Everyone suffers from a bad hair day now and then, but for some people, it seems that each day just marks another struggle to tame and style hair that is frizzy, unruly and sticking out in all directions. Unmanageable hair can make it difficult to look and feel your best and can make getting ready in the morning or before a special event a difficult, time-consuming and frustrating task.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with unmanageable hair. By determining the underlying cause for fly-aways and frizz, you can take steps to address the problem through home remedies, hair care products and even professional treatments.
A number of problems could be at the root of your hair's wild ways, and in some cases, the problem may come from a number of causes. There's no one quick solution to unmanageable hair, but by experimenting with different products and examining the condition of your hair, you will be able to eventually have the beautiful, easy-to-manage head of hair that you crave.
In some cases, the causes of unmanageable hair lie not in your hair itself, but in how it's cut. If the problem starts suddenly after a haircut or a switch to a new stylist, your hair may not have been properly shaped. You can revisit the salon or seek out a new stylist to even out the hairdo, add layers or cut your hair a bit shorter to fix the problem.
Even if you have had the same hairstyle and stylist for years, your haircut may still be to blame for your unmanageable hair. If your cut looks great in the salon, but never the same at home, you may be wearing a 'do that is just too difficult for you to style yourself. For example, a turned under hairstyle that requires shaping with a round brush while you blow dry can look uneven and sloppy if you find it difficult to properly turn the ends under while you hold your hair dryer. If you suspect your haircut is to blame, talk to your beautician for tips on how to easily style at home. In some cases, you may need to switch to a style that is easier for you to keep up.
To keep unmanageable hair looking its best, be sure to visit your stylist regularly for trims. Have at least one quarter of an inch cut off every four to six weeks to remove the dead ends, which can lead to frizz.
Humidity is a common culprit when it comes to unmanageable hair. When your hair comes in contact with moisture in the air, its outer layers allow the tiny droplets of water to enter your hair shaft. The shaft absorbs water at different rates, swelling unevenly across its surface. This leads to the hair becoming frizzy.
A number of hair care products are available to help fight the effects of humidity. Sprays that form a barrier over the hair shafts to prevent the fibers from absorbing moisture are a great way to finish off your style on humid days. If you're going to be outside for long periods of time, you may need a more heavy duty anti-frizz cream to keep your hair manageable. Often, these products contain sunscreen as well, which helps protect both natural and chemically-treated hair coloring from fading in the sun and suffering from dryness and damage which can lead to more issues.
Although frizz can be caused by humidity, it is also a common problem when the hair strands become too dry. As the hair shaft grows dehydrated, it develops an uneven texture that makes it less manageable. The more severe the problem of dryness, the more unmanageable your style will be.
If you suffer from dry hair, have your stylist perform a deep conditioning treatment each time you go for a trim. Salon treatments contain rich emollients that can give your hair a huge dose of moisture. Then, at home, you can continue to keep your hair hydrated by using a moisturizing hair mask once or twice per week. In addition, opt for a shampoo and a conditioner that are especially formulated for dry hair.
When styling dry, unmanageable hair, stop blow-drying when your hair is still slightly damp. This will keep you from stripping away too much moisture and exacerbating the problem of dehydration. Finish your style by spritzing on a moisturizing hairspray, which will continue to hydrate your hair throughout the day.
Hair that is damaged from chemical treatments, styling with thermal products or poor hair care techniques often has an uneven surface, making it more likely to become frizzy and unmanageable.
If you perm, straighten or color your hair, talk to your stylist about ways that you can ease the strain of the treatments. You may even need to reduce the frequency of your touch-ups or give your hair a break from permanent hair coloring by opting for a semi-permanent color for a short while. Chemically treated hair requires special care, not just to preserve the results of the treatment, but also to combat damage; ensure that you select a shampoo and a conditioner that are designed for chemically-treated hair to help keep your coifs more manageable.
Always opt for a wide-toothed comb rather than a brush when styling wet hair.
Avoid using flat irons, curling irons or hot rollers on a daily basis. Your hair needs a regular break from the heat from thermal styling devices and the strain they put on the shafts. Even if you feel like thermal styling is the only way to manage your hair, you're likely just making the problem worse if you're reaching for that flat iron every day. When you do use a curling iron or other product, first spray a thermal protectant on your hair to minimize the effects of the heat.
No matter what the cause of the damage, there are some steps you can take to help repair your hair and keep it healthier and more manageable in the future.
- Always opt for a wide-toothed comb rather than a brush when styling wet hair. If you frequently develop knots, spritz on a detangler to help comb out tangles without damaging your hair.
- Never wrap wet damaged hair in a towel on top of your head after your bath or shower, as the twisting can lead to tangles and breakage. Instead, use an extra absorbent hair towel and pat your hair dry.
- Select a shampoo and a conditioner intended for damaged hair.
- Apply a hair mask or treatment designed for split ends and breakage to your damaged hair once or twice per week to moisturize and strengthen the hair shafts.
Diet and General Health
In some cases, unmanageable hair is not caused by your hair at all, but rather by problems with your diet or general health, which affect the way your hair fibers form. To improve your diet, consume the daily recommended amounts of vitamins A, C, and E, all of the B vitamins, and omega-3 fatty acids. Also, avoid trans fats and ensure that you eat two to three servings of lean protein per day. Keep properly hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.
You may also want to talk to your doctor about your unmanageable hair to rule out the possibility of an underlying medical condition contributing to your woes. Hypothyroidism and other disorders can have an effect on your hair, even before causing other symptoms. By getting any medical condition under control, you'll not only have easier-to-manage hair, you'll also improve your overall health.