The Difference Between Frizzy and Static Hair

Solange Knowles uses her natural frizz to her advantage during a 2011 Los Angeles appearance.

Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

While many people use the terms frizz and static interchangeably when talking about difficult-to-manage hair, they are distinct. For women with wavy, curly or tightly curly hair, managing frizz can be a year-round proposition, with overtime duty in humid conditions. However, women who experience static hair could have any hair texture or type and tend to suffer only in the driest and coldest conditions. Treat those flyaway locks with some tender loving care and you can rock a healthier head of hair.

Causes

Static hair arrives when winter does, with its cold air and dry conditions produced by indoor heating. Frizzy hair is caused by various things, including fragile curly hair that is prone to breakage. Your hair might frizz up when it's wet and humid -- the exact opposite of the conditions causing static.

Appearance

Frizz can make your hair look full, distressed or flyaway. Some women even tease their hair to create frizz and rock fashion-forward looks such as messy updos, bedhead and deconstructed curls. Static hair tends to stand on end, with individual strands repelling one another with built-up negative charge.

The Shocking Difference

The negative charge in static hair comes with another problem that frizzy hair does not. On days when your hair carries the most static, you will find you get small static shocks when touching metal surfaces -- evidence that your body is releasing electrical charge.

Wearing Headgear

Women prone to frizzy hair typically avoid wearing close-fitting hats or full headscarves, because the friction between headgear and hair creates more frizz. Women prone to static, however, can don a cap or scarf to shield their strands from the wind and the cold, and tone down the flyaway effect.

Treatment

Treatment for frizzy and static hair is the same: Reduce drying shampoos, and increase moisturizing conditioners. Do a deep conditioning every week or more to get back your hair's natural shape and shine. If you experience static hair on the go, lightly mist your locks with water to diffuse the built-up electrical charge. You can also rub a dryer sheet on your hair to smooth it down. Women prone to frizzy hair should avoid getting it wet or rubbing it. In fact, the less you manipulate your hair, the less frizz you create.

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