Thursday, September 6, 2012

Question: Is frizzy hair always dry hair?

In this post on making conditioner for newbie Tuesday, Rosi asks: Humectant is not good for frizzy hair, but is good for dry hair. Is there a difference? To me frizziness and dryness walk hand in hand, so how do I know and if I have both, use or not use humectant. Sorry I don't understand the difference and thanks for your williness to respond.

Don't apologize for not knowing something! Isn't that the point of learning. You don't know something, you read a book or a blog or listen to something, then you know! We all didn't know something once, then we learn it and we know it! Never apologize! Okay, back to the question...

There is a perception out there that frizzy hair is dry hair. Not so. Frizzy hair is a form of curly hair, and it can be normal, oily, or dry!

From the post Chemistry of your hair: Straight, curly, and frizzy hair: What's the deal with frizzy hair? Blame your genes! Your hair fibres roll themselves around the axis of the hair shaft, and there are different growth patterns around this axis, like with the curly girls. The frizziness comes out of the absorption of water in the endocuticle. It can absorb water from the atmosphere, which plumps up our hair strands. If you have hair with more disulphide bonds on one side or have hair that grows differently, you'll see frizziness there. But frizzy hair doesn't absorb water uniformly - again, you'll have more water on one side and less on the other, so you get that uneven look that leads to the frizzies! (The nice thing is we can deal with this issue with silicones and other anti-frizz products.)

What can we do with frizzy hair? Don't use humectants, for a start. Humectants draw water from the atmosphere to provide hydration, and that's the last thing we frizzy girls want! Keep anything humectant-y out of your products or keep them to a minimum. (You'll find butylene glycol in Incroquat BTMS-50 and panthenol is really great for all hair types, but otherwise stay away from things like hydrolyzed silk protein that can penetrate our hair shaft.)

Keep the water out to make sure we don't get the frizzies! There are a few options. We can use the silicones - dimethicone and cyclomethicone - to keep moisture from creeping into our hair. (Click here for my favourite recipe for an anti-frizz spray!) If you don't like silicones, you can try using some silicone alternatives, or oils. (If you're an oily haired person, oils aren't really your friends, but you can try them.)

Us frizzy types can benefit from using oils before washing. Coconut oil is always my first choice for pre-wash moisturizing thanks to the many studies that have shown it is awesome for our hair (and inexpensive, which is a bonus!). Melt, put on hair, enjoy smell, wash off. Easy peasy! Or you could include oils and butters in your conditioners. If you're an oily haired girl, go with the pre-wash oiling; dry haired girls can go nuts with pre-, during, or post-wash oils.

To answer your questions about the picture of me above - yes, I'm standing very strangely because I didn't want to drop the squirming goat; yes, my hair is pink in some places, and yes, that is the most adorable baby goat (or kid) you've ever seen. It was a pygmy baby goat, which is just slightly cuter than a regular goat! Check out the baby goat stampede video! I watch this every few days just to give me a huge smile and a laugh! 

Related posts: Look in the hair care section of the blog for more information on conditioners, anti-frizz products, and using oils and silicones!


catherine said...

What a revelation! Frizzy hair is not necessarily dry hair!?! I have a weird situation where only my gray hair is frizzy, not my black hair.

I'll try leaving humectants out of my next conditioner bar. Any recommendations for how to replace polyquat/honeyquat? I'm thinking half dimethicone/half coconut oil.

Also, I would guess that means, for frizzy hair, use only btms25 not btms50, since btms50 is also a humectant?

I don't think I need a humectant for my hair since I rinse my hair (wash off pollen/allergens...good tip for those w/ allergies!) and condition every night.

madpiano said...

I am definitely one of those people with frizzy, but not dry hair. My hair is healthy and glossy (when blow dried), but the English weather is hell for it. Fine drizzle anyone? Damp Fog?
I don't make my own conditioner, but this article made me realize that I will have to stay away from hydrating conditioners and I will keep my eye out next time for products with silicones instead.

Viviask said...

Thanks for the information! I have to look for new products, though I'm doing really well with argan oil from Pro naturals, I heard silicons were bad for hair (they certainly didn't help mine) and by using silicon free products the frizz has been greatly reduced!

Karo said...

thank you so much for the info, it's very useful, I use a good hair oil that is helping me a lot, it's pro naturals moroccan argan oil which reduces the frizz and leaves my hair soft, shiny and healthy. :D

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Viviask and Karo! Are you sure that your product doesn't contain silicones? Everyone is going on and on about things like Moroccan oil, which contains very very little argan oil and mostly silicones. There really isn't a huge benefit in using argan oil on your hair over other oils - for instance, you could use pumpkin seed oil or sesame oil in its place - and it is incredibly expensive. If you want something great for your hair, I suggest trying coconut oil - it's cheap, it's well studied, and it smells great!

Just curious - what do you mean that "silicones were bad for hair"? What kinds of things have been said and by whom? Can you send me the ingredient list for the Pro Naturals product? I would love to see what's in it, and I can't find the full ingredient list on line. Is it the one with heat protector in it, because I would be shocked if that one didn't contain silicones? Oils don't protect your hair from heat; silicones do.

Is this the product? If so, it contains silicones. "Silicom Derivative: A silicone derivative to give the hair fiber softness, smoothness and lightness."
Click here for more information on argan oil.

Mychelle said...

I, too, have frizzy hair with oily roots. I spent years buying products I hoped would smooth the frizz while not making me greasy, but it was impossible! My hair is so much happier now that I make my own products. Still, it's a challenging hair type to formulate for. I'm lucky you're here! :)

Mychelle said...

Catherine, my hair prefers the BTMS25 to the 50, I think due to the added humectant. The 50 makes my hair more frizzy. But every head is different and Susan's hair really likes the 50!

Aljonor said...

Hey Everyone:
My hair is frizzy and dry. I make my own intensive conditioner and I didn't use any humectant in my hair products. It just didn't not work for me. But recently I added Glyceryl Stearate which is a mono ester of glycerin and stearic acid to my BTMS. This combo not only softens my hair when its dry but I have no frizz. I guess because it is an ester. I purchase the Glyceryl Stearate from This is the only way I get a humectant on my hair. It seems to balance my hair with appropriated moisture .

Ruth Ramaekers said...

Wow, cool blog my friend! I'm still not sure which blog shows up when I post comments on other blogger blogs. I've been writing a Miniatures blog since February, but recently started a beauty blog. They are both on blogger. I keep looking for other DIY beauty blogs. They are hard to find! I find most of them through pinterest, which is where I found yours. Will definitely start following yours!

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Mychelle! I think I might be a bigger fan of BTMS-225 these days. I'm really surprised at how the ends of my hair are curling instead of frizzing, and I really like it!