How to beat the frizzy hair – a short story about my hair

by Sylvia

How to beat frizzy hair in a humid conditions |

Long-time followers of this blog will know that my main struggle when it comes to style is my hair. My hair has never been easy to style as there is not a huge amount of it and it’s thin on top of that. Living in Singapore and the enormous humidity in this country has not helped either.

I can also never settle on a style. That is not such a big issue as I  always like a change. I could never have the same hairstyle my entire life like Anna Wintour does. My hair is like a yoyo. It goes from short to long to short again. It was long 3.5 years ago when I started 40+Style, then slowly got shorter and now it’s very long again. Due in part to my friend Greetje, who seems to think that long hair looks better on me.

I’m not so sure but I do agree that it looks pretty good on some Good Hair days. However, those special days were getting fewer and fewer as I simply could not win the war against frizz.

I tried many products anti-frizz products including Maroccan Oil.

I was getting closer with one of my later purchases Aveda Smooth Invasion but it was still a hit and miss affair.

After I read the book Great hair: secrets to looking fabulous and feeling beautiful every day, by Nick Arrojo (highly recommended as if offers many good tips on hairstyles and styling hair), I decided to take a different approach and embrace my natural waves. I don’t have a lot of wave but when I let my hair dry naturally, it is not completely straight either. That seemed to work on some days, but on others the hair was still one big ball of frizz. You can see some of the mediocre results below.


It was also really time-consuming. Since I could not use a hair dryer, I actually had to plan the days I washed my hair and make sure I had a LOT of time for it to dry naturally.

Even on days when it would look semi-decent, I would step out into the humidity of Singapore and within 15 minutes of spending time outside, it would be a big ball of frizz again.

I went back to straightening my hair again and trying to iron the frizz out of it. It did not work.

Time was definitely running out for my long hair and thoughts of cropping it short became ever more prominent.

Still, I would hear Greetje from afar, NO DON’T CUT IT, I LIKE YOUR LONG HAIR! YOU LOOK YOUNGER!

Eager to please my dear friend, I decided to give the long hair one more go.

I had been using keratin treatments (also known as a Brazilian blowout) when I had my long hair previously. They worked like a miracle. After this treatment my hair would be frizz free without even a blow dry.

The disadvantage was that these products contained formaldehyde which can cause all kinds of illnesses and reports of women getting ill, made me think twice about these treatments. The manufacturers reacted by limiting the amount of formaldehyde in their products which also made them less effective.

Another downside is that my hair had slightly less body and I wanted to see what it was like to have my natural hair back again.

Well, now I know. And it’s not pretty.

Yes, a good stylist could still do magic with my hair after a good blow dry, but only having a few really good-hair days each month is not enough.

So I decided to go back to my trusted hair salon Style By Louis and get another keratin treatment. It really was a last resort to save the long hair.

And now I’m wondering why on earth I waited so long!


The keratin treatment I took this time was the Kerasilk keratin treatment by Goldwell and it has made my hair so much easier to manage. As I type this I let my hair dry naturally and it’s almost completely frizz free. If I want to look a bit nicer I will make an effort of styling it with my blowdryer and my flat iron styler.

According to Louis the advantage of this particular treatment is that you get a reasonably straight result without having to do much on a day to day basis. The disadvantage is that it is not as glossy and shiny as some of the other available treatments like QOD Gold or Kerastraight.

The QOD Gold treatment would give you the really glossy, shiny and soft hair (especially noticeable when your hair was extremely damaged) but it does not really straighten your hair. You would still get rid of the frizz though. I may try this treatment the next time as I don’t need my hair to be super straight.

I took the advice from the Great Hair book and bought a paddle brush as well as a much better round brush to style my hair. (still need a bit of practise though).

I still use the Avenda Smooth Infusion product to style my hair and to protect the hair against the heat of blowdrying and ironing. I have also enjoyed using KMS California Add Volume Volumizing Spray to add a bit more volume to my hair.

A keratin treatment really is the way to go for my frizzy hair if I am to manage it successfully in an incredibly humid country like Singapore. I’m not sure yet how long it will last, but my treatment was one month ago and sofar it’s keeping up really well. For more details on keratin treatments and to read about some of the advantages and disadvantages, see also this older article.

mint (6 of 17)opt

I’m sure a keratin treatment is not right for everyone, but it works really well for me and I will be sure to have regular treatments again.

If you are in Singapore and want to try it too, then you can take advantage of the keratin treatment special promotion at Style by Louis and get a massive $200 off your first treatment. Read this article for details and how to get the coupon.

Perhaps you have noticed but these last few months, I have also been taking a different approach when it comes to coloring my hair. As this article is already quite long though, I will leave that story for another day.

Have you ever tried a keratin treatment for your hair? What was your experience?


Disclaimer: Please note that this article is about my own experience with Keratin treatments. I know that there are people who have been severely affected in terms of health by ‘Brazilian Blowout’ or similar hair treatments. However, the products have changed a lot lately, so may not cause any averse effects. Please know that if you decide to go ahead with getting a treatment, it pays to do your research on the products used. Getting a treatment will be solely at your own risk and I cannot be held responsible in any way for any averse effects.

1 Patti

I had my curls diffused at the Arrojo Salon while I was in NYC. I didn’t get to see Nick, but my stylist as wonderful. I cannot fight my natural texture here in Florida. And imho your natural waves look lovely! xo

2 Sylvia

I did not mind the curls/waves, only the frizz. There is a reason you don’t see the full head. The flyouts and frizz and the top were just too bad!

3 beate

formaldehyde in a beauty product??? they´r nuts??!!
i have frizzy hair myself – and the sleek hair trend in the 90´s made me try a lot of stuff and technics. almost ruined my hair and scalp.
since a couple of years i use only a mild pure plant shampoo and a bit of cocos oil in the lengths if its get to dry. lately i dumped my brush for a broad comb made from wood composite. and for the rest i embrace my wild hair – at the moment almost waist length. (we live in a moist climate too but cool)
actually i really like your hair in the “mediocre” pic!!!!

4 Sylvia

From what I understand quite a lot of hair products have that. In very tiny amounts of course as that is regulated by law. That picture was still one of the better ones although the frizz and flyouts were quite noticeable at the top.

5 Jodie filogomo

Ahhh…Sylvia. I can so relate to your struggles! It’s only been very recently that I’ve been trying to embrace my curls myself—but I do live in an arid state which helps somewhat! I’ve decided that everyone has their struggles with their bodies (and for you and I, it’s hair). But it’s not one characteristic that makes people like/dislike us, so I’m just going to live with it. (Besides, one of my friends pointed out that curly is me). I like it better in person than in pictures, but oh well! I must say that one hairdresser has given me some great tips (Kenra Smooth anti-frizz shampoo & conditioner, use lots of the conditioner & comb it through in the shower, don’t rinse it out completely and then only scrunch with fingers when drying. Also use the hairdryer but only til 80% dry) We are going to NYC soon, so I’ll have to see how things go in humidity! And I’ll have to read that book! your sister in the fight against frizz, jodie

6 Sylvia

I DO like curly hair a lot. In fact I envy many girls with lovely curls. In Singapore though the humidity is so extreme that curls or in my case just waves get VERY frizzy. Lots of fly-outs which generally I find is not such a good look.

7 Greetje

It is so funny to read that you hear my voice from afar. Never thought I would have so much influence haha. But I do like your hair a lot. I am curious to see what your approach to colour is.
Not long now until I see you again.

8 Trina

It did do wonders, and I agree with Greetje, I really like the longer hair do on you.

9 Joey

Hello Sylvia
I sympathize with you – I have medium curly hair and quite a lot of it. I have also worn it from long to short over the years – it’s currently short. I live in Canada, and summers can be quite humid (which translates to the frizzies!).
I went the cleansing conditioner 2 months ago after reading about it in Women’s Health magazine. The original product was Wen, very expensive, and available from Sephora. However, it is starting to go mainstream now, L’Oreal, Vidal Sassoon, Pantene, etc. all have reasonably priced ones at present. The theory is that the extremely efficient sulphate detergents used in shampoos (to create the lather) strip the hair and leave it dry and vulnerable. There are no sulphates in cleansing conditioners, in fact the ingredient lists are half or less than the chemicals in shampoos. There is also a theory that the stripping of the oils from the scalp encourages it to secrete more oil, resulting in hair going lank.
So I apply the cleansing conditioner in the shower to my wet hair (I use the Vidal Sassoon Color Finity Smoothing Cleansing Conditioner), 5 pumps (the hair has to be well covered), leave it for a minute or so, and then rinse out well. After towel-drying my hair I rub 2-3 drops of almond oil between my palms and apply that to the hair (no more!). Then I comb in place, allow to dry to about 90% dry, and blow-dry with round brushes. No other styling aids, that’s it!
I only have to wash every 5 – 7 days (depending on how active I am, I go to the gym a couple of times a week), and most mornings I do a bit of touch-up blow-drying.
My hair is behaving much better than it did on the shampoo-conditioner-apply styling chemicals route. But it took about 3 washes with the cleansing conditioner for it to settle down.
This is probably not for every one, but it does appear to work for some people!

10 Sylvia

I thought about doing this too and took steps toward it but did not succeed. Also my friend Anja really gave the no shampoo method an extensive go and it did not work for her. I currently don’t use any shampoos or conditioners with sulfates and don’t wash my hair so often. Great that you have found a method that works for you Joey!

11 Joey

I think the issue is what one uses on one’s hair styling products-wise. For many of them you need an efficient shampoo to get them out of your hair, otherwise they will build up over time. For the cleansing conditioner to be effective, because it is mild, you cannot use styling products that are difficult to remove. Fortunately for me, I find that I don’t need anything but the almond oil when using it, since the hair does not frizz, blow-dries well and does not go limp.
I did find that I had to use the cleansing conditioner about 3 times for my hair to adjust to it – maybe it has something to do with calming down one’s scalp for less oil secretion.
But I can believe that it won’t work for everybody, one has to keep on experimenting until you find what works!

12 sjw

I have long hair and as I have gotten older, it has gotten frizzy, coarse, and dull. The worst part has been the unmanageable frizz. My stylist did suggest a keratin treatment a couple years ago and it has been a lifesaver. It has largely eliminated the frizz and even makes my hair look smoother and shiny. Not like when I was 20, but really quite good. My stylist uses organic and natural products to the greatest extent possible, so I feel comfortable with the safety of the type of keratin treatment she has been using. The look and manageability I get from the treatments is really worth it. Although it is rather expensive, I would definitely recommend keratin to anyone who has a frizz problem.

13 Beverly J. Taylor


I have the very same type of hair as you do. I bend over and apply hairspray to my clean hair before using hot rollers. It helps with the frizz.

I like your blue sweater and your necklace.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: