What you’ll learn from this article:
- Understanding the causes of frizzy hair
- Does blow drying hair make it frizzy?
- Preparing your hair for blow drying
- Proper blow drying techniques
- Post blow drying tips to prevent frizz
There’s nothing worse than putting all your time and effort into blow drying your hair only to have it puff up into a huge frizz ball the moment you step outside. So what’s the secret for how to not get frizzy hair when blow drying? It’s not just a matter of blow drying correctly, but preventing frizz even before you pick up your dryer.
To make sure you get the best advice, we turned to the frizz experts here at Color Wow. From inventing the first-ever anti-frizz product to creating our iconic Dream Coat formulas, our team knows a little something (and by that we mean A LOT) about shutting down frizz.
From the best way to blow dry frizzy hair to how to make hair less frizzy after blow drying, check out their advice below!
Understanding why frizz happens
Whether your hair is fine, thick, coarse, curly or straight, frizz does not discriminate. So what’s the common denominator between these seemingly unrelated hair types? It’s a compromised cuticle layer.
Frizz happens when the outer layer of your hair, known as the cuticle, becomes raised. A raised cuticle is the result of a few different factors, most commonly:
- Genetics – Some people are just born with it
- Color + chemical treatments – Processing your hair causes serious damage to the cuticle layer
- Heat styling – Excessive use of heat can zap all the moisture from your hair and leave it porous. Which leads us to…
Does blow drying hair make it frizzy?
If you’re constantly wondering, “why is my hair frizzy when I blow dry it?” here’s why:
- Constant blow drying (especially without heat protection) creates a lot of wear and tear on your strands. Over time, this can lead to frizz because your blow dryer is zapping all the moisture from your hair.
- You also might be blow drying incorrectly. Blow drying is supposed to smooth your cuticle closed to help reshape your hair into a smoother, shinier finish. However, if you blow dry in a way that roughs up your cuticle, you’re not going to get that smooth finish.
- Lastly, if you don’t prep with the right products, you won’t get a frizz-free finish that lasts. Simply blow drying your cuticle smooth isn’t a permanent fix because you’re not addressing the real problems: dehydration and porosity. It’s important you prep your hair first with a leave-in treatment and/or anti-frizz treatment to ensure your smooth results last.
Preparing Your Hair for Blow Drying
The secret to how to stop frizzy hair when blow drying starts in the shower. To ensure sleek, frizz-free results that last, it’s important you follow all these steps.
1. Choose the right shampoo and conditioner
Your first thought when aiming for frizz-free hair might be to use an anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner duo. Our advice? Don’t do it!
Shampoo is meant to do one thing and one thing only: clean! When you start adding extra benefits into the mix (aka, anti-frizz, smoothing, hydrating), your shampoo is no longer cleaning.
Instead, it’s actually leaving behind ingredients on your hair (and scalp!) in order to deliver on those frizz-free promises.
Here’s why that’s a problem:
- Not only does buildup create an unhealthy environment for your scalp, but it also leaves a layer of film on your hair. This makes it harder for your anti-frizz treatments and stylers to perform properly. Which defeats the purpose!
- The more buildup on your hair, the more you have to wash it. The problem is, frizzy hair should be washed less often, not more often.
Because frizzy hair has a raised cuticle, it’s inherently dry and dehydrated. The more time you leave between shampoos, the more of a chance your scalp’s natural oils have to travel down each strand and provide moisture. But if you’re shampooing more frequently due to buildup, then you’re not allowing the oils to do their job.
It’s also super important to choose a sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates are aggressive when they clean and can compromise your cuticle layer, and you can read more about what they are with our guide to what it means to be SLS free. Instead, it’s best to opt for a sulfate-free formula made with super gentle amino acid-based cleansers.
Our go to wash day duos?
For all hair types, we recommend Color Wow Color Security Shampoo and Color Security Conditioner. Not only is this shampoo 100% clean and residue-free so every ingredient rinses completely off, but it’s also sulfate-free. Formulated with a special Japanese amino acid cleanser (often found in face washes), this rich-lathering shampoo gently cleanses while leaving the cuticle smooth and closed to help lock in moisture.
For curly or coily hair types, we recommend Curl Wow Hooked Shampoo and Coco-Motion Lubricating Conditioner. This shampoo is also 100% clean, sulfate-free and residue-free, but it has an additional root-locking technology that helps anchor your hair in the follicle. Coco-Motion also contains our proprietary Naked Technology that helps micro-disperse oils along each strand for deep-penetrating, rich moisture.
You can read more about Curl Wow's Naked Technology with our guide.
2. Towel dry your hair gently
Microfiber towels are ideal for towel drying post-shower hair. Unlike traditional cotton towels, they’re gentler on the hair, don’t rough up the cuticle, reduce frizz and won’t tangle or snag the hair (aka, less breakage!).
3. Apply a heat protectant
Because damage and dryness both contribute to a lifted cuticle, it’s best to use a heat protectant while blow drying. While all Color Wow treatments and stylers contain heat protection, our fave blow dry boosts are our Dream Cocktails.
Available in three “flavors,” these leave-in treatments not only protect your hair against heat damage, but make a massive difference to the health of your hair in just one blow dry:
- Kale Cocktail – Strengthening treatment is clinically-proven to reduce breakage by 50% in a single use
- Coconut Cocktail – Hydrating treatment transforms straw-like hair to silk
- Carb Cocktail – Thickening treatment plumps up skinny strands for instant mass + body
When it comes to frizzy hair, our ideal Cocktail combo is to use both Kale and Coconut to help reduce breakage and amp up the hydration. Apply Kale first (because it works inside the hair strand), followed by Coconut.
4. Use an anti-frizz treatment
If you’re serious about making your blowouts last, then it’s vital you prep with an anti-frizz treatment that not only delivers a sleek finish but can resist humidity. For that, there’s only one solution: our iconic Dream Coats.
Formulated with the most advanced anti-frizz technology, these light-as-water sprays wrap every strand in a water-resistant sheath that leaves your hair humidity-proof through three to four shampoos.
Don’t worry! We made sure to pack these award-winning formulas with heat protection.
Which anti-frizz treatment is for you?
If you have straight, wavy, or curly frizz-prone hair and you want straight hair → use Dream Coat Supernatural Spray
If you have extremely dry, dehydrated + curly/coily hair and you want straight hair → use Extra Strength Dream Coat
How to blow dry hair not frizzy
Now that your hair’s sufficiently prepped, it’s time to blow dry! To ensure frizz-free results, avoid these common blow drying mistakes.
Blow drying sopping wet hair
When your hair is wet, it’s extremely fragile. Not to mention, the wetter your hair is, the longer it takes to blow dry, the longer you’re applying heat. To help minimize damage, dehydration and frizz, let your hair air dry about 70% first before you start blow drying.
If you’re short on time, try using an accelerant spray, like Speed Dry Blow Dry Spray, to help speed up the process. Clinically-proven to reduce drying time by 30%, its uniquely alcohol-free formula squeezes out excess moisture without dehydrating the hair.
Blow drying the cuticle wide open
One of the most common mistakes we see is people blow drying roughly in a way that opens the cuticle. This, of course, makes it impossible to achieve a frizz-free finish. Instead, follow these tips:
For straight hair results
The key to sleek, straight hair results is to point the nozzle of your blow dryer down the hair strand to smooth the cuticle closed. We recommend using a concentrator nozzle attachment and a brush for easier smoothing. Another option (and honestly, a much easier one) is to invest in a blow dry brush.
Also, make sure to dry your hair completely. If there’s any excess moisture still in your hair after blow drying, it can cause your smoothed strands to swell and become frizzy. Not to mention your anti-frizz treatments might not work properly if not blow dried fully.
For curly hair results
When diffusing, there are a few key techniques to remember to help minimize frizz.
- Avoid using your hands or touching the diffuser to your hair while drying. Touching your curls can disrupt their definition, which can leave them looking fuzzy.
- Don’t use high heat when diffusing. The high heat will dry your hair faster, but it will also dehydrate your hair. Opt for medium to low heat for a drying method that won’t zap all the moisture out.
- Diffuse your hair until it’s about 80% dry, then let it air dry naturally to avoid overdoing it on the heat.
- Rather than flipping your hair around constantly and diffusing different sections, focus on one section at a time until it reaches your desired dryness.
How to fix frizzy hair after blow drying
Nobody’s perfect, which means despite your best efforts, you might still see some frizzy hair after blow drying. This is especially true if you don’t prep with an anti-frizz treatment with long-lasting humidity-blocking tech. If this is the case, here’s how to make hair less frizzy after blow drying:
Apply a smoothing cream
For an instant, on-the-spot frizz fix, use a smoothing cream like One-Minute Transformation. Packed with ultra-nourishing and hydrating Avocado Oil and Omega 3’s, it absorbs immediately to help smooth and depuff swollen hair. Best of all? You don’t need to apply more heat to reap the benefits. However, if you do use heat, rest assured this frizz-fighter comes packed with heat protection!
Seal the cuticle closed
If you find your hair is looking dull and swollen post blow dry, try sealing the cuticle closed with a glossing serum like Pop + Lock High Gloss Finish. This unique multitasker combines the conditioning benefits of an oil with the shine power of a serum. Meaning, it simultaneously moisturizes inside the strand while smoothing the outer cuticle closed with a glossy finish. Plus, it protects against frizz-inducing heat damage and UV rays.
Lock in your style with hairspray
If you need extra hold when doing an updo or glam waves use a humidity-resistant hairspray like Cult Favorite to set your style. Its firm but flexible formula locks your style in place without leaving it feeling crunchy, crisp or rigid. Plus, it won’t yellow your color!
Want more tips on blow drying, and how to fight frizz and keep your locks sleek and shiny? Check out the rest of the Color Wow Blog: