DHAKA: A highly respected hair stylist,when quizzed on tips for curly hair, said, and we quote, “Curly hair? No tips. Just get it straightened!” On behalf of all wavy, curly and kinky haired women, we take offence. While poets have waxed eloquent about raven-coloured tresses which feel like silk, corkscrew curls have a unique charm that coax an unguardedly jealous look from many a straight hair owner.
What is frizz?
A monster that turns your pretty curls into antennae, which stick out in every direction! Frizz is the result of human error, damaged hair, and a force of nature, static.
What causes damage?
1. Harsh chemicals: Abrasive shampoos, chemical treatments (perming, straightening) and excessive colouring are surefire ways to damage your hair.
2. Rough handling: Vigorous rubbing, ruthless brushing and abusing hair by tying it tightly with bands and barrettes breaks hair strands and weakens it from the root itself. Even running your fingers through your hair can add to the damage.
3. The sun: UVA and UVB rays damage the hair strand making it weak and dry. Dry scalp, in turn, causes dandruff and the hair woes just continue to increase.
4. Heat styling: Your hairdryer may be the cause of hair damage — heat weakens the protein strands in the hair, making it prone to breakage.
The root cause of static
The old adage about 100 strokes a day is, in fact, bad for the hair — brushing causes the hair to charge up, literally, and emit static. Shampoos also cause static — hair protein (keratin) and shampoos are negatively charged and repel each other, causing static, and ultimately, frizz.
Fix the frizz
Tying it in a bun or hiding behind a scarf is fine for a particularly bad hair day, but frizz needs to be tackled by adjusting your hair care routine.
1. Use a gentle, mild shampoo — harsh shampoos will increase hair static.
2. A good conditioner is a must. Most anti-frizz or curl-specific conditioners weigh the hair down a bit, making it look and feel more settled. The next time you are stocking up, look for two things: amino silicones and cationic surfactants. Amino silicones are protein compounds that allow the ‘silicon’ bit to stick to the hair, filling in the gaps where the protein strands have broken. This will give you more ‘lasting’ conditioning. Cationic surfactants carry a positive charge, counteracting the negative charge of the shampoo. In effect, they smoothen down the hair cuticle, obliterating static.
3. Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb while it’s still wet to avoid tangles later. Apply a good anti-frizz serum to take care of flyaways.
4. Air-dry as far as possible, leaving heat styling for special days to avoid further damage.
BDST: 1306 HRS, July 11, 2012,
Edited by: Quamrun Nahar Shumi, Newsroom Editor