In my dreams, I have Gisele Bundchen’s “I just woke up like this” hair—smooth, frizz-free, beachy waves that would dry perfectly in place after a dip in the ocean. No serums or flat irons or hair dryers need apply.
The reality is quite different. My hair is naturally wavy and curly, but not in the effortless, beachy sense—more like the frizzy kind that whorls and twists at the slightest hint of humidity.
I‘ve been fighting frizz most of my life. I grew up in Santa Monica where going to the beach as a teenager was de rigueur. That was followed by summers in my 20s spent in the Hamptons. And yet I rarely dipped my head under the ocean’s waves or in pools on either coast because of the frizz fest that would ensue if I dared to air dry my hair. It feels silly saying that now, but it’s the truth.
I even remember years ago, after a late night swim with my then boyfriend, I actually waited until he had fallen asleep so I could go into the bathroom to blow dry my hair at 1 a.m., rather than letting it air dry overnight and risking looking like a train wreck come sunrise.
Is there such a thing as hair shame? Probably. All I know is that I don’t feel like myself when my hair is frizzy. I could have on the best outfit and professionally done makeup, but if my hair doesn’t look good, I don’t feel good. Period. So needless to say, between my desire for smooth locks and writing about beauty for nearly a decade, I’ve tried just about everything—from smoothing serums, shampoos and conditioners to hairsprays that promise to deliver frizz-free hair.
But when humidity rears its ugly head, I’ve found that few products—outside of a helmet—truly keep genuinely frizz-prone hair in check. And every time I read those magazine tips about spritzing in some beach spray and letting your hair air dry for “natural beach waves,” I think, “Who are you kidding?” If you can do that and not look like Annie after an all-night bender, you don’t have frizzy hair. You have a gift from the hair gods.
Over the years, through much trial and error, I’ve learned a few tricks to help fight frizz and get through weather that is far from hair-friendly.
Kick-ass keratin treatments. If I’d had this back in high school (or the Hamptons), I would have dived into every ocean and pool I could find and let my strands fall perfectly where they lay. Keratin treatments leave hair amazingly smooth and controllable, and best of all, the results last for several months. My go-to pro is Cristina B at Rita Hazan Salon in Manhattan; she finds the perfect balance of getting my hair smooth without it becoming too straight or flat, which I don’t want. Love the waves. Hate the frizz.
The first time I got a keratin treatment and was able to walk to work in the rain without a strand moving out of place was, well, magical. I’d never experienced that before in my life. I was actually elated.
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