billion different treatments I can try to help manage it, but I have no idea where to start or whether I need them. Is there something wrong in my basic hair care routine? Do I need to start doing that deep shampooing/deep conditioning/hair mask thing? If so how often and with what? This is all a huge mystery to me.
posted by brook horse to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (41 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There are a few things you can try. The first thing I would do if I were you is throw away the hairbrush. I have fairly similar hair to you and brushing it never did anything good. Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb while it's still damp, and comb it again if it needs it. But brushing it dry is just going to cause frizz.

Unfortunately some of the product stuff will need to be a little bit trial and error. Lots of people love this Bumble and Bumble air dry stuff. I personally have had good luck with this Garnier Hair Oil, but read through the comparison chart in that listing and see if something else might match your needs better. A little tiny bit of that stuff goes a long way. And then just try it!

I do use hair masks like this occasionally, mostly cuz I kinda think it's fun. It does make my hair look/feel better the next day, but it has virtually no long-term effects.

Also try out some different shampoos over time - some work way better for me than others. I never buy the same kind twice in a row, probably for no real reason but I have found that my hair sort of "gets used" to a shampoo/conditioner and it stops working as well.

But a lot of this is just like... playing with it, seeing what works for you, and what you like. It's not a cheap endeavor. You may be able to go to sephora or something and try stuff out/get samples/etc. What works for some people doesn't work for others.

Good luck!
posted by brainmouse at 12:59 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm extremely vain about my hair and your's looks like mine on a good day. Seriously, you have nice hair. I think your hair might be a little static-y, brushing with a metal comb supposedly helps with this. (I heat style with a bristle brush, but using it regularly gives me lots of flyaways). The "frizz" on the top of your head more just looks like the hair breaks easily in that spot and some shorter pieces are sticking up. I wonder if you're brushing your hair too much?

This product is expensive but I swear by it when I air-dry. It helps my hair lay flat but also encourages my natural waves.
posted by cakelite at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2017 [12 favorites]

My hair is kind of like yours! Dryish, thick but fine textured, a little wavy but mostly flat and generally well behaved. What has made the biggest different for me is:
a) getting regular, good haircuts. Regular haircuts cut down on the short frizzy unhealthy broken hairs that naturally accumulate over time. Pulling your hair back a lot (hi, me) can also break off your hairs, particularly if you use less gentle hair bands etc.
b) I swear by this stuff: Frederic Fekkai Glossing Creme. It's slightly expensive but a tube lasts me for ages because you use a pea sized amount. I rub it through my hair after I wash and towel dry it and it keeps things smooth and soft and reduces the staticky flyaway effect that highlights frizz.
posted by MadamM at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, and since you say you air dry exclusively, once you comb your hair out when you get out of the shower, don't comb or touch it again until it is completely dry. That's the #1 way to get frizz. Hair air dries most effectively when you leave it alone.
posted by cakelite at 1:03 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

Oh, I should mention I shower at night, and I only shower 3x a week (yay medical conditions that make you sweat 50% less than you're supposed to?). So I'm almost exclusively brushing my hair dry when I wake up in the morning. Should I be getting it wet before brushing (or combing if that works better) in those instances? And if so should it just be like, a spritzing it with a spray bottle or more like putting my head under the shower spray for a couple of minutes?
posted by brook horse at 1:07 PM on August 25, 2017

For what it's worth, I think your hair looks great!

Most of those frizzy things are split ends, which (in my experience? As an also not very hair talented individual) are hard to get rid of entirely if you don't want to put ALL THE TIME into them, but definitely decrease with regular hair cuts. Do you do ponytails/wear it up? My worst frizz was when I was always just throwing my hair up into a bun or ponytail, because the elastic was breaking the hairs and leading to more frizz.

Anyway, this may not help you, but as someone with similar hair (mine's curlier, but maybe yours is too in its natural state), this was my two prong approach:

1. I don't brush my hair. It just increased the static and got rid of the wavy bits that I like. If I had to brush now, I'd do it before the shower.

2.When hair is damp but not sodden (so, after shower and towelling), comb hair and then take one pinkie-nails worth of this and two sprays of this, rub them together (basically in forms a film over my hands), and then rub them around my hair and...make scrunchy hands? I don't know how to describe that. Literally, I scrunch my hair up a few times and then don't touch it again until it's dry. This was done once, by a stylist when I told her I wanted something dead simple that I wouldn't have to dry or style. I don't know why it works, I just do it and it works. Haircare is like religion: people swear to the strangest things, but if it works it works.
posted by theweasel at 1:09 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

I have very dry hair and I find putting oil on the ends/middle while it's wet works wonders for me.
posted by cakebatter at 1:18 PM on August 25, 2017

Keep washing at night, spray a little wave or body spray, brush in the morning, use dry shampoo or dry texture spray. Go for the tousled French girl look. Gracefully messy is so much more chill than stick straight and smooth.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

If you really HATE the level of frizz you have going on (which is negligible, start paying attention in Hollywood movies and you'll realize famous beautiful groomed actresses have that much frizz on film), I think heat styling is the only way to get rid of it. Especially if you have a slight wave naturally. A quick sweep of the hot brush or flat iron.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:22 PM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

There is no "poufy frizz mushroom" on top of your head. I don't know what you're seeing.

Seconding the "messy french girl" look. If you don't want to go that route, a tiny, tiny dab of Alberto VO-5 schmeared between your palms and smoothed lightly over your hear will beat those frizzes into submission. VO-5 is as old as the hills, super cheap, and works; (the hair equivalent of Pond's Cold Cream.)

"neurodivergent." Jeezus, I can't keep up these days.
posted by BostonTerrier at 1:36 PM on August 25, 2017 [6 favorites]

Hmm. Maybe it's not showing well in the pictures and I only see it because I know it's there. It's definitely more obvious IRL though. Here's a closer look at what I'm talking about. By frizzy mushroom I don't mean that my hair as a whole is a frizzy mushroom, just that there top of my hair always has frizzy pieces that look like a little mushroom. Also, looking at it now, yeah, with the heat styling it's less frizzy than it normally is (see the pre-haircut picture), but I definitely don't want to heat style it regularly.

A good portion of it is while the frizz tames when I brush it, it tends to get light and poofy and I absolutely hate the feel of it on my skin.
posted by brook horse at 1:51 PM on August 25, 2017

My hair has more wave than yours and gets frizzy quite easily. What works best for me is coconut oil on the length after lightly towel drying my hair. You don't need much, so a jar of coconut oil from the store lasts forever. Then I comb it gently and put it in a braid or bun to air dry (and try to avoid touching it until it's dry). The oil weighs my hair down enough that the waves don't turn into a halo of frizz. I have found that this works better for my hair than any of the anti frizz products I've tried.

I still have some frizz this way. I find that blow drying with a round brush after partially air drying makes my hair look less frizzy, if only because it makes all the waves go roughly in the same direction. The only time my hair is truly frizz free are the few magical days a year when there's little to no moisture in the air.
posted by Maeve at 1:54 PM on August 25, 2017

Your hair looks perfectly normal and nice to me.

Sleeping on your hair wet/damp, which it sounds like you may be doing, definitely contributes to waywardness the next morning. As an evening showerer myself, I feel your pain, but it's true. Rewetting helps but getting it wet enough basically then requires drying again.

I use the Aveda creme to tame the flyaways a bit. It doesn't seem like it helps that much--until I take a day off and see what happens.
posted by praemunire at 1:59 PM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

For static frizz, I rub my hair with an unscented dryer sheet.
posted by Valancy Rachel at 2:03 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

You have nice hair. A thing that has been working for me for frizz is doing two French braids at night. I get nice waves with fewer flyaways. I never brush and try not to touch my hair while it's drying. My hair is much thicker and coarser so YMMV.
posted by songs_about_rainbows at 2:04 PM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Throw away your brush. Like, don't brush your hair anymore. Ever. For hair like ours, brushing is the enemy. I alternate Davines shampoo & conditioner with Living Proof, which may be outside your budget, but it makes a big difference for my THICK fine hair. When I get out of the shower, Davines OI oil or Beauty Milk, followed by strict no-touching air dry. It's that easy. I shower less then you (#dirtbag) and I think my hair still looks great. Embrace the no-fuss French girl look and ask your stylist to not blow it out next time.
posted by Marinara at 2:04 PM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

I also think your hair looks normal and quite nice. Even with your updates! That said, I have had some good experiences with this products for taming frizz in air dried hair. Alterna Bamboo Silk stuff A dab will do it, especially with fine hair like yours (and mine).

Any chance your expectations about how someone's hair should look are influenced by unrealistic standards, like all the amazing perfect hair on TV or in photoshopped pictures?
posted by purple_bird at 2:08 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

I don't tend to watch TV or look at beauty blogs or magazines or anything like that, but I feel like every woman I see on the street or in classes or at work that puts any effort into her appearance (not that not doing so is a bad thing, it's just there are some woman who don't do any hair/makeup/are always wearing gym clothes and that's fine, but I've always wanted to be a little more done up than that) has hair that's much flatter and smoother (especially on the top) than mine. But I suppose it could be that they do have the same frizz as me, and it's just not noticeable from the distance I usually interact with people (which is: not very close at all because I am not a touchy person)?

OK shutting up now.
posted by brook horse at 2:14 PM on August 25, 2017

I will concur: I had this problem (including the extreme lack of desire to spend a bunch of time on it) and then I switched to only ever using a wide-toothed comb on my hair, whether wet or dry. It really made a difference.

(Then I got sick of dealing with it and cut it all off and that made things even easier!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:16 PM on August 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Nthing that your frizz is negligible and in no way a mess, and yes I'm talking about your pre-haircut picture. I totally get that if you don't spend your brain power on looking at and thinking about hair you might think otherwise because unrealistic media bullshit, but for someone who doesn't have a team of stylists on standby your hair is lovely in its regular state.

Just saw your update: yep my statement holds. That is a normal amount of flyaway hair at your part. But also man I totally feel you on hating the sensation of specific things on your skin, and this is definitely a problem you can tackle.

I also suggest tossing the brush. Get a wide tooth comb (plastic or metal seems to make no difference in my experience). You will minimize breakage if you finger comb first and gently pull apart any tangles and then use your comb. You might also have good results by leaning over and flipping your hair to comb the underneath primarily, and then flipping it back to just gently surface-comb the top and tips into place.

Then comes product experiments. You probably want to look into oils or serums (which are just oils marketed differently). Used sparingly they will weigh down your frizz and change the feel of your hair so it is hopefully comfortable on your skin. There is also some science thing happening where your hair strands stand apart from each other because of static (it has been many years since I learned about this) and by applying product and combing gently you actually change that energy to align everything? Dang, I wish I could remember, that special interest was so long ago... Anyway, serum or an oil or the right leave-in conditioner will change how your hair interacts with itself and it will feel better.

If you have a Sephora nearby you can get a bunch of samples out of them. Use one sample per hair washing period (every three days sounds fine by the way) by putting some on your fingertips and applying it to your part and the tips of your hair first. Then finger comb from top to bottom to spread the oil out, focusing on catching any flyaway hairs and lightly twisting the tips of your hair together. You might also like to put a bit on the inside where it touches your face the most. Different products will feel different, and also smell different as well as maybe interact poorly (or nicely) with your skin. You will have to determine what you like best for yourself, unfortunately.

If it works for you to have things in your hair, you might have good success with mini claw clips. They grab your hair up and out of the way without stressing it as much as elastics. After combing, pull a small amount of hair from the bottom layer near your ear and twist it up and onto the top of your hair above and slightly behind your ear. Secure it with a clip. That will hold your hair away from your face and neck but still be loose in the back. You can do this on both sides or just one. If the strand of hair you selected is going wild on the bottom, use a tiny bit of oil to twist the tip of it together. After a little bit of experimenting you should be able to feel where to clip your hair back so it sits securely.
posted by Mizu at 2:22 PM on August 25, 2017

You mention that you think your hair is 'dry'. I use a drop or two of Tea Tree Oil (from Trader Joe's) rubbed into my palms, and then lightly on the ends, or areas where it feels dry. This also calms down frizziness, which my thick, wavy/curly hair has plenty of.
I'm much happier since I started just letting my hair do what it does - sometime (with some cuts) it's curly, sometime it's wavy, sometime a bit straighter. I started by using a non-lathering shampoo (I use RenPure Argan oil shampoo, because it's cheap and has no SLS) - that was a little weird to get used to, my hair feels different, even wet, from when I used other shampoos. Then I kept with my conditioner (which has no "cones" in it - silicone, dimethicone, etc). And no more towels - I use a flat-weave dish towel to dry my hair, and never rub. All of this really cuts down on frizz, and has left my hair much stronger, and less dry.
posted by dbmcd at 2:29 PM on August 25, 2017

To combat your very minor amount of frizz, I'd recommend slightly altering the way you air dry. Basically, you want to slow down and control the air drying process. There are a couple of ways to do this. First, you could leave your hair wrapped in a towel for a longer time before you take off the towel and expose it to air. Second, you could use a hair tie or clip as it dries. I like using a large claw clip to hold the upper half of my hair (like this, except I use a larger clip and put more of my hair in it). This keeps my hair straight and smooth while it dries. Or you can try a ponytail, bun etc.

Last tip would be to try a flat iron. With your level of frizz (which again, is minuscule!) you could take literally 1-3 minutes to straighten it and it would look much more "put together". Nothing like the "hours" you mentioned in your question-- that's for people who are trying to radically alter their natural hair style such as from very curly to perfectly straight. I was similarly awkward about my hair at one point (which was much more frizzy/wavy) and getting a flat iron in college did a lot for my hair confidence even though I've since gone back to a more natural look. It's also really easy to curl the ends of your hair (the "flippiness" you mentioned) with a straightener. Just don't overdo it and make sure to use a product to protect your hair.
posted by acidic at 2:42 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

I am not a person who has the passion to spend any time at all carefully styling my hair, so I just shave all mine off from time to time.

Super-short hair always looks orderly, so I never have to worry about doing anything with it. It also takes less time to shower and I don't have to spend any money on hair care.
posted by aniola at 2:55 PM on August 25, 2017

Hmm, yeah, the flyaway bits are well within normal. I tame mine on muggy days by doing my hair however I want to wear it, then spraying a little hairspray on my fingers, and lightly smoothing the bits down.
posted by notquitemaryann at 3:05 PM on August 25, 2017

I have the same problem on top of my head near the part. Like notquitemaryann, I spray hairspray on my fingers and pat pat pat. If I'm not using hairspray, I might use a little CItre Shine Serum -- rub a very small amount between palms and smooth on. I also use a John Frieda anti-frizz shampoo which generally helps smooth my hair a little.
posted by wryly at 3:18 PM on August 25, 2017

dbmcd mentioned this, but DO NOT rub your hair when drying it. Just squeeze, squeeze, squeeze it with the towel. This literally cut my frizz and fluffiness problems at least in half.
I agree with everyone on the brush, and some oil would probably also help. You'll probably have to try a few, it seems real hair specific which oils work for people.
posted by grapesaresour at 4:33 PM on August 25, 2017

Sleeping on wet hair is damaging the strands!

Do not sleep on wet hair. EVER. NEVER.

Anywho, keep experimenting with a leave-in conditioner until you find one that works, letting your hair air-dry. That's about it.
posted by jbenben at 5:16 PM on August 25, 2017

I have similar hair, I think. You might try drying it with an old soft t-shirt, instead of a towel. Squeeze, don't pull or rub. Avoid using a brush or even a comb while it's still wet. Use your fingers. Give it time to fully dry before you go to bed. This may require showering a little earlier in the evening.
posted by ewok_academy at 5:18 PM on August 25, 2017

Your hair looks nice in all of these photos so maybe you don't need to do anything, but if you want to, as someone with fine, mostly-straight hair, you have to blow dry it if you want to reduce what you call "frizz." There's just no way around that. People with curly hair can get away with less blow drying I think, but my hair looks really bad if I don't blow-dry it. The way the women on the street get that good looking hair is via blow drying. I realize that you describe your hair as having waves so perhaps I'm not seeing something but it looks a lot like mine and well, smoothness pretty much corresponds to blowdrying.
I have tried many different types of styling creams etc to combat frizz. They will weigh your hair down but the result is limp hair as often as flat hair. No hair types are beautiful, flat, and frizz-free without some kind of work put into them (except maybe children, who are miraculously beauties).
posted by ch1x0r at 5:51 PM on August 25, 2017 [2 favorites]

hair that's much flatter and smoother (especially on the top) than mine

They're blow drying their hair. Some of them might be getting professional blowouts once or twice a week. There are a lot of good ideas here for styling hair without heat, but you're still going to see women walking around with smoother hair than yours. It's a trade-off. However, never sleeping with wet hair and finding a product that works will really help.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:27 PM on August 25, 2017 [4 favorites]

Consider getting a standing hair dryer like they have at salons, and you can sit and dry your hair while doing something else. I do this and it's been a life changer. Our hair is similar sounding in that I have a lot of fine hair, but mine is curly. Therefore, mine frizzes a lot more than yours. I lean into the frizz and just roll with it and style my hair big and floopy by piling it on top of my head with a clip, but that's not for everyone. If you want to try it, I have found that a texturizing spray is nice the day before I wash (I also wash mine about three times a week).

Also consider getting a silk pillowcase since you don't wet your hair every day.
posted by sockermom at 6:45 PM on August 25, 2017

I'm very envious of your hair - I think it's very naturally put-together looking (even in you "bad" photo) and I don't notice any frizz unless I specifically look for it in your photos. I'm working on learning to Hair a little bit better, too, and I'm find (for trial and error purposes) the Sephora Favorites kits of hair care samples are useful for really getting a sense of how something works on your hair. They run around $30 for a few days or (for me) weeks' worth (each) of 5-6 products.

Also, since it's summer in the northern hemisphere - if this has just been bothering you recently, is it possible it's more humidity-driven than anything?
posted by mosst at 7:25 PM on August 25, 2017

You have beautiful hair. Honestly. You probably need just a treatment of an argan oil hair mask, if that. It looks really well hydrated and well taken care of. The frizz I see seems more like flyaways, and if you want to get rid of those, I suggest Rough Luxury Soft Molding Paste.

Be careful not to get the wax. They look exactly the same. The paste is what you want. Use a teensy tiny bit, like, just enough to get on the tip of your finger. A quarter of a pea size, if that. Rub it on the ends of your fingers and then just smooth it into your hair. I've had my tub for over a year. It's amazing stuff. It doesn't dry your hair, but gives just a bit of texture and makes your hair behave. I used it mostly with my pixie cut, but now I use it to smooth flyaways. Also, it doesn't weigh your hair down too much so you could use it to refresh your hair between washes.

You might want to check out naturallycurly.com to get more information about different hair textures and types. Yours looks like a 1B to me, which is straight with a little bit of body to it.

If you want more moisture, get rid of the hairbrush (like, really - toss it) and find a shampoo without sulfates in it. My hair changed dramatically for the better when I switched to Kirkland Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner (it's a Pureology knock off, but works just as well at 1/3 of the price). It was so much more moisturized that it darkened a shade and my coworkers thought I dyed it.

Another tip for moisture is to dry it with a tee shirt and let it air dry.
posted by onecircleaday at 8:40 PM on August 25, 2017 [3 favorites]

Not a high maintenance hair person myself and I tend to wash and go with my wavy hair. But that amount of fly always doesn't even register as frizz to me. If that level of 'frizz' is left after your stylist blow dried your hair then the only way you would get the even smoother finish you seem to aspire to is to straighten your hair. That's the only way you'll get the really smooth look you seem to want so you may need to reconsider your views on heat treating.

2nding the suggestion that this would probably take a lot less time than you imagine - at home most people use thicker strands than a stylist would use. You get the two fold effect of the heat treatment potions helping relax whatever wavy tendencies there may be and the flat iron smoothing down the shaft of the hair.

The alternative is to embrace a wavy, natural look including the less smooth hair structure and frizz that entails.
posted by koahiatamadl at 3:36 AM on August 26, 2017

I had to look twice at your photos because I wasn't seeing any frizz. You do have a few flyaway strands which I would guess are exacerbated by 1) sleeping with hair wet and 2) brushing. A hair brush is pretty much a static electricity machine. Dry hair at night and a wide tooth comb will help.

I think you should also start looking at the hair of others for flyways/defying gravity/split ends. I think you're on the very low end of having these issues and though it may be annoying to you, most people don't notice a thing. Your hair looks pretty, soft and silky!
posted by mulcahy at 9:14 AM on August 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

We have very similar hair textures, you and me. I have those same gravity-defying hairs at my part. I asked the stylist about them. She told me that that's just what hair like mine does when it's starting to grow in. People shed all the time. But then the hair comes back, and it sticks straight up for a while, until there's enough heft for gravity to take its course.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

(Oh, and your hair is really beautiful, if I do say so myself!)
posted by Stewriffic at 11:53 AM on August 26, 2017

Thanks for the reality check, all. I guess a lot of the anxiety comes from the fact that I'm just moving into the professional world, but as an autistic woman I've paid pretty much zero attention to how I look for most of my life, so I'm constantly afraid I'm doing something wrong and that you can tell by my hair/makeup/clothes that I clearly have no idea what I'm doing. I appreciate all the kind comments, and the tips on how to better take care of my hair!
posted by brook horse at 2:28 PM on August 26, 2017

I have 15x that amount of frizz. I've found three cheap things that help a lot; maybe they'll help you too:

1. Any oil, applied anytime. Argan on damp hair works best for me, but i also get good results with coconut or jojoba on dry hair. It doesn't make my hair oily, not shorten the time between washes, because i just use a tiny bit and it soaks in. (Mostly avoid the scalp.) This could take the place of your leave-in conditioner.

1b. Take this with a grain of salt, but you might try a silicone-based styling product. Some people warn against these, because they do create buildup over time. But they work like magic and a clarifying shampoo every so often will get rid of the buildup. There is also a breed of product that seems to be a hybrid between silicone stuff and actual oils that hair can absorb. Garnier makes a cocoa butter-coconut oil one that i like.

2. John Frieda makes a whole range of anti-frizz stuff. I've tried a bunch of their sprays and creams and like them all. None of them (used sparingly) make my hair feel like there's a lot of product on it. They just literally tame down some of the frizz. The silicones and oils are the same.

3. A TINY amount of hair wax - like, just touch a fingertip to it - can help tame down the tiny top-of-your-head hairs. Some people do this with a toothbrush. Again, it doesn't feel waxy if you use a very small amount. This doesn't last past a day (if that), but it works.

I hear you on not wanting to spend a lot of time on this. With a little experimenting i bet you can find the product(s) that work for you, and then it will just be another 2 minutes in your morning routine. Good luck!

(Also, seconding what everyone else said, your hair is really pretty as it is!)
posted by jessicapierce at 12:59 PM on August 27, 2017

Something that has come up in a couple of answers that I'd draw attention to is that you have "flyaways," not "frizz" (or so it seems from the pictures). If you're googling about your hair, or talking to hairstylists, using a different term might get you better results.
posted by Edna Million at 6:11 PM on August 29, 2017

Firstly, I think your hair looks great, and I can barely see any frizz. But then I have naturally frizzy and curly hair. I get it. I hate the crunchy feeling I get at the top of my crown. I tamed it a lot by doing the following:

Brush: I've always noticed I got more frizzies with small and round bristle brushes. So I switched to a flat vent brush, and it helped. I thought I was doing good, until one day I realized, not all vent brushes are created equal. I broke my regular brush whilst on holiday, and bought a cheap one from a Daiso to replace it. It was a almost identical in shape, but when I used it, it was amazing. I felt the difference straight away. It hurt much less, detangled better, and my hair seemed much softer. I couldn't understand why, when the brushes looked practically identical. So I examined the heads and realized the new one had wider and less bristles, with softer tips, and more flexible bristles. When I run my hand over the newer one, it feels smooth, and the other felt a tiny bit coarse. The good one kinda looked like this but wasn't that one, as the one I got was by chance in Korea.

Shampoo: I saw a difference when I switched to sls free shampoo/conditioners, and when I changed brand. I also used a conditioning treatment (the kind you wash out, an extra step after conditioner-- sometimes called a hair mask) and that helped a lot. Phyto 9 makes really good hair masks, probably the best I've used, albeit they are expensive for some of them. I'd buy again though.

Washing: I wash it less than I used to. That's it. Like twice a week. My hair is dry enough that it doesn't matter for me, ymmv.

Dry: Like you, I mostly air dry because if I blow dry then it's frizz city. So one day, I was thinking about where my hair is coarse and frizzes, and I realized that my hair frizzes around my crown a lot, because it rubs on my pillow while I sleep! So to combat that, firstly, I never sleep with damp hair. And secondly, before I go to sleep, I usually pile my hair on top of my head, like a huge bun, so that the underside of my hair is what I'm sleeping on more. I was also considering getting a silk or satin sleep cap, or silk pillows and seeing if that made a difference, but I haven't yet.

Well, that was my personal adventures in frizz-taming. I hope some of that was helpful. Good luck!
posted by Dimes at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2017

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