You've likely noticed shampoos and conditioners that promise to cut down on frizz. But what exactly causes frizzy hair? And what are the best solutions? For starters, when it's humid outside, hair retains moisture, which is what’s behind that pesky frizz, explained hairstylist Shelly Aguirre of Maxine Salon. While we can't control the weather, making simple lifestyle changes like sleeping on a silk pillowcase or adding a hair steamer to your routine — as well as utilizing anti-frizz hair care products — will help protect your strands from becoming frizzy. We asked experts for tips on minimizing that frizz and got their recommendations for the best anti-frizz products.
SKIP AHEAD Best anti-frizz hair products
Dry hair is another conduit for frizz, said Aguirre. In that instance, a simple solution is turning to hydrating ingredients, including various oils and butters. Frizz may also indicate hair fiber damage caused by improper hair care and heat styling, noted trichologist and hair colorist Bridgette Hill (trichologists are hair and scalp health experts). "When the cuticle layer is properly sealed, it can retain moisture in the hair shaft longer, making your hair less prone to frizz," explained Hill. She noted the opposite is also true: When the cuticle is lifted, moisture will cause the hair shafts to swell and may result in frizz.
People often mistake flyaway and frizz, but they're "two totally different issues," according to Aguirre. While the root causes of frizz are dehydration, humidity and lifted cuticles, flyaway is typically caused by breakage, new growth or chemical treatments, according to hairstylist Courtney Foster. You may also be seeing flyaway as a result of too much product building up — one way to avoid that is turning to a clarifying shampoo.
As for how they work, anti-frizz products like shampoos "offer optimal hydration properties" and deposit polymers that "fill in the spaces between the cuticle cells," said Hill. She advised Shopping readers to use pre-treatments containing fatty acids like omega-3 and linoleic or oils like olive and coconut, and to then turn to anti-frizz shampoos and conditioning treatments like hair masks and leave-in conditioners.
Best products for frizzy hair
To help you narrow in on highly rated frizz-control treatments, we asked hair experts to share the best frizzy hair shampoos, conditioners and other styling products to help you stay frizz-free. Their picks are available at well-known stores, ranging from Sephora and Ulta to Walmart and Target.
Best anti-frizz shampoo overall: John Frieda
Given its relatively affordable price point and impressive rating — 4.5-star average from more than 2,300 reviews on Amazon — as well as a recommendation from Foster, John Frieda’s shampoo earned the top spot on this list. Foster called this a “great frizz-fighting shampoo for all hair types.” Notably, it contains coconut oil which helps hydrate the hair and leaves it shiny and frizz-free.
Best anti-frizz shampoo for fine hair: FEKKAI
This is another "great" anti-frizz shampoo because it combines moisturizing olive oil and prickly pear extract, noted Foster. It also contains vitamin B5, which provides heat protection and edelweiss flower extract for protection against environmental stressors, according to the brand. FEKKAI also claims this vegan and cruelty-free shampoo leaves behind a woody, floral and green tea fragrance.
Best sulfate-free anti-frizz shampoo: REDKEN
When Foster uses this "great frizz-fighting cleanser" on clients, she finds it leaves behind "superior shine" and smoothes the hair cuticle. REDKEN's Sulfate-Free Shampoo is formulated with babassu oil, a plant-based ingredient rich in fatty acids to deliver moisture and shine while minimizing frizz. This shampoo received a 4.1-star average rating from more than 450 reviews at Ulta.
Best anti-frizz conditioner: Design Essentials
Hill is a fan of this conditioner because it utilizes agave extract and lavender oil to fill and smooth the hair cuticles. If you have thick or coarse hair, Hill recommended you use it "liberally" while those with fine hair use it as needed to prevent it from weighing down their hair. This Design Essentials hair conditioner garnered a 4.6-star average rating from nearly 1,000 reviews on Amazon.
Best anti-frizz leave-in conditioner: Jane Carter Solution
Jane Carter Solution's leave-in conditioner is "all about hydration and flattening the cuticle," noted Hill. It is formulated with a combination of calming ingredients — aloe vera extract and chamomile — and moisturizing panthenol. This leave-in conditioner boasts a 4.4-star average rating from nearly 1,160 reviews on Amazon.
Best anti-frizz hair care set: Living Proof
Hill's final recommendation is Living Proof's 5-piece set containing a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, styling cream and spray. She called all five products "great" for anyone who experiences frizzy hair because they utilize OFPMA, the brand's patented hair molecule, to help block humidity, smooth hair and repel dirt and oil. You can buy each product individually if you prefer — the shampoo earned a 4-star average rating from more than 820 reviews on Sephora, for example.
Best primer for frizzy hair: Oribe
Oribe's "game-changing" and "weightless" hair primer helps detangle the hair and offers thermal protection, said Aguirre. She also appreciates that it boasts "anti-static properties" that prevent your hair from becoming frizzy when you blow dry. It also contains "high levels of protein and conditioning agents that add amazing shine and body," she said. The Oribe Foundation Mist earned a 4.5-star average rating from more than 230 reviews on Amazon.
Best anti-frizz hair spray: Kérastase
"Hairsprays are a great way to control the hair, add body and block out humidity and frizz," said Aguirre. She noted this one is "amazing" to use after employing a flat iron or curling iron because it "helps hold the hair, but gives a flexibility that can't be beat." The brand recommends you mist this spray about 10 inches away from your hair for the best results. It received a 4.6-star average rating from nearly 30 reviews at Kérastase.