Just when we’re laserfocused on the matter and finally winning the battle against frizz, we glance up to notice something on the horizon. Frizz is making a reappearance! But wait. It’s different. It’s—it’s pretty!

From the catwalks to the coasts, frizz is seriously trending. In a way, that means textured clients can let out a collective sigh of relief. Frizz is at least the devil they know.

Hair: NAHA 2012 Texture winner Jasmine Gibbs, The Cutting Edge Salon, Brooklyn, NY
Photography: Nico Iliev

Nature’s Gift

“Curly and wavy hair textures tend to naturally be more frizzy,” says Davin Alan Testerman, artistic style manager at Kenra Professional. “The core bonds of the hair shaft are crooked and, even if healthy, have the tendency to appear frizzy.”

Furthermore, because of the structure of wavy, curly and coily hair, it is harder for the scalp’s natural oils to move down the hair shaft. Less oil means less hydration, and less hydration means more frizz.

“Hair becomes frizzy when it lacks moisture, which can happen from styling methods, chemical services or natural occurrence,” says Jaritza Ortiz, education and testing coordinator at GK Hair. “When there is high humidity in the air, hair tends to pull in needed moisture, thereby causing frizz.”

Frizz as Fashion

Accepting their frizzy fate, curlies have learned to live with it or conquer it, but they haven’t glorified it in decades. This was one pendulum that was rarely predicted to swing back. But pendulums always do.

“Frizz is becoming more of a trend on the runway because, quite simply, it’s time,” says Testerman. “The looks on the silver screen, runways and magazine covers have been straight for so long that the avant-garde direction that sashays down the runway should seem to go to the extreme of curly-frizzy.”

Houston salon owner Efrain Leiva, an educator and international platform artist for Farouk, agrees. “This look is coming because the younger generation hasn’t tried it yet,” he observes. “Now that they’re seeing it, they’ll want to try it.”

And they’ll be seeing more of it, says Ortiz, who notes that hair silhouettes always balance clothing design. “Runway fashion for this fall is showing military chic, with sleek lines and olive green and brass, along with the laminated look,” she adds. “Those masculine styles and hard finishes are complemented by a softer, frizzy, romantic style.”

On Main Street, Leiva sees the trend more as evolution than revolution.

“Right now only the trendiest clients are asking for frizz,” he says. “In New York and L.A., there are women from all over the world, so clients are more exposed to international looks, but here in Houston we’re not seeing a lot of it. However, our clients are getting into wavy hair. Before we get them into frizzy hair, we have to move them into a nice wave—a softer look—and after that it will slowly happen.”

That was Then

Perhaps salon clients have to first trust that this is not their mother’s— or grandmother’s—frizz.

“The last time we had the chance to see a true shift from sleek-straight trends was the transition from Cher’s parted-down-the-middle ’70s ’do to the over-processed and big hair of the ’80s,” says Testerman. While overprocessing may have been an appropriate vehicle at the time, it won’t fly today. But neither will the opposite— just letting hair have its way.

“In the ’80s, most of the frizz was natural,” says Leiva. “Today we make it happen with products, tools and even color techniques.”

Frizz-seeking clients will replace smoothing shampoos and conditioners with hydrating products. Instead of flat irons and curling irons, the heat tool of choice will be the blow dryer. And rather than drenching the hair in styling creams, they will rough up the cuticle with pomades and polishes.

“I love to see frizzy hair with shine in it,” Leiva says. “Use some spray to hold it, so it looks as though it’s been styled and didn’t just happen. This time around, we’re creating manageable frizz.”

Good Frizz / Bad Frizz The difference is all in the styling.

One great way to get clients on the frizz page is to point out some that they already like. You know the messy French twist, braid, chignon or loose pony they ask for? Yep, the unfinished part—the coolest part—is frizz. But it’s good frizz.

“Good frizz is something we stylists call ‘flyaway hair,’” says Matrix Artistic Director Daniel Roldan, a hair stylist at NYC’s Cutler Salon and a finalist in the NAHA 2011 texture category. “When you have good frizz, the hair is light and airy. Bad frizz, on the other hand, is overworked and over-dry hair with no control.”

To create good frizz, first dry the hair thoroughly and apply product throughout the hair, Roldan advises. “You can use a variety of tools,” he continues, naming a teasing comb, cushion brush and wig brush. “Once you have control of the hair’s direction, you can go against the grain to create the frizz.”

Farouk Educator and International Platform Artist Efrain Leiva uses the air from the blow dryer to do the back-combing for him.

“Hold the hair with the brush and apply some tension,” he directs. “Then to rough-up the hair, blow-dry toward the scalp—against the natural pattern.”

While color services have a purpose beyond that of frizzmaker, they can be worked to that added advantage. Leiva employs blonding baliage techniques to tease out the frizz.

“We place lighter color on the ends, and then we don’t style them,” he explains. “Very blonde color helps the hair on the ends become frizzy. These unfinished looks are very in style.”

The professionals at GK Hair offer this recipe for healthy, haute frizz:
1. Prep the hair by mixing a cocktail of GK Hair’s Curl DefineHer and Leave In Cream.
2. Either let the hair dry naturally or gently use a diffuser.
3. Divide the hair into four sections, and grab chunks of about one inch each. Taking each chunk, do a few wraps with your index finger.
4. Holding the wrap gently between your thumb and index finger, push back with the thumb and index finger of your other hand. This will create a beautifully textured, curly, controlled frizz look.
5. Finish with the GK Hair Light Hold Hairspray.
From Kenra Professional come these tips:
1. After moisturizing the hair, use a curl-enhancing product such as Kenra
Classic’s Curl Glaze Mousse 13, Curl Defining Creme 5 or Curl Spray 8. Choose the product most appropriate for the client’s hair type.
2. Diffuse the hair to maximize volume and promote lustrous curl.
3. After hair is dry, turn the head upside down, lightly mist an aerosol working spray and gently fluff and separate existing curl.
4. Flip hair back over and reapply a working spray such as Kenra Classic’s Design Spray 9 or Perfect Medium Spray 13.
5. Spray Classic’s Thermal Styling Spray 19 on any desired curl formations that need to be touched up or enhanced with a small curling iron.