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Your Guide to Frizz-Free Hair

A recent survey of more than 17,000 women revealed that frizz is their number-one hair struggle. Regain control of unmanageable tresses and put down your hot tools. Here, the best styling tips for your hair type and texture, plus three pretty 'dos, so you can make every day a good-hair day.

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Michelle Holden
Products for straight frizzy hair
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Peter Ardito
Miko Lim
Della Bass
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Find Your Hair Type

Identifying your hair type is the first step to mastering how to style it. Colleen Creighton, a Victoria's Secret hairstylist based in New York City, recommends this easy tress test: After showering, don't put any product in your hair. The time it takes to air-dry will tip you off to your type.

10 minutes or less = fine hair

10 to 20 minutes = medium hair

20 minutes or more = thick hair

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For Straight Hair

Secret weapon: A water-based flexible-hold hair spray. Our go-to: Garnier Fructis Style Anti-Humidity Flexible Control Hairspray ($5, drugstores). "Straight hair needs a lightweight product so it doesn't look greasy or flat by the end of the day," says celebrity hairstylist Sarah Potempa. Look for water as the first ingredient and "soft" or "flexible" on the label.

Pro trick: Mist the spray directly onto a brush with nylon and boar bristles, like Sarah Potempa On Set Styling Brush ($42,, and run it through dry hair to smooth frizz and flyaways. This will distribute the product evenly without giving your hair a crunchy feel.

Ace the application
Fine hair: Spritz once onto the brush.

Medium hair: Spritz two or three times, brushing through in between.

Thick hair: Spritz four or six times, brushing through in between.

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For Curly Hair

Secret weapon: A spray gel that contains conditioners. A good one: John Frieda Frizz-Ease Spiral Style Curl-Defining Spray Gel ($6, drugstores). "Your curls will stay frizz-free because the conditioners in gel coat the outer layer of the hair cuticle," Potempa explains.

Pro trick: Avoid brushing your hair when it's dry. Keep a comb like the Plugged In Wet Look Comb ($3, in the shower to use for detangling. After showering, gently squeeze hair dry with a towel and spritz in the gel. Instead of using your fingers, which can break up curls, lightly scrunch strands with the towel to absorb excess moisture and boost curls.

Ace the application
Fine hair: Spray five pumps.

Medium hair: Spray 10 pumps.

Thick hair: Spray 15 pumps.

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For Wavy Hair

Secret weapon: A water-based styling cream. We like Drybar Cream Soda Smoothing Cream ($27, "A lightweight cream gives your waves shine and enhances them in addition to getting rid of the frizz," Potempa says.

Pro trick: Rub the cream between your hands and apply it to damp hair, starting at the ends. Then, using whatever product is left on your hands, lightly sweep it over the top of your hair.

Ace the application
Fine hair: Use a dime-size dollop.

Medium hair: Use a nickel-size dollop.

Thick hair: Use a quarter-size dollop.

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For Tight Curls

Secret weapon: A thick oil-based cream. Our pick: Pantene Truly Natural Defining Curls Custard ($5, drugstores). "This hair texture is lacking moisture and shine. A rich cream will contain frizz and enhance tight curls. Even if you don't wash your hair often, this is the type of product you can load on -- the more you use, the better your hair looks," Potempa explains.

Pro trick: Work the product onto your hands and use your fingers to twist curls to add shine and definition to damp or dry hair.

Ace the application
Fine hair: Apply a nickel-size amount.

Medium hair: Apply a quarter-size amount.

Thick hair: Apply a half dollar–size amount.

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Easy Updos

Do It Up
When temps rise, so does your hair (wha-wha) -- but with these pro tricks, the extra volume can actually be a style advantage. Score!

Piecey Bun
1. Spritz a texturizing spray like Kevin Murphy Texture Master ($25, for salons) onto your roots, then flip your head upside down and massage it into your scalp.
2. Pull hair into a ponytail at ear level.
3. Back-comb the length of your pony, then loosely wrap it around the base, pinning as you go, to form a messy bun.

Tousled Pony
1. Mist on a sea salt spray, such as Ouidad Wave Create Sea Spray ($22, and scrunch strands.
2. Side-part your hair and divide it into two sections.
3. Starting above your ear, twist hair away from your face and secure it at the nape of your neck. Repeat on the other side, then join them with an elastic in a low ponytail. Pull out a few strands for a romantic look.

Windswept Braids
1. Apply mousse for grip. Try Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse ($37,
2. Center-part your hair and divide it into two sections. Do a French braid on both sides, fastening each with an elastic.
3. Gather both braids to one side and wrap them around to form a woven bun. Slide in a few bobby pins to hold your hair in place.

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Fast Frizz Fixes

Don't Frizz Out
Heat, humidity, and your sweat session can cause pouf. Try these fast fixes.

After Your Shower
Lightly towel-dry your hair, then spray on a leave-in conditioner and let it air-dry.

While You Blow-Dry
Point the dryer nozzle downward to close the hair cuticle.

At Midday
Always carry a ponytail holder with you. If your hair starts to expand, pull it into a side braid or a topknot.

After a Workout
Massage dry shampoo into your roots to soak up sweat, then smooth out your bangs or any face-framing pieces with a blow-dryer or small flatiron.

At the Pool or Beach
Before swimming, put conditioner on your hair to create a barrier that will protect it.

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Straight Talk

If you live in a seriously steamy climate (shout-out to Miami and Houston) or you've reached your breaking point with frizz, an in-salon keratin treatment might rock your world. Rodrigo Padilla, a senior stylist for Sally Hershberger Downtown in New York City, sets you straight.

How it works
After three washes with a neutralizing shampoo, strands are rough-dried and the keratin solution is applied with a brush. The stylist will blow-dry your hair, then flatiron small sections five to seven times to seal in the keratin. The process takes one to three hours, depending on the length and thickness of your strands, and generally costs from $150 to $700. Choose an experienced stylist; call the salon and ask how many treatments he or she has done. Also inquire what brand of keratin is used. Global Keratin and Coppola both require special training.

You'll need to wait three days before you get your hair wet, so pick a time when you can take a short break from working out. Also keep in mind that during those days, you can't pull your hair back because the elastic will form a crease in your straight strands.

Your sleek new do will last four to six months based on how often you shampoo. It will air-dry smoothly, so you won't have to plug in hot tools as often. Your hair will be frizz-free, and if you have curls, they'll look looser. Bonus: If you color your hair, getting the treatment just after your dye job will make the hue last longer.

Many keratin treatments contain formaldehyde, a possible carcinogen. If yours does, sit in a well-ventilated area or wear a mask while the solution is applied, because the danger lies in inhaling it.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2013.

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