From high temperatures to heavy downpours, we’ve seen it all this year when it comes to the great British “summer”. With high levels of humidity in the air, chances are, if your hair’s prone to frizz, you’ve been battling poufiness and flyaways and having bad hair days in abundance.
One of the main reasons we get frizzy hair is because it’s lacking moisture. The more humid the air, the more water vapour is in it. Dry or damaged hair strands absorb this moisture, causing it to pouf, as do curly hair types, as it’s harder for the natural oils from the scalp to reach the tips on spiral shaped strands.
It’s not just the environment that makes hair rebellious, how you style and treat your hair can promote frizz too. Rough towel-drying, over-brushing, too much heat styling and hot water can also play a role.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to frizz, so naturally taking steps such as laying off the irons and turning down the shower temperature will do wonders. But “injecting your hair with moisture is key to keeping frizz at bay,” advises Dominic Roach, Butches Hoxton Creative Director.
How we tested
To help you put together a hydrating routine in your haircare arsenal, we put the latest shampoos, styling creams, serums, oils and treatments on the beauty shelves to the test. Our tester has dry, wavy strands that are prone to frizz, so knows how to pick a smoothing superstar from a dud.
To make this winning round-up the product had to not only banish frizz, but promote healthy-looking strands. Here’s your new defence from the elements so you can win your fight with frizz…
The best anti-frizz hair products for 2021 are:
- Best Overall – Color Wow dream coat supernatural spray: £26, Feelunique.com
- Best for in-between washes – Living Proof no frizz instant de-frizzer: £25, Marksandspencer.com
- Best shampoo and conditioner for mild frizz – Monday Haircare smooth shampoo and conditioner: £5.50 each, Beautybay.com
- Best shampoo and conditioner for unruly frizz – John Frieda frizz ease Brazilian sleek frizz immunity shampoo and conditioner: £6.99 each, Boots.com
- Best for curly hair – Kerastase curl manifesto crème de jour fondamentale: £22.60, Feelunique.com
- Best for towel-drying – Aquis copper sure rapid dry hair wrap: £30, Spacenk.com
- Best styling cream for air-drying or blow-drying – Oribe supershine moisturising cream: £54.50, Spacenk.com
- Best for dry and damaged hair types – Redken acidic bonding concentrate leave-in treatment set: £51.60, Lookfantastic.com
- Best hair mask – Aussie sos save my lengths 3 minute miracle deep treatment: £4.66, Boots.com
- Best for unmanageable hair types – Moroccanoil blow-dry concentrate: £17.35, Lookfantastic.com
Color Wow dream coat supernatural spray
Think of this as an invisible spray-on rain mac to protect your strands. It’s designed especially for porous hair types that are vulnerable to humidity and, therefore, frizz. But it’s not one for those that like fuss-free styling and would rather wash and go. Activated by heat, this is best suited to those that like to blow-dry or straighten their locks.
We found that for best results, you have to spray liberally to sections of damp hair before sealing in the product by applying tension to strands with a brush while blow-drying. With so much product we expected a stickiness or even greasiness to the strands, but this wasn’t the case. It made our hair feel silky soft and, best of all, strands stayed smooth with long-lasting results that lasted up to three washes – so you don’t have to use it as often as other frizz-fighting products.
Living Proof no frizz instant de-frizzer
Best: For in-between washes
Reach for this dry conditioning spray when you need a quick fix on non-wash days. Using a sweeping motion, this lightly mists strands with a blend of 5 oils that work to mimic natural hair oils. After smoothing hair with hands or twisting if you’re blessed with curls, you’ll find frizz and flyaways tamed instantly. It’s literally a frizz eraser in a bottle that promotes a smoother, silky soft and shiny mane.
If you’re blonde, like our tester, use sparingly and avoid roots or you can quickly end up looking greasy rather than glossy There’s a travel-sized version to try it out for yourself too.
Monday Haircare smooth shampoo and conditioner
Best: Shampoo and conditioner for mild frizz
This caused quite the buzz in native New Zealand and Australia on launch last year – selling six months’ worth of stock in its first four weeks. Since then, the Monday Haircare brand has gone on to sell seven bottles every minute in North America, and has finally graced the UK beauty shelves.
There are four lines of shampoo and conditioners to choose from hoping to disrupt the hair care industry with affordable and effective products. The Instagram-worthy, sleek pink packaging the pump bottles not only look high-end, but the actual products inside feel it too; with a subtle floral, gardenia fragrance and creamy texture that’s SLS free.
We found the smooth duo left our hair feeling well-hydrated and soft with no frizz in sight, thanks to moisturising ingredients such as vitamin E and shea butter. Huge bonus points for the bottle being 100 per cent recyclable and with refillable options in the pipeline, these are going to fly off the shelves here too.
John Frieda frizz ease Brazilian sleek frizz immunity shampoo and conditioner
Best: Shampoo and conditioner for unruly frizz
The latest cleansing duo from the brand well known for its anti-frizz collection promises not only longer-lasting smoothness – up to 72 hours to be exact – but better results the more you use it. Enriched with keratin drops, the protein is synonymous with the semi-permanent salon smoothing treatments. It is in fact a protein that helps strengthen strands and smoothes down the hair cuticle to create a barrier to block out frizz-inducing humidity.
We found after just one wash, our mane was much easier to style and manage with ongoing use. Our hair can’t be pushed to three days without washing, but it did stay smooth for two days until the next shampoo.
Kérastase curl manifesto crème de jour fondamentale
Best: For curly hair
From Kérastase’s new curl collection, comes this impressive daily moisturising leave-in treatment. It’s enriched with moisture-boosting ingredients like manuka honey and glycerin, as well as hair strengthening ceramides to protect the hair type that is often on the fragile side.
It’s light without the crispiness you sometimes get with leave-in conditioners, and the beautiful floral fragrance with notes of white musk and honey pleasantly lingered throughout the day. Our natural waves stayed smooth and well-nourished both with and without the use of a diffuser.
Aquis copper sure rapid dry hair wrap
Best: For towel drying
Hair is much more susceptible to damage when it’s wet and in a fragile state, so rough drying with an abrasive towel is a guaranteed way of roughing up the cuticle and producing frizz. Aquis has a range of kinder-to-strands hair wraps that are made with a special Aquitex fabric that wicks away excess moisture without any rubbing: minimising frizz and damage. They work in a similar way to clever workout fabrics that keep your body dry when exercising.
The latest to the collection is this terracotta shade that’s woven with copper for its natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties proven to repel bacteria, so it stays odourless and you can wash it less. It’s silky soft with a button for easy turban-style wrapping, and when using it just once, expect to notice the difference if you’ve been relying on a towel in the past. We’re hooked.
Oribe supershine moisturising cream
Best: Styling cream for air drying or blow-drying
While this has an expensive price tag, it’s worth every penny when you weigh up its versatility and performance. And when you consider the size of the tube it’s not any more expensive than some of our other favourites.
We applied and left our strands to air-dry on one of the hottest days of the year, and where it would normally turn into a fluffy mess, our hair looked nothing but smooth and glossy. With strengthening and moisturising ingredients, such as a vegetable-derived protein that helps strands to retain moisture, our strands did feel and look much healthier after just one use. It’s super lightweight, so brilliant for finer hair types too as it doesn’t weigh strands down. The same excellent results were found when we used it as a blow-dry cream.
Redken acidic bonding concentrate leave-in treatment set
Best: For dry and damaged hair types
Designed to repair damage from colouring, heat styling and other aggressors, this trio uses the help of citric acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, to strengthen and protect weak and broken hair bonds. Olaplex fans will see the line-up is clearly made to give their favourite products a run for their money, and that is exactly what they do.
Our tester is used to seeing fall out in the shower from regular breakage and noticed much less with results getting better and better with continued use. Its moisture-boosting powers also ward off frizz, leaving strands oozing shine and health. Best results were seen using all three products together, but we found the leave-in treatment works brilliantly on its own too at banishing frizz.
Aussie sos save my lengths 3 minute miracle deep treatment
Best: Hair mask
A moisture-boosting hair mask should be sitting ready in your shower for twice a week use if you’re prone to frizz. This bottle proves a good hair mask doesn’t have to cost the earth or be awkward and time-consuming to use, as we can all find an extra 3 minutes in our morning routines no matter how busy we are. A cocktail of nourishing and moisturising superfood ingredients, including avocado and macadamia nut oil, make up this rich and creamy mask that leaves hair feeling healthy, strong and frizz-free after just one use.
Moroccanoil blow dry concentrate
Best: For unmanageable hair types
Coarse and rebellious hair types that need something packing a little more of an intense punch should try this frizz controller. Blended with the brand’s signature ingredient, argan oil, it’s rich in hair-strengthening and hydrating vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Use it as a companion to your blow-dry for a more manageable mane with a smoother, shinier finish, but it equally makes a brilliant finishing product on strays and flyways.
The verdict: Best anti-frizz hair products
For long-lasting frizz-free results, our best buy goes to the Color Wow dream coat supernatural spray. It’s the perfect blow-dry companion for smooth and glossy strands.
But, if you’re looking for a versatile product that works just as well when you leave strands to dry naturally, invest in the Oribe supershine moisturising cream.
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.