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Nothing can thwart a good hair day quite like that dreaded ‘F’ word—FRIZZ. It can take your smooth and shiny strands and leave them looking a wiry mess of flyaways in mere minutes. In the battle against frizz, it’s first important to understand exactly what causes it. At the root of the issue? A moisture imbalance.
As a universal scientific principle, moisture always travels from areas of high concentration to low concentration. So, when it’s humid outside and there’s a ton of moisture in the air, it’s going to want to move to somewhere where there is less moisture, i.e. the inside of your hair. That’s why humid summer days and/or rainy weather equal a frizz fest. And that’s also why moisturizing products that keep your hair hydrated are so clutch in the fight against frizz, as are products that work to lock out that extra moisture in the air from penetrating into the hair shaft.
Still, more is not always better when it comes to anti-frizz products. “The excess moisture in the air can cling onto the product itself, especially if you use too much, leaving your hair looking weighed down, greasy, and still frizzy,” cautions stylist John Mouzakis, co-owner of 3rd Coast Salon in Chicago. A smarter smoothing strategy? Layer various anti-frizz products throughout your routine, he says.
Ahead, the best products to fight frizzy hair and—most importantly—come out on top.
Best Overall: Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield
Extremely effective on all hair types and textures, this is a guaranteed universal crowd-pleaser. The star of the show is the brand’s patented healthy hair molecule, which works to both lock out humidity and helps condition hair.
Use this finishing spray as the final step in your styling routine to not only ward off frizz but also protect your hair from UV damage. We also appreciate that it comes in a travel-friendly size, too, since nothing puts a damper on a beach vacay like a bad hair day.
Best Drugstore: John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength Hair Serum
Think of this as a souped-up version of the original Frizz Ease serum, a cult classic that first launched in the U.S. back in 1990 (and was one of the first frizz-fighting products available). With even more smoothing prowess, this is especially ideal for the most unruly, frizziest hair out there, using silk protein and seaweed extract to both repel humidity and help seal split ends.
Best Oil: Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil
Oils are a great way to impart high levels of moisture into your hair and help ward off frizz. This one does just that, using a combination of six different oils, but never feels greasy (yes, even on fine hair). Also noteworthy: The addition of UV filters to protect your strands from the sun, making it a great summertime pick. Use a few drops on damp hair before blow-drying, or on dry hair for added shine and sleekness.
Best Spray: Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray
“Skip the hairspray and use this as the final step in your styling routine instead,” suggests Mouzakis. It keeps humidity at bay and hair frizz-free for up to 24 hours, while also locking in your style, he says. It even adds a bit of body and volume, too, thanks to the addition of panthenol, so it works equally well whether you’re wearing your hair up or down.
Best Cream: Fekkai Brilliant Gloss Multi-Tasker Perfecting Crème
This newbie uses plant-based ingredients (think French cold-pressed organic olive oil, oh-la-la) to lock in moisture and lock out frizz, and offer antioxidant protection, to boot. Bonus points for the fresh floral scent and vegan formula that’s free of sulfates, silicones, parabens, and phthalates. The tube is made of 65% recycled plastic, too.
Best Shampoo: Oribe Moisture & Control Shampoo
Mouzakis advises starting your frizz-fighting routine in the shower. Stock up on this sudser to help kick-start the smoothing process: “It’ll help properly prep your hair to fight humidity all day,” he says. Free of sulfates, it’s safe for color and keratin-treated strands, too.
Best Mask: Redken Frizz Dismiss Mask
If you want to just wash-and-go, without having to add extra steps to your routine, reach for this smoothing treatment. Loaded with babassu oil it improves smoothness and manageability and packs a hefty dose of hydration. Try using it in place of your regular conditioner two to three times per week (or whenever your hair needs a little frizz-fighting boost). Top tip: For the best results, leave it on for three to five minutes before rinsing.
Best Multi-Tasker: Ouai Leave-In Conditioner
Whether you’re a hair product minimalist or just have minimal time to spend on your styling routine, reach for this mist. A quick spritz or two on damp hair will condition and de-tangle, ward off frizz and flyaways and leave your finished style smoother and shinier. Also nice: It works on all hair types, from super straight to crazy curly, and smells amazing. What more could you ask for?
Best for Curly Hair: DevaCurl Frizz-Free Volumizing Foam
Curly hair is notorious for frizzing up, fast, making this a must-have for anyone with curls or waves. It eliminates frizz and flyaways, while also adding plenty of volume and fullness and shine to boot. Multi-tasking for the win. And, unlike many other mousses, it’s alcohol-free and won’t dry out your strands.
Best for Thick Hair: MoroccanOil Hair Treatment
There’s a good reason (reasons) why this oil is a cult-classic. The argan oil and linseed extract in the formula not only helps hydrate hair and knock out frizz, but they also improve the health and strength of your stands. Because it is a bit of a heavier oil, it can be a bit much for finer hair, but if you for medium to thick types it can’t be beaten.
Best for Fine Hair: Unite 7Seconds BlowOut Créme
Work this into wet hair ASAP after getting out of the shower. As soon as your hair starts to dry it can start frizzing up, notes Mouzakis, who says applying a moisture cream like this one as soon as you get out of the shower is a good move. Despite the fact that it’s intensely moisturizing, it still feels lightweight, a good option for those with finer or thinner locks.
Best for Blow-Drying: Briogeo Farewell Frizz Heat Protectant Crème
To give your hair a leg up in the war against frizz, blow-drying is always a good move; it helps seal the cuticle, making it harder for moisture to penetrate. Before you do so, work one to two quarter-sized dollops of this guy from root to tip. The lightweight formula adds and seals in moisture, enhances shine, and also offers oh-so-important heat protection, a must when you’re using hot tools.
Best for Air Drying: Garnier Fructis Pure Clean Detangler + Air Dry
Yes, generally speaking, air drying isn’t a great idea if you want super smooth, frizz-free hair. That being said, we totally get that blow-drying every single time you wash your hair isn’t necessarily always a realistic (nor enjoyable) option. Enter the beauty of this silicone- and paraben-free spray, a staple in our haircare routine. With aloe extract and vitamin E, a few sprays de-tangle and smooth, and help control frizz as hair air dries. Skeptical? Try spraying it on just half your hair and then compare the difference—it’s totally noticeable.