Hair Products & Frizz

Long hair with frizz
Photo: Puhhha/Shutterstock
Q: Hi. I'm in the 8th grade, and I'm doing a project on the effect hair products have on the amount of frizz that occurs in hair. Do you know if certain hair, for example, African Americans and Hispanics are affected by frizz differently? Also do you know which kind of hair products such as gels have effect on hair at all?
A: Frizz occurs when the hair cuticle layer is raised or roughed up. This can happen because of styling damage, damage from chemicals and chemical services, or other environmental elements. The cuticle layer can also become raised when the hair is porous and is exposed to moisture, causing the hair to swell and the cuticle to become raised.
Different ethnic types will respond differently to the elements that cause frizz, although a better categorization would be to look at different hair types. Coarser hair textures can become frizzy more easily, depending on their porosity, and curly hair types often have a lot of issues with frizz when the environment is too humid or too dry.
When the cuticle layer of the hair is compact and smooth, the hair will appear shinier and healthier and will be less prone to tangles and knotting. Using a good conditioner helps to keep the hair moisturized and helps to smooth the cuticle layer, keeping the hair silky, smooth and free of frizz.
There are literally hundreds of products out there designed to help combat frizz in the hair. Some of them work better on some hair types than others, while others will work just fine on mild cases. It really depends on how much frizz you have, the cause of the frizz, your hair type and the product you are using.
Many anti-frizz products use silicone to coat the hair shaft and keep the cuticle smooth and seal it against moisture. Silicone is heavy and can leave the hair looking greasy if overused. Other products use fruit oils for the same purpose because of the light texture and quick absorption.
See also:
Why does hair frizz?
How to combat hair frizz
The different hair types