Interestingly, the consensus among most hair stylists is that while anti-frizz hair products like oils, serums and hairsprays have their place in reducing frizz, they are a pretty small part of the equation. According to Joey Wheeler, style director at Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, it's actually how you style your hair post-wash that has a big influence over whether your hair stays in place the way you want it to, or does its own thing entirely. Ahead, he breaks down five simple steps that'll help you on your way to smoother, sleek hair.
Don't rough-dry your hair with a towel
A lot of us are guilty of rubbing our lengths with a bath towel to get rid of excess moisture before styling, especially if we're in a rush, but this will only disturb the cuticle and contribute to flyaways. "For smooth, shiny hair, the hair cuticle (which is the outer layer) needs to lie flat," explained Joey. "Rough-drying it with a towel will only create tangles and friction and encourage the cuticle to stick up straight. This is the root cause of frizz and static. If you are using a towel, gently pat and squeeze the water out rather than rubbing hair up and down. This will instantly help reduce chances of frizz."
You can also use a cotton T-shirt to absorb water, while some pro stylists recommend investing in an Aquis Hair Towel, £30, which enlists a softer fabric that is more gentle on hair. It also helps cut down on drying time by 50%.
Always blow-dry your hair using a nozzle
Most hairdryers come with a nozzle attachment, but half of us don't really tend to use them. That said, applying uncontrolled heat to your hair could promote tangles, leading to frizz and flyaways throughout the day. "A nozzle is really important to avoid frizz," said Joey. "A relatively small one will really help concentrate the airflow. Turn the hairdryer on to a medium heat setting and then rough-dry in a controlled way, lifting and heating the roots with your fingers. The key is to not shake the hairdryer about."
Perfect your aim
Joey says that it's all in the aim, as mindlessly blow-drying will only create more volume at the root. "When blow-drying, point the nozzle on your hairdryer downwards and not at the hair shaft. This concentrates the airflow downwards and flattens the hair cuticle, helping to smooth the hair. It will also reduce the risk of burning your hair." Joey recommends Parlux hairdryers, as they are both light and speedy.
When blow-drying, it pays to apply tension at the root to flatten any unruly strands. "Pull the hair taut while you blow-dry your hair," advised Joey. "This is a great way to create a smooth finish. Again, it helps direct the airflow downwards and flattens the strands, which, in turn, leads to more shine."
Avoid too much heat
The most common cause of frizz and flyaways is actually damage, as Joey explains. "Hairdryers, straighteners and tongs can all damage the hair if used frequently, causing it to become dry and therefore frizz-prone. If you use heated tools every day, try to give your hair two days off each week. Always ensure you use a heat protector spray to avoid unnecessary damage."
Try Monat Studio One Thermal Protect Styling Shield, £32, which protects strands against heat up to 232°C, and Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray, £27, which conditions and softens as it deflects intense temperatures. Joey also recommends giving your hair a blast of cool air after blow-drying to flatten the cuticle further.
It also pays to treat broken, damaged hair to a bond-repairing treatment. R29 rates L'Oréal Professionnel's Smartbond Step 3 Conditioner, £17.40. With glycerin and ceramides, it imparts shine and boosts repair, limiting frizz at the root. Apply a generous amount to damp hair once a week and let it work its magic for 1-3 minutes before rinsing out.
If you're more of a regular masker, try Herbal Essences bio:renew Coconut Milk Hydrating Hair Mask, £6, available at Boots on 4th July. The plant-based ingredients – endorsed by Kew Gardens, no less – shuttle moisture back into parched and brittle strands, while antioxidant ingredient histidine protects against hair-ravaging environmental aggressors, such as pollution.