The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

Jessica Biel textured hair

Sometimes beauty really doesn’t make sense.

You know how I’ve been going on about the whole “textured” trend in hair? As in dry, matte, slightly flyaway and overall Not Trying Too Hard hair? (As Miss Jessica Biel exemplifies here, but maybe minus the very strange red streaks.) This is what I mean by Good Frizz—and it’s very in style right now.

And yet, simultaneously, there’s a compelling case to be made for a contradictory trend that’s happening in hair products: smoothing shampoos, conditioners and stylers meant to eradicate all traces of Bad Frizz.

Weird, huh? I suppose it’s kind of like how in fashion, people like Simon Doonan have decided we’ve reached the end of trends and anything goes.

Yay! So now we can do what we want. Here’s what you need for each look:

How to get Good Frizz

Hairdressers kind of hate when I call the textured look “frizz,” so here’s another example of what I mean (from Valentino’s Spring 2010 show):

Valentino Spring 2010 textured hair The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

It’s kind of fuzzy, right? But in a good, “I Just Wake Up Looking This Gorgeous” way.

Now I’ll bet you’re thinking I’m going to recommend dry shampoo for this look.

Well yes, I am definitely a lover of the dry shampoo. But I’ve just discovered something that I think is EVEN BETTER: 

Schwarzkopf Osis+ Dust It Mattifying Powder The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for eachThis bad boy is Schwarzkopf Osis+ Dust It Mattifying Powder. And it is like MAGIC DUST.

Sprinkle some in your hands and rub together, or apply directly to the scalp (on DRY hair… it must be dry to work) and it morphs from a powder into an invisible, sort of wet… something. (I’m not sure what to call it, actually.)

But ohhhh baby does it ever WORK. Your reward is instant volume, thickness and “guts” (as Sally Hershberger likes to say). Rub it both on the scalp and lightly through the rest of your hair to give it that dry, piecey, almost gritty texture. It’s like dry shampoo on steroids.

I believe Aveda makes one as well, but the Schwarzkopf is superior, in my opinion. Seriously, try it. I am OB. SESSED.

How to get rid of Bad Frizz

This is Bad Frizz:

Cameron Diaz Being John Malkovich The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

And I dare say, the usually stunning Marion Cotillard tried to rock this look back in the spring. I didn’t like it:

marion cotillard perm The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

But even if you don’t have frizz to that degree, the anti-frizz wares are worth checking out. Especially if you want to achieve a sleek, smooth style like Miss Miranda Kerr’s here:

Miranda Kerr smooth hair The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

And yes, even people with STRAIGHT hair can have frizz. Including yours truly. I never thought I did—only found out when I noticed the difference before and after using these guys:

Living Proof No Frizz Humidty Blocking Shampoo and Conditioner The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for eachThey’re the Humidity-Blocking shampoo and conditioner and from Living Proof’s No Frizz line. And in case you haven’t heard everyone else in the blogosphere talking these up, RUN, do not walk, to your nearest Sephora (or you can order through The Shopping Channel).

They are smoothing without flattening or over-moisturizing and the difference before and after you use these is, quite simply, incredible. Yes, even on straight, fine hair.

The reason is because they’re made with a new technology (PolyfluoroEster) that creates a thin barrier on the hair cuticle, preventing humidity from penetrating the hair shaft and reducing friction between the hair fibres.

Other good things they make: A Styling Cream called Straight Making which I hear is quite amazing (although I haven’t used it because it’s specifically for medium to thick hair, and I have neither). AND there is a Restyling Spray, which you can use to “refresh” your style (a.k.a remove frizz without re-styling).

Another excellent and slightly more affordable frizz fighter is this new one:

Avon Lotus Shield The difference between Good Frizz and Bad Frizz—and the products you need for each

This is Avon’s Advance Techniques Frizz Control Lotus Shield Anti-Frizz Treatment, which I recently test drove for an article.

Call me a snob, but I had low expectations that this would work—it’s a silicone-based serum that you apply to damp hair before styling.

But amazingly, unlike any other smoothing serums I’ve tried, it was super-lightweight and did not weigh my hair down AT ALL. Apparently that’s because it’s modelled after the lotus flower, which has the ability to live immersed in wet, humid conditions without wilting. Marketing BS? I’m not sure, but all I care about is that it works.

The claim is that its effects last up to three days and that it defies weather with up to 97 percent humidity. From what I can tell, this is true.

So now tell me…

Are you a fan of Good Frizz?
Or do you prefer your hair smooth and sleek?
What’s in your personal bag of tricks to get either of these looks? Come on, spill…


Friday, August 13/2010 at 10:53 am

The Dust It Mattifying Powder stuff … will it give me volume without the “fuzzy” look? I have shorter hair and can’t pull off the “just woken up” look yet, but I am always on the hunt for a volumizer that WORKS. I’ve tried TONS of stuff and nothing ever lasts past the 2 hour mark. Next stop: the new volumizing colour-safe shampoo from Pantene.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, August 19/2010 at 6:38 pm

It’s more of a texturizer than a volumizer, although it will definitely make your hair feel thicker. It just won’t feel smooth—if that makes sense. I wouldn’t call the effect fuzzy, at least not in a bad way… it really is like what Jessica Biel has in the first pic.

As for other products – the Pantene shampoo is quite good but my all-time fave drugstore volumizer is the TRESemme 24 Hour Body shampoo. I have to confess that I still like that one better than the Pantene… although it isn’t moisturizing AT ALL. (And I know you said you have a bit of damage, so… maybe go for the Pantene after all. It’s a bit more hydrating.)

What have you tried before that has failed you? How were you using it? I want to get to the bottom of this volumizing thing for you…


Sunday, November 21/2010 at 1:51 pm

i have no idea what you mean when you say jessica biel has “strange” red streaks!!!! She looks GORGEOUS! I aboslutely love love her haircolor! I would kill to have my hair looking like that, she looks stunning. I also think Cotillard looks soooooo cute with that type of hairstyle and a bit of frizz.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, November 22/2010 at 5:43 pm

You know what? I thought I detected red highlights on either side of her face but they might just be a weird trick of the lighting and not actual streaks… I tried to find a better photo online but couldn’t.

Oh and not saying she doesn’t still look gorgeous – even if she did Rihanna’s bright red colour she still would! :-)


High Roller
Saturday, March 12/2011 at 12:21 pm

Love this feature as it’s so true about good and bad frizz. Good frizz = high end fashion. Bad = civilian frizz which is the curse of all of us (except models or those blessed with good hair genes!).


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Wednesday, March 16/2011 at 5:51 pm

Ha! So true. The frizz you’re born with is never as nice as the kind you create deliberately with prodz… :-)


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