Hair Static 101: What Causes It, How To Prevent It And How To Fix It When It's Happening

December 23, 2015 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Hair static creeps up on you when you least expect it and leaves you looking like you just put your finger in an electrical outlet. If you’ve always wondered what’s to blame for hair static, look no further than a cold, dry winter and a lack of moisturizing products to tackle the problem before it starts.

“Static electricity in the hair is caused by a few main factors,” says  Lisa Abbey, founder and CEO of Flygirl Beauty Brand, a new travel hair care collection. “First, low humidity in the air is a main factor, which is why it’s so common in fall and winter or dry climates. An absence of moisture in the hair also contributes to the amount of static you’ll have. Lastly, fine or thinning hair is more ‘lightweight’ and therefore more prone to static. Those with drier hair types and colored-treated hair typically also experience more static than those with healthy hair.”

The good news, however, is that there are a few things you can do to prevent hair static. Here are Abbey’s suggestions:

Hydrate your hair. “I always recommend clients with all hair types switch to a more hydrating shampoo in fall and winter and make sure they are using the proper conditioner–this is key to maintaining hair health in the colder climate and avoiding annoying static.” If your hair is thick, Abbey suggests a moisture-replenishing conditioner, to smooth the cuticle and “fill” dry spots that are prone to fly-aways. Those with fine or thinning hair need a protein barrier to plump and protect the hair cuticle, she says, while giving the hair weight.

Another option? “A light leave-in conditioner can also help reduce static,” Abbey says. “Colored hair needs a little additional TLC this time or year–use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment to return elasticity to the hair and increase the hair’s ability to retain moisture.”

Stay away from silicone. Abbey recommends avoiding silicone oils and serums if you want to avoid hair static because they can be drying. Instead, try a hydrating leave-in cream-based conditioner, detangler or blow-styling creme. “We recommend our Beach Balm Texture Creme on coarse or thick hair, or our lighter formula Texture Spray for their conditioning and anti-static properties,” Abbey says.

Switch up your hair tools. If you aren’t using an ionic blow dryer, you don’t know what you’re missing–they’re key to achieving the perfect, frizz-free blowout and can also help keep static at bay. Another crucial tip? “Don’t over-dry,” Abbey says. “Just like clothes in the laundry, over-drying increases static.” While you’re shopping for a new hairdryer, pick up a wood or ceramic hair brush, which Abbey says are less static-causing.

If you’ve forgotten these preventative measures and find yourself at an event with a head full of static-y hair, try one of these three tricks:

Rub a dryer sheet over your hair. The catch with this one, of course, is that you always have to travel prepared with dryer sheets in your purse. This one is the preferred method because it zaps away static cling instantly and doesn’t damage your blowout.

Spray static guard on your brush. Rather than applying static guard directly to your hair, spray it on your brush then brush it through your hair. Again, you’ll have to think ahead since most people don’t carry a travel-size bottle of Spray Static Guard everywhere they go, but it will do the trick.

Rub a little lotion through your hair. Hand lotion is something we often tote in our purses, which makes this a more reasonable solution–and a bit of lotion will weigh your hair down enough to get rid of static–but it will do so at the expense of your hair’s volume. This trick is definitely a last resort.

For more beauty tips, check out hair strobing is the latest beauty trend that will give you model-worthy locks and this glitter roots hair trend is everything.



Beauty, hair


Lisa Fogarty is a lifestyle writer and reporter based in New York who covers health, wellness, relationships, sex, beauty, and parenting.

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