The Complete Guide to Frizz | The Science of Beauty Podcast | Allure

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The best way to prepare for any battle is to know your enemy. Which is why we at Allure‘s The Science of Beauty podcast decided to dedicate an entire episode to one hair adversary in particular: frizz.

With the help of cosmetic chemist Erica Douglas, hosts Jenny Bailly, executive beauty director, and Dianna Mazzone, senior beauty editor (and yours truly), set out on a quest to understand exactly what frizz is. “The outermost structure [of the hair] is called the cuticle layer; it lays like shingles,” explains Douglas. When the cuticle layer lies flat, hair appears smooth and shiny. When those metaphorical shingles rise up and get out of alignment, however, the aesthetic result is what we know as frizz.

But what causes the cuticle layer to become misaligned? And how can you coax those shingles to — as Beyoncé would say — get in formation? Douglas answers those questions (and more!) during our episode — but to tide you over until you get a chance to listen from start to finish, here are three of our favorite tidbits.

The more well hydrated your hair, the less likely it is to frizz.

Hair can only hold onto a certain amount of water, says Douglas. So if you load hair up with hydration when it’s wet, strands are less likely to absorb moisture (aka humidity) from the environment, which causes — you guessed it — frizz.

Regular trims can help with frizz.

“You want to take care of [split ends] as soon as possible,” says Douglas, noting that split ends can work their way up the hair strand. This can lead to misalignment of the cuticle layer, which causes…OK, you probably get the picture.

A silk pillowcase may be worth the investment.

Many pillowcases are made with absorbent cotton, which, “when you’re sleeping, silently [robs] you of the moisture that is in your hair,” says Douglas. But silk isn’t nearly as porous — which means making the switch can help maintain moisture and combat frizz, according to Douglas.

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