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How do I stop my afro from frizzing?

Afro hair is beautiful, but it can also be notoriously difficult to manage. Frizz and dryness are common issues that afro-textured hair is prone to. Many factors can cause afro hair to frizz, like humidity, product buildup, friction from clothing and pillowcases, and more. Stopping the frizz requires finding the right hair care regimen and products that provide moisture and reduce friction. With some tips and the right techniques, you can get your afro under control and looking sleek and defined.

What causes afro hair to frizz?

There are a few key culprits that lead to frizzy, out-of-control afro hair:


Humidity is public enemy number one when it comes to frizz. The moisture in humid air causes the hair cuticle to swell and lift. This leads to increased friction between strands and results in frizz. Humid conditions also make it harder for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft, leading to dryness that worsens tangles and frizz. Using products with humectants like glycerin can help draw moisture into the hair. Opting for creamy leave-in conditioners rather than sprays can create a protective barrier against humidity.

Product buildup

Product buildup is another common cause of frizz. When you use products like heavy oils, creams, or gels, residue can build up on the hair over time. This coating prevents moisture from properly absorbed into the hair shaft. Using clarifying shampoos once a week can remove buildup. Only using the amount of product needed, rather than overdoing it, can also cut down on residue.

Friction from clothing and bedding

The friction caused by clothing fabrics and cotton pillowcases rubs against afro hair throughout the day. This disturbs the cuticle and leads to frizz and split ends over time. Using silk or satin scarves, pillowcases, and lining hats can create a smooth surface that minimizes friction.

Improper detangling

Detangling afro hair requires patience and the right technique. Rushing through detangling and not working out knots from ends to roots can cause hairs to snap and frizz. Always detangle gently with a wide-tooth comb, fingers, or brush on fully conditioned, soaking wet hair. Avoid brushing dry hair.

Heat damage

Using hot tools improperly can damage afro hair cuticles leading to a frizzy appearance. Ensure to always use a heat protectant, keep temperatures lower, and minimize direct heat on the hair. Give hair a break from hot tools regularly. Getting occasional trims can help reduce split ends that can worsen frizz over time.

Tips for managing and reducing frizz

Here are some top tips for getting frizz under control:

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Hydration is key for afro hair. Use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners that contain ingredients like shea butter, argan oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Deep condition once a week. Rinse out conditioner with cool water to seal in moisture. Apply a quarter-sized amount of leave-in conditioner focusing on the ends after washing.

Use anti-humectant styling products

Humectants can worsen frizz in humid weather. Look for products containing anti-humectants like silicones or mineral oil when humidity is high. Examples include serums with dimethicone or pomades containing mineral oil.

Sleep on satin

Wrap hair in a satin bonnet or scarf at night. Use a satin pillowcase. The smooth satin minimizes friction, preserving moisture and reducing frizz.

Avoid touching hair unnecessarily

Excessive touching and styling can disturb the cuticle. Let your hair be after styling it.

Use styling products correctly

Apply styling products like gels and mousse to soaking wet hair and smooth it into place before air drying or diffusing. Scrunch out the crunch from gels after hair is fully dry. This creates definition and minimizes frizz.

Get regular trims

Get a half-inch trim every 8 to 12 weeks to prevent split ends and breakage that worsen frizz over time. Ask your stylist to dust the ends.

Protect hair at night

Tie hair up loosely in a pineapple at night with a scrunchie or wrap it in a satin scarf. This prevents rubbing against pillows.

Best products for frizzy afro hair

Using the right combination of products is key to getting the smoothest, most defined results for your afro. Here are some top-rated products for frizz control:

Product Key Features
SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie – Contains coconut oil, shea butter & silk protein for hydration– Defines curls & controls frizz– Seals cuticle & tames flyaways
Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner – Lightweight formula won’t weigh hair down– Made with shea butter, sweet almond oil, aloe & sunflower oil– Fights frizz & dryness
Cantu Shea Butter Hydrating Cream Hair Dressing – Enriched with raw shea butter, honey & vitamin E– Softens & hydrates while locking in moisture– Reduces frizz & defines curls
Design Essentials Avocado & Almond Moisturizing & Detangling Shampoo – Deeply hydrates & detangles– Fortified with vitamins and proteins– Gentle daily cleansing
Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Styling Gel – Creates frizz-free defined curls– Contains grapeseed oil to nourish & hydrate hair– Leaves no flaky residue

Haircare routine tips

Having a consistent good haircare routine makes a big difference in controlling frizz and enhancing definition. Here are some tips:

Shampoo once a week

Washing afro hair too frequently can strip natural oils leading to dryness and breakage. Limit shampooing to once a week. Co-wash in between shampoos to gently hydrate hair.

Deep condition regularly

Deep condition after each shampooing session with a moisturizing hair mask. Apply it generously and let it sit under a shower cap for up to 30 minutes before rinsing out. This helps strengthen hair and lock in moisture.

Detangle properly

Always detangle hair in sections, working out knots from ends to roots gently with a wide-tooth comb. Only detangle soaking wet, fully conditioned hair to prevent breakage.

Style on damp, not soaking wet hair

Applying products to overly dripping wet hair can dilute them and make them less effective. Lightly towel dry to cut excess water before styling. Section hair and distribute products evenly.

Let hair air dry

Allow hair to air dry rather than roughly blow drying it. This minimizes frizz and damage from heat styling. Scrunch hair periodically as it dries to encourage curl formation.

Sleep on a satin pillowcase

Satin creates less friction than cotton, helping maintain moisture and definition as you sleep. Use a bonnet as well if hair is loose.

Protect with head wraps, scarves and hats

Cover hair with silk and satin headwraps when going outside on dry, cold or windy days. Hats and beanies lined with satin also help protect hair and retain moisture.

How to pick the right products for your hair

With the wide range of products targeted for textured hair, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Here are tips on selecting products for your specific needs:

Know your hair’s porosity

Porosity determines your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture. Low porosity hair has tightly sealed cuticles resistant to moisture. High porosity cuticles are more open and absorbent.

Figure out your hair type

Determine whether you have fine, medium or thick hair strands. Also identify your curl pattern like 3A, 4C, etc.

Learn ingredient basics

Know which ingredients target specific needs – emollients like oils seal in moisture, humectants like glycerin attract moisture, and proteins strengthen and reduce breakage.

Switch products seasonally

Use thicker, more emollient products in dry winter weather. Favor lighter, protein-free products in humid summer weather.

Read and watch reviews

Check out YouTube natural hair videos and blogs to see what products work best for reviewers with similar hair types and textures as you.

Pick combos not single products

Build a multi-step routine with a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in and styler that work together based on your needs and preferences.

Give products a test run

Try travel sizes where available or ask for samples. Use new products for 2 to 3 weeks to see if they truly deliver the results you want.

Adjust as needed

Be flexible adjusting your regimen based on changes in climate, hair length or texture over time. Your hair’s needs may change.

Common mistakes to avoid

It can take some trial and error to perfect your frizz-fighting haircare regimen. Steer clear of these common pitfalls:

Rubbing with towels to dry

Vigorously rubbing hair with towels causes friction damage. Instead, gently blot hair to soak up excess moisture. Let air drying do the rest of the work.

skipping conditioner

Conditioner is non-negotiable for adding hydration and minimizing frizz. Use it every wash day without exception.

Relying on brushes

Hard bristles are too harsh on delicate coils and curls. Use wide-tooth combs and fingers instead of brushes to prevent frizz.

Not using a leave-in

Leave-in conditioners boost moisture retention between washes. Apply them to damp hair before styling.

Applying products to soaking wet hair

Very wet hair dilutes product concentration. Lift excess moisture with a t-shirt before applying stylers.

Skipping the deep conditioner

Weekly deep conditioning strengthens hair and prevents breakage that worsens frizz. Make it a non-negotiable step.

Letting hair air dry loose

Air drying loose without clips can encourage random frizz and tangling. Section hair neatly first.

Not preserving nighttime moisture

Always tie hair up at night in a loose scarf or bonnet. Friction against cotton causes frizz.

Using hot tools on high heat

Keep hot tools at a medium temperature to minimize damage. Only use when necessary to prevent frizz.


Living with afro hair comes with unique challenges when it comes to taming frizz. The key is being consistent with a haircare system using moisturizing ingredients and minimizing damage from friction and heat. Deep condition regularly, sleep on satin, and use styling products correctly. It may take some trial runs to discover your magic combination of frizz-fighting products. With the right routine, you can embrace your natural texture while keeping frizz under control.