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The weather in Australia is temperamental, to say the least, and when scorching days lead into torrential ones the humidity can be unbearable, especially for your hair. Increased moisture in the air leads to frizzy, fluffy strands and annoying flyaways that can be difficult to smooth down, but TikTok's beauty enthusiasts have dreamt up some of the smartest hacks.
Why does hair go frizzy?
There's one main reason why hair tends to frizz up in the summer. Innersense organic beauty educator Anyea Garrido explains, "When it's humid there is a lot of moisture in the air, and because hair is porous, it absorbs the humidity." This then causes the hair to swell and break away from its shape, says Anyea. "This is because the heat and the humidity is constantly pulling water out of your hair." L'Oréal Professionnel's UK editorial ambassador Adam Reed adds that our hair can be extremely sensitive to humidity and frizz, which only heightens in the summer because of the higher humidity levels in the air, while Anyea says that hair that is damaged or excessively dry will be affected the most.
What are TikTok's most viral frizzy hair hacks and why are they so popular?
While there are hundreds of anti-frizz hair hacks on the app, such as switching your cotton pillowcase to a silk version and co-washing (washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo), two tricks are currently racking up the most numbers. Firstly, dryer sheets. TikToker @snconroy recently went viral for enlisting the sheets (typically used to reduce static and add softness to clothes while in a tumble dryer) to minimise frizz, flyaways and static on hair. The video has gained an enormous 2.5million views and counting and simply shows her smoothing the sheet over her lengths. The results are impressive, to say the least: sleeker, smoother hair in a matter of seconds.
It isn't the only frizz-busting hack to do numbers on TikTok, though. New York City-based hairstylist and TikToker @mattloveshair shared his smart frizzy, flyaway hair hack using nothing but hairspray and kitchen paper. Simply spritz a strong hold hairspray onto the palms of your hands, smooth it over frizzy roots and lengths, place the paper towel on top and secure with a clip. The hairspray keeps unruly strands on lockdown and kitchen towels helps flatten them.
Do TikTok's frizzy hair hacks actually work?
My hair is pretty dry thanks to bleach and colour, but it's also naturally very thick and wavy, making it more susceptible to frizz. I also let it air-dry in the summer, but avoiding heat gives my hair a free pass to do whatever it wants. In other words, I need these hacks!
The dryer sheet trick looked too good to be true, so I had to give it a go first. I already had some on hand and they're cheaper than any hair product in my bathroom right now. While most of my frizzy bits are at the root, the humidity in the air makes my mid-lengths and ends expand. While TikTokers whip the sheet through their hair in one go, I decided to divide my hair into sections to give my hair more of a chance.
It worked to smooth my lengths instantly and it gave me incredible shine. Sadly, though, the effects were short-lived. As soon as I stepped outside, my hair started to expand (enter Monica Geller reference here). I think this hack is better suited to those with fine hair, which tends to become staticky after brushing or styling, rather than hair that swells up in humidity, but it is a great quick fix. The scent is super strong so I ended up smelling like laundry all day. Not exactly a bad thing!
I hoped I'd have better luck with the kitchen paper hack (Matt is a professional hairstylist, after all). This was more effective than the dryer sheet, though it was fiddly. I coated my hands in Schwarzkopf's Max Hold Hairspray, and used clips to adhere one sheet of kitchen paper to either side of my head. It's not clear just how long Matt lets the kitchen paper rest for, but I lost track of time and ended up leaving it on for 30 minutes. When I removed the paper, I noticed my roots were nowhere near as frizzy as before, as the hairspray acted like glue.
My only gripe? I used way too much. My hair felt a little crispy, so I'd suggest going for a spray with a looser hold. Not everyone has 30 minutes to prep their hair before heading out the door in the morning, though, so I tried it again the next day with just a couple of minutes to spare. I can report that the result was exactly the same, so no, you don't have to leave the kitchen towel on for ages.
What are the best anti-frizz hair products?
While these hacks are great quick fixes, the expert consensus is that the trick to minimising frizz, flyaways and static strands lies in the hair products you use. Anyea says the more moisture you leave in your hair, the more protection you create against frizz and humidity. It all starts with a great shampoo and conditioner. "I recommend using the Hydrating Cream Hairbath, and Hydrating Cream Conditioner," says Anyea. "They can begin to heal the hair and bring more moisture to it."
Hairstylist Larry King says it's important that the hair is well-moisturised with products that offer support and control, especially if you have curly hair, which tends to be drier in texture and therefore more prone to frizz. The right product will act as a barrier between your hair and the elements. Adam agrees: "The key is to keep hair hydrated. Treat it with a hydrating mask such as L’Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Absolut Repair Mask, which intensely replenishes and hydrates dry hair and opt for a styling smoother, and gently apply throughout the hair to tame flyaways."
J.Lo and Kim Kardashian's hairstylist Chris Appleton also has an excellent product recommendation, one which he used to prep Jennifer's hair at last year's Superbowl, which was intensely hot and humid: Color Wow's Dream Coat Supernatural Spray. This should be applied to damp, towel-dried hair before styling. "Water in the air always affects the hair instantly, but I prepped J.Lo's hair with this, which is our go-to for weatherproof hair," said Chris.