Hair gains and maintains volume and frizz for a handful of reasons, including humidity, dried-out strands and the shape of the follicle from which the hair grows. While poofy hair often feels like a lifetime sentence, frizz and volume are quickly tamed with a moisturizing and protecting routine. These steps keep dry strands from sucking in atmospheric moisture, which curls your tresses. Moisturizing your locks also keeps damaged strands from extensive heat styling damage.
Wash your hair with a rich, moisturizing shampoo. Look for products with argan, apricot and almond oils, which provide deep moisture that locks into the hair shaft.
Follow up the shampoo with a deep conditioner and coat the hair shafts from roots to tips. Conditioners with keratin, olive or almond oil provide rich moisture. Focus a little extra attention on the tips, where hair is driest. Allow the conditioner to sit for at least 5 minutes – 10 minutes if you feel really dry.
Rinse your hair with cool water to avoid heat damage and to help your hair shafts seal after the moisturizing process.
Towel-dry hair gently, and avoid squeezing or twisting your locks, which can add to the frazzled, poofy effect. Apply a quarter-sized amount of leave-in conditioner or moisturizing style cream. Moisture helps poofy hair lie flat because the hair shaft cannot pull moisture from the air and kink up like it does when it is dry.
If you want to work with your natural texture, shampoo, deep-condition, rinse and apply your leave-in conditioner or smoothing cream. Then wrap your hair in a t-shirt or cotton scarf and sleep with your hair up. The cotton keeps hair smooth and in place while the moisture does its job. In the morning, remove the wrap and smooth your fingers through your hair for natural curl without the poof.
The first rule of heat styling is to apply protection before using any heat. Opt for a cream protectant that will give your hair a boost of moisture while also providing a protective layer from the heat. Apply the product from root to tips and focus on the tips to keep split ends and frizz at bay.
After applying protectant, blow-dry your hair with an ionic blow dryer which will cut down on poofy frizz and help your hair cuticle lie down flat. Once your hair is completely dry, run a flat iron set to a medium heat over your tresses in 1-inch sections. Keep heat styling to a minimum because it causes more dry damage, which leads to more poofy volume in the future.
If, after deep conditioning and applying curl-enhancing styling cream, you still need some smoothing action, apply a dime-sized amount of olive or coconut oil to your dry tresses. The oil will give your hair natural moisture while smoothing your strands, especially for those with kinky, dry hair. This styling trick can also be applied first thing in the morning for wild tresses that need a boost of smoothing moisture.
To smooth tiny, persistent hairs, spritz a clean toothbrush with some medium-hold hairspray. Run the toothbrush over any trouble areas to smooth down poofy wisps or unmanageable areas.
Sarah Vrba has been a writer and editor since 2006. She has contributed to "Seed," "AND Magazine," Care2 Causes and "202 Magazine," among other outlets, focusing on fashion, pop culture, style and identity. Vrba holds an M.A. in history with an emphasis on gender and fashion in the 19th century.