What causes frizzy hair? Your hot styling tools are Exhibit A

We all battle a little frizz from time to time, but if you’re noticing that crinkly strands are overwhelming your daily routine, it’s time to do something about it. 

Layering gels, pomades and creams to smooth your frizz might seem like the right thing to do,  but that “quick fix” isn’t a fix at all. You’re only masking your frizz and inevitably weighing your hair down with all that product buildup. 

Frizz happens when our hair strands lack moisture. So to stop frizz, you’ll need to figure out what’s making your hair so dry. Although we typically blame the weather (humidity be damned!), there are many causes of dehydrated, out-of-control strands. One unsuspecting culprit is our stash of hot styling tools.

Let’s take a look at the science behind how your curling iron, straightening iron and hot rollers lead to what causes frizzy hair so you can be on your way to smooth, more manageable strands. 

What causes frizzy hair: The basics of thermal damage 

You blow dry, you flat iron, you curl. If you’re obsessed with styling tools, they’re likely Exhibit A in your case to solve what causes frizzy hair. 

There’s no shortage of styling tools on the market, each promising to sculpt our hair into any look we crave. But to accommodate every hair type, styling tools are equipped to operate at excessively high temperatures. Sometimes reaching up to 428 degrees Farenheight. Yes, that’s very hot. 

So how does the damage actually happen? We’re so glad you asked. 

Our individual hair strands are composed of two main parts, the cuticle and the cortex. The cuticle is made up of multiple, overlapping layers that wrap around the interior cortex to protect it from damage.

When we damage our cuticles, we weaken our strand’s armor and harm the cortex. Styling tools, however, don’t create damage from the outside in.  As we pull these tools through our hair, the heat disrupts and damages the strand starting from the inside out. 

Why is my hair so frizzy? Blame bulges and craters

When we use flat irons, hot rollers or curling irons, we’re essentially boiling the moisture from the inside of our strand. The heat drives water from inside our hair fibers to the surface (the cuticles) where it’s unable to escape. The pressure bubbles to the surface creating bulges along the strand’s cuticle cuticle. Upon further distress comes a crater, a worn-down section of the cuticle that significantly weakens the strand. Miss Crater and her ride-or-die, Lady Bulge, are both examples of irreversible hair damage from hot styling tools. 

Bulges and craters not only sound gross but they look it, too. Thankfully, we can only see them if we look at our strands under a microscope. But bulges and craters make their presence known in other ways to the naked eye: frizz. 

How to get rid of frizzy hair starting in the shower

Now that you know what causes frizzy hair, it’s time for action. You can’t repair bulges and craters once they’ve appeared, so it’s imperative to stop them from forming. The trick on how to get rid of frizzy hair actually starts in the shower. 

Choosing moisturizing products for your washing routine will coat your hair fibers so you won’t need heat to get the soft hair your hot styling tools promise. With the right product, you can air-dry and still achieve silky hair. 

But we get it. Suggesting that you toss your tools is a hard ask. Bidding adieu to endless options of styles isn’t necessary, but you do have to tweak your habits a bit to prevent thermal damage leading to frizz. 

First, try to use your tools less. Second, if you do use them, adjust them to a low setting. As for the products that solve how to get rid of frizzy hair, turn to a shampoo and conditioner with high-quality, salon-grade ingredients that are personalized to your unique hair. 

Gemmist offers the best shampoo for frizzy, damaged hair 

Gemmist’s shampoos and conditioners give your hair the softness you want without requiring you to use styling tools. And they work double time by helping to protect your strands from thermal damage when you do change up looks with your beloved iron, wand or rollers. 

It all comes from the ingredients we use (and don’t use), such as quinoa and soy proteins to condition and enhance shine, moisturizing provitamins that protect the hair follicle and zero sulfates that can dry you out. 

Take the guesswork out of your search for the right shampoo and conditioner with our backed-by-science quiz. We use your hair data to determine the right formulas for your hair type and scalp so you end up with balanced and clean strands. 

Take our quiz to find the best shampoo for frizzy, damaged hair, personalized to your strands. 

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