What Frizzy-Haired Person Hasn't Coveted A Bone-Straight Mane? And was there ever someone with ultrafine tresses who didn't wish for voluminous curls? Like it or not, when it comes to hair, you need to make the best of what you've got. “Even though it's all made of protein, different types and textures require different products and care regimens,” says David Kingsley, PhD, a hair and scalp expert — or trichologist — in New York City. “There's no one-size-fits-all product.” Whether your mop is straight, fine, thick, curly, or coiled, these expert instructions will bring out its natural beauty.


THE PROBLEM: “Straight hair needs frequent shampooing because it has a tendency to be flat,” says stylist Dustin David of Dustin David Salon in Los Gatos, California.

THE SOLUTION: Shampoos and conditioners that contain rosemary or rice protein add fullness and shine. “Washing your hair daily will also help lift it off the scalp and give it volume,” says David. When hair is clean, rinse with cool water to help smooth the protective outer layer, or cuticle. Because damaged strands are more noticeable in straight hair, Kingsley recommends fastening your mane into a low ponytail with a wide, fabric-covered band that won't tear hair or create tension at the vulnerable hairline. To wear coarse hair down, spritz a finishing product that contains silicone — a natural compound found in quartz — onto hair and brush smooth. The end result: a glistening, not greasy, polish.


THE PROBLEM: Fine hair can be brittle and thin, but it can also be oily. “You have more hairs on your head than people with other hair types, which means more oil glands,” says Kingsley.

THE SOLUTION: Choose a lightweight shampoo with wheat protein to strengthen and plump up wispy strands. Clear products have fewer heavy ingredients than creamy shampoos, which can weigh down fine hair, making it look flat and limp. And always look for tea-tree oil. Shampoos and conditioners with 5 percent tea-tree oil help get rid of that itchy, greasy feeling, according to a 2006 study in Clinical Microbiology Reviews. While styling, dry on low heat, and use a round boar-bristle brush to boost volume and help prevent breakage. Finally, create fullness and lift by parting hair against your natural part, and use a texturizing styling product with vitamin B5 (also called panthenol), which thickens and holds.


THE PROBLEM: “You're usually trying to flatten thick hair to avoid the too-big, puffy look,” says David.

THE SOLUTION: Because daily washing can make thick hair balloon into an unwieldy mop, David recommends cleansing three times a week. A clarifying shampoo that contains lavender is best, he says. The herb's antiseptic properties help normalize the scalp and remove residue left on the hair cuticle. Thick hair also tends to be drier, requiring conditioner to replace natural oils. “Conditioners with superhydrating aloe vera also seal the hair shaft and protect it from styling-product buildup,” says Kingsley. To speed drying and lessen the amount of time hair is exposed to heat, use a powerful blower — around 1,800 watts. Finish with a smoothing hairspray.


THE PROBLEM: “Naturally curly hair is almost always dry because scalp oils don't travel down the hair shaft,” says Kingsley. And dry hair is prone to frizz.

THE SOLUTION: Fortunately frizz isn't a given. Lather up only twice a week to avoid stripping away natural oils. Shampoos with plant-based moisturizers, such as glycerin, shea butter, or coconut or brazil-nut oils, coat the cuticle with humectant fatty acids that fight frizz. Kingsley recommends rinsing hair lightly — a thin layer of conditioner helps smooth cuticles — and using a deep conditioning treatment two to four times a month. Finally, seal in moisture with an aloe-rich pomade while hair is still slightly damp; let dry naturally.


THE PROBLEM: Tightly coiled hair is the driest hair type and the most prone to frizz.

THE SOLUTION: “Essential oils and botanicals are ideal for kinky hair because they have great hydrating properties,” says Diane Da Costa, author of Textured Tresses (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Look for products with apricot, mango, jojoba, and rosa mosqueta oils. If breakage is a problem, use a shampoo with strengthening biotin, which is part of the vitamin B complex, then rinse with warm water. (Hot water can dry the scalp.) While in the shower, massage jojoba oil into your scalp to nourish and seal the hair shaft. Rinse well.

What's your type?

Shampoo Conditioner Finisher
Straight John Masters Organics Lavender Rosemary Shampoo Lamas Beauty Rice Volumizing Conditioner Giovanni Shine of the Times silicone finishing mist
Fine Jason Tall Grass Shampoo Desert Essence Organics Lemon Tea Tree Conditioner Aubrey Organics B-5 Design Gel
Thick Nature's Gate Lavender & Aloe Nourishing Shampoo For All Hair Types EO French Lavender Conditioner Beauty Without Cruelty Natural Hold Botanical Hairspray
Curly Burt's Bees More Moisture Raspberry & Brazil Nut Shampoo Collective Wellbeing Curl Tamer Conditioner Alba Botanica Soft Hold Style Cream
Coiled Avalon Organics Awapuhi Mango Moisturizing Shampoo Dr. Hauschka Skin Care Jojoba and Marsh Mallow Conditioner Kiss My Face Organic Hair Care Upper Management Styling Gel

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