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Looking after frizzy hair

Sarah Horrocks
by Sarah Horrocks Published on 29 April 2008

Is your hair impossible to untangle? Too thick? Too dry? Frizzy hair is often difficult to style, however with the right products and care, your hair will reveal all its beauty!

The characteristics of frizzy hair
It’s naturally very curly and generally very dense, as well as flat.

It lies flat on the skull rather then straight (this is to protect the scalp from the sun).
Women of black, African and Caribbean origin will be familiar with these characteristics!

Problems
With the climate in the tropics, the scalp is always moist, which helps hair to grow and stay healthy.

But in countries with moderate climates like European countries, the lack of moisture causes tightening of the pores, resulting in a build up of sebum on the scalp. This suffocates and dehydrates the scalp while the rest of the hair becomes dry, frizzy and starts to grow in spirals.

This leads to the need for constant styling, which in turn causes the hair to become fragile.

Shampooing
As this type of hair is fragile and dry, it needs to be gently washed and intensely nourished. Use shampoo specifically designed for dry and frizzy hair, follwed by a rich, nourishing conditioner with a jojoba, shea or safflower oil base.

Massage the hair and scalp, rinse first with hot water, then warm and finish with a blast of cold (this helps untangle the hair and make it shine).

Treatments
- Once a week, use an ultra nourishing shea butter mask to soften and deeply nourish your hair. Do this before shampooing, and leave it in for at least half an hour, wrapping your hair in a hot towel. If your hair is extremely dry then leave your masks on overnight and wash your hair in the morning - it will be visibly softer.

- Use palm, jojoba or monoi oil. They hydrate and nourish very dry and damaged hair. Apply in the evening and leave in overnight, then wash and rinse in the morning. Your hair will be strong and bright.

- Do as the Moroccans do and use rassoul (a natural clay). Dilute it in water to form a mud-like substance that foams and absorbs grease. This shampoo/conditioner has been used since ancient times by women in the Atlas mountains to restore softness and shine.

Do it yourself
Express mask
Warm up a generous dollop of olive oil over a pot of water and apply it to your hair 30 minutes before shampooing, wrapping your hair in a hot towel.

Almond oil, melted honey and creme fraiche mask
Mix the ingredients together in equal quantities to make a mask and apply to your hair, then wrap in a hot towel. Rinse after half an hour.

Caring mask
Mash or grate ½ an avocado, ½ a banana, add an egg yolk and one teaspoon of olive oil. Blend together well and apply on damp hair, massaging the scalp. Cover in a plastic shower cap and leave it in for ¾ of an hour to an hour. Use this mask once a week as an intense treatment to help restructure your hair.

Brushing
Frizzy hair is difficult to brush as it is very fine yet thick, and breaks easily. Untangle it with a special comb or large-toothed comb. You can also use detangling lotion on the knots.

Avoid
- Styling gels: they dry the hair and suffocate the scalp.
- Braiding your hair too tightly: it puts too much pressure on the hair and could make it fall out.
- Some conditioners can be too strong and can make the hair fragile.
- Heavy extensions that pull on the roots can cause the hair to fall out.

by Sarah Horrocks

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