Static Vs Frizz: How to Combat Flyaway Hair in 9 Simple Steps
Static and frizz: the terms are often used interchangeably, usually by someone ready to tear their own hair out by the roots in despair. But are they really the same thing? And when it comes to static vs frizz, which is worse? Are there different ways of dealing with each unique problem? And when your usually silky-smooth hair is standing on end like you’ve got your hands on a Van de Graaff ball, does it really matter?
The Difference Between Static Hair and Frizzy Hair
When it comes to static vs frizz, there is a difference, and it’s an important one.
Hair becomes statically charged when electrons leave your hair, causing a build-up of positive charge. You may remember from your high school science classes that positive charges will repel each other (picture two magnets), which is why it appears as if your individual hair strands are doing their best to not be near each other.
Static hair can be caused by the weather or an abundance of friction (caused by a balloon or rubbing your hair with a synthetic material).
Frizzy hair, on the other hand, is not caused by individual strands repelling each other, but rather by the cuticle or base of each hair strand (where your hair joins your head) standing up when it should be lying flat against your scalp. Frizz can be caused by a lack of condition in your hair, a poor hair care routine, nutritional deficiencies, and even genetics.
It is important to remember that, while static vs frizz may seem like an either/or situation, some people deal with both at the same time. And that’s where the situation can get tricky.
Why Frizz Can Be Totally Fine
Frizzy hair is not necessarily a problem. Some people deliberately cause their hair to appear frizzy (although that’s not typically the preferred term). Think back to the 1980s and you’ll remember the teased hair trend where, when it came to women’s and men’s hairstyles, the bigger the better!
While it appeared that fashion trends from the 80s were firmly filed away in the history books, frizzy hair is (somewhat unbelievably) making a comeback on the runaway as recently as some of the biggest fashion shows of 2017.
While beach waves and perfect coils were on trend in 2016, 2017 has seen some seriously bouffant hairstyles, bringing with it a devil-may-care, rockstar vibe.
Frizzy, voluminous hair can be achieved by back-combing (or “teasing”) your hair, and there is every indication that the trend will continue to develop over the next few years.
Static Hair Is Never Ok
Frizzy hair may be making a resurgence from the 1980s, but that doesn’t mean anyone is planning on embracing static-filled, flyaway hair anytime soon.
When it comes to static vs frizz, frizzy hair may be a matter of personal preference, but static hair is never ok. Hair static is caused by thin, dry, or damaged hair reacting to cold weather and low humidity, such as a wintery day or the conditions onboard an airplane. (Speaking of airplanes, check out 3 ways to tame static flyaway hair on a plane flight.)
Luckily, static hair is relatively easy to tackle, if you have the right tools and techniques on hand.
Static Vs Frizz: 9 Super-Simple Ways to Deal with Flyaway Hair
- Condition and Moisturise. Static occurs due to a lack of moisture in the air and in your hair, so it makes sense that hair that is well conditioned and full of moisture will be less prone to static. Use a good conditioner with every hair wash, and aim for a hair mask once a week.
- Spread Out the Time Between Hair Washes. Washing too often can cause your hair to lack the natural oils that it needs, so do your best to space out your hair washes as much as possible, especially during the colder months. A good dry shampoo will greatly help to make this happen.
- Rinse in Cold Water. When you do wash your hair, finish with a blast of cold water before you step out of the shower. This may not be so pleasant in winter, but the cold water will help close your cuticles and smooth your hair.
- Use Static-Specific Hair Products. Some hair products are specifically designed to deal with hair static: use these wherever possible.
- Sleep on Silk. Cotton pillowcases can cause a buildup of friction, leaving you with hair static from the moment you wake up. Since silk won’t disrupt your hair as much as cotton, it pays to invest in a silk pillowslip.
- Go Natural. Certain natural ingredients like jojoba oil, argan oil, vitamin E, and coconut oil are naturally amazing at fighting hair static.
- Use an Anti-Static Hair Brush. Plastic brushes and combs will increase friction and cause static. The advice used to be to finger-comb your hair, but now the ForBabs AntiStatic Hair Brush has solved the problem – becoming the first ever hairbrush to actively remove static electricity while styling your hair at the same time. Speaking of hair brushes, when it comes to the static vs frizz dilemma, some people will recommend a boar brush: but keep in mind that this is only effective to reduce frizz. A boar brush is actually known to increase hair static, so stay well away if you’re dealing with flyaway hair!
- Avoid Synthetic Fibres. Natural fibers like wool and silk will not cause the build-up of static electricity that synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester will.
- Try an Ionic Hair Dryer. The effects of ionic hair dryers are still relatively unknown, but enough people swear by them to reduce flyaway hair that it is at least worth a try. Perhaps use a friend’s ionic hair dryer to see if it works for you before you invest in one on your own.
There you have it! We’ve solved the static vs frizz mystery and provided nine anti-static secrets to keep your hair smooth and sleek this winter.
Which of these tips have worked for you? Have you tried an ionic hair dryer for hair static? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to tag anyone else dealing with flyaway hair!