1. Start with clean hair for defined coils by shampooing or cleansing
Due to product build up, it's good to give your strands a nice cleansing to restore the fresh state of your hair. I know that I went weeks upon weeks just co-washing and it felt like my hair was just getting poofier and poofier before and after my styling sessions. I decided to use my sulfate free Organix Ever Straight Brazilian Keratin Therapy Shampoo to clean my hair. Before washing I pre-poo'd with a castor oil/olive oil/ melted shea butter mix. I found that after my wash, my coils were springy, defined and smooth. I see it as a "reset" option for your hair. Allowing you to start fresh after a lot of sometimes unseen buildup.
2. Rinse with cold water always
This is a must. If you want to seal your hair follicles back to a smoother state, you need to rinse your hair with cold water at the end of your washing situation. If I am in the shower washing my hair, there is no way in hell I am having cold water running down on me for the sake of minimizing frizz. So what I do is step right on out, turn the water down somewhere between cool and cold, and I lean over the tub with the shower stream hitting my head. At this point, my hair is saturated with conditioner, so I let the cold water rinse a majority of the conditioner out.
3. Try apple cider vinegar for rinsing
Apple cider vinegar has properties that restore balance back to your hair strands. Sometimes, when I want a really deep penetrating condition, I sprinkle in a little baking soda to my deep treatment, which opens the strands up to receive all the glorious nutrients. I then counter the baking soda later on with the apple cider vinegar to close the strands back up. I have been recently experimenting with a diluted acv rinse with water after a normal wash just to add a bit of shine and minimize my frizz even further. When I use apple cider vinegar, I notice that my strands are shinier, smoother, and a huge decrease in frizz. Experiment with it to see how it can accompany your natural hair routine.
4. Use lots of conditioner for saturation
This is one trick I really had to learn from my sister. After I convinced her to go natural, she has been creating her own routines for her hair, and everything she does includes saturating her hair with conditioner. When you saturate your hair with the right conditioner during a wash, you are adding so much weight to your strands that they relax a bit. That means frizz too. You can relax your frizz with a ton of conditioner. If you have thicker, frizzier hair, use a thicker conditioner. Just keep trying out conditioners until you find the one that can truly weigh your hair down. Once it is in that state, smooth your hair even more with your hands and rinse with cold water. This will minimize frizz much more than using just enough of the wrong conditioner to cover your hair and then rinsing with hot water.
5. T-shirt instead of towel
When you use a towel to dry your hair, you are causing a lot of friction between the material of the towel and your hair follicles. It's sort of like (and I'm exaggerating here) taking a match and striking it against the section of the match book that looks like a piece of sandpaper. You get fire as a result. Let's think of that fire as frizz. We don't want that. We want smooth. It's best to use a fabric that glides along the strand instead of push back up against it. Use a t-shirt instead. What I do is go to my closet, find a plain t-shirt of my husbands that I hate, and I stick my head through the collar area, but in the opposite direction so that the bulk of the shirt is covering all of my hair. I then gently squeeze and wrap the shirt around my head. Sometimes I find a thin headband and throw that over everything to hold in place so that it can absorb the water without much manipulation of my hair. The less friction on any material the better.
6. Add diffusion to blow dryer to decrease air harshness
For those who blow dry after a wash, one way to decrease the amount of frizz is to add a diffuser to your blow dryer. This will limit the harshness of the air blowing on your hair. Air in motion can be a powerful thing, and that applies to hair as well. You still are causing friction with your hair so the best you can do in this situation is to limit the harshness of the blow dryer. Since it is blowing out hot air, it is imperative that you have your hair covered with something to protect your strands from heat damage, dryness, and frizz. I recently have been testing out the tension method, which saves me an unthinkable about of time in my styling process. I blow dry my hair only after a protein treatment, deep condition, and a sealing with some Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream. Your hair should be a majority of the way dry before adding heat for the safest styling.
7. Detangle thoroughly
On days that I am rushing to get my hair done, I tend to rush through the detangle step, which leaves me with hair that is confused and prone to frizz activity. It doesn't take a whole lot to detangle my hair, but if I let it go without washing it for a long period of time, it will become much harder to get through the tangles. Detangling hair becomes so much simpler when you saturate your hair thoroughly. I have this wonderful Conair Detangling Comb that I have used since day one of my natural hair journey. It doesn't pull out any of my hair and I am completely satisfied with it. When your strands are aligned with one another, they cause less friction with one another and will lay down much easier.
8. Satin while sleeping
Most of the natural haired gals I've come across either have some variation of the satin scarf or bonnet, or they have the satin pillowcase. I can't sleep on those pillowcases, they are hot and uncomfortable for me. I like sleeping in a cool environment, so I stick to the bonnet or the long wrap situation. I must confess, I am horrible when it comes to remembering to sleep with satin. It truly is a deal breaker. I've always woken up the next day with super dry ruined hair when I sleep with no satin. My sister recently introduced the use of a knee high stocking as the protective agent. I love it so much because it keeps everything together, can stretch to hold almost any amount of hair in any configuration and it has enough air flow to be able to dry your hair if you are going to sleep with it damp.
9. Minimal manipulation
Keeping your hands out of your hair can be difficult, especially when you need your hands to actually do your hair. The key is doing just enough to get the results you are looking for. I have a serious problem with just being overly fascinated with my hair. On wash day, I have to snap out of just playing with my hair for no reason. Detangle as much as needed. Style as much as needed. But remember to cut out any unnecessary friction from your hands to your hair. The least amount of manipulation you can pull off, the least amount of frizz you will end up with.
10. Deep treatment
I have found that deep treatments for your hair makes a difference in how much frizz your hair naturally produces. If there is less frizz to minimize, then there is less you need to do overall. I love doing my protein treatments because I end up with silkier hair right off the bat. Incorporate a deep treat on your wash day and it will make a world of difference. I'm getting to the point now where any deep treat I do, I add a little baking soda in, and then once I'm done soaking up all the greatness, I rinse with my diluted apple cider vinegar and water mix, as I mentioned earlier. Everything seems to be an experiment with this journey doesn't it?