Battle the hair-spoiling effects of April showers. Lisa Haynes reveals how to give frizz the brush-off.
We've all been there. Walked fresh out of the salon proudly swishing a blow-dry, only for a sudden downpour to trigger hair chaos. Gone is the sleekness the stylist just spent 30 minutes perfecting, replaced with a fuzzy texture that looks like a damp mess.
Frizz can affect straight or curly hair, and is caused by the cuticle lying open and hair taking on a life of its own in adverse weather conditions. While some of us are born with frizzy tresses, others develop a dry, unmanageable texture after years of over-processing.
With April showers season arriving in full force, prepare your hair with styling armoury to see off frizz attacks. Guarantee a smooth start to your day, come rain or shine, with our expert guide.
Before you resort to straightening irons SOS, begin your anti-frizz efforts in the bathroom, lathering up.
"Preparation is key when trying to combat frizz," says Jake Davis, senior stylist at John Frieda. "This starts in the shower with, either a smoothing or curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner, depending on the look you want to achieve."
Next, Davis recommends applying a fuzz-controlling serum, like John Frieda Frizz Ease, to wet hair.
"Always avoid rubbing the hair with a towel," he warns. "Use a wide tooth comb to distribute the product evenly and use a natural bristle brush if blow-drying straight, or a diffuser if wearing curls. Keep the hair well moisturised by finishing using a tiny amount of nourishing, smoothing oil over the ends."
Persistently blow-drying frizzy hair will only make it worse in the long run. If you can't let your tresses air-dry, use a diffuser or nozzle to direct the heat.
"For a super-smooth finish, always point the airflow from your dryer down the hair shaft," recommends Anna Chapman, art director at Trevor Sorbie salons. "This will close the hair cuticle, which will reduce frizz."
Applying a smoothing spray before blow drying will help condition, retain moisture, and tame flyaways for a sleeker final finish.
"Blow-dry hair as soon as you have washed it. The quicker it goes from wet to dry, the easier it is to control the frizz," says Chapman. "Take the time to do this properly - try using a natural bristle brush and narrow nozzle on your hairdryer to smooth your cuticles and achieve the best result."
It's not only April showers you need to be wary of; frizz attacks can become a regular thing as the weather hots up, due to humidity.
Norris Ogario, founder and creative director of Ogario salon, recommends giving your hair a breather from heat appliances and dye: "Over-processed hair can look fuzzy, so give your hair a break from the blow-dries and embrace braids or buns to keep your hair in control.
"Blot wet hair, don't rub, apply a small amount of a weather proofing product and gently style into your plait or braids. Once dried, you can rake your hands through for pretty boho waves."
The overall condition of your hair will dictate frizz. Indulge in regular intensive conditioning, wrapping up hair in a heated towel to intensify the treatment. Book yourself in for regular trims every six to eight weeks, to keep split ends at bay and reduce dryness.
Tried & tested
:: Lisa Haynes goes fuzz-free for spring with a DIY waxing kit.
The recent 'heatwave' in March caused a major conundrum. I desperately wanted to ditch the black opaques but being long-overdue an appointment with my wax therapist meant my legs were definitely not in a sunshine-baring state. I've always shied away from DIY wax kits, after an unfortunate incident with a pre-applied wax strip that ended up painfully lodged to my skin (ouch!), but a friend recommended Veet's EasyWax Electrical Roll-On Kit, which is specially formulated for sensitive skins (and souls, like me).
It's a self-heating wax system, with an electronic docking station that heats the wax to the optimum temperature in 20 minutes. You then apply the wax with a roll-on applicator in the direction of hair growth. It feels warm to the touch, but doesn't remotely burn on contact with my skin. I smooth on one of the fabric waxing strips, hold my breath and wait for the pull of death... But, nothing. I tackle my ankle first (one of the more sensitive parts of the leg), and there is barely any pain - and I'm a fully-certified Waxing Wimp. Yet, there on the waxing strip sits an abundance of little hairs, scattered like magnetic filings, pulled out from the root.
Smooth skin is said to last up to four weeks, and there are refills available for legs and arms, or bikini and underarm, which has a smaller roll-on head for accuracy. I'm not saying I'm cancelling my salon appointments just yet, but for emergency waxing and in-between stages, this bit of kit is my answer to stubble trouble for the sunshine months.
:: Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-On Kit for Sensitive Skin, £29.99. Legs & Body EasyWax Refill, £9.99, and EasyWax Replacement Strips, £3.49 for pack of 24, all available at Boots.
Buy it now
The prospect of April showers is suddenly looking a lot more appealing. Jo Malone's Limited Edition London Rain collection captures the different moods of a downpour; from the soft sparkle of a morning shower through to a wild night-time rainstorm. There are four 100ml colognes available: Rain & Angelica, White Jasmine & Mint, Wisteria & Violet and Black Cedarwood & Juniper, £82 each (www.jomalone.co.uk).
:: Bare-faced fear
Forget the impromptu boardroom meeting, women worry about being seen bare-faced by their boss more than anyone else. More than one in five UK women (21%) feared being seen by their boss without being fully made-up, compared to 12% who chose to avoid their partner, according to a survey by Halo Wipes. On average, British women wear make-up for more than 12 hours a day to avoid getting caught out. Almost half (47%) said they applied their cosmetics between 7am and 8am. On average the first application time of the day is 7.34am, with make-up then left on until 9.35pm - a whopping 14-hour shift.
:: Recessionista alert
Feeling pasty? Take advantage of TJ Hughes' Special Buys on self tan. You'll find tanning superbrands like St Tropez on offer, with St. Tropez Naturals Self-Tan Lotion 200ml, or Milk 200ml, available for just £6.99 each (RRP £16.50), available while stocks last in stores and online (www.tjhughes.co.uk).