It’s that time of year.  We’re hearing more about frizz and fly-aways and just an overall feeling of lack of control over your curly hair. Listen closely.  This is your hair’s way of informing you that there is damage.

So, first things first, what is frizz?  Frizz is hair breakage, and when not treated immediately, just like any other condition, it gets worse. It’s most often seen on the surface of the crown.  Frizzy hair isn’t entirely due to the weather.  It’s also about your hair’s level of hydration and the products you’re using. If you don’t address frizz, it can lead to tangles and snarls (oh my!).

Here’s the good news.  It’s not too late to reverse the damage.  They don’t call me the “King of Curls” for nothing!

Here are my go-to curly hair care secrets that I use with my clients. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll start to see and feel a difference in your gorgeous curly locks.

  1. Hydration is key to taming frizz. Just like your body, your curls crave water. Use products, like RICI, that have a low alcohol count and are sulfate-free to prevent drying. Think of your hair as a sponge. It can only hold a certain amount of water in it. Beauty products that are water-based are great for hydrating locks. If you fill your hair with hydrating products, you satisfy your hair’s thirst and prevent it from getting the moisture outside.
  2. Don’t Over-Condition. Regardless if it’s cold or humid outside, never put conditioner above the middle of the hair shaft. The oils in the conditioner are too heavy for your scalp and can leave hair feeling greasy.

We shed hair constantly. Especially as we go into a new season.  Leave your conditioner on for a few minutes to allow it to penetrate the cuticle.  While you’re letting the conditioner sink in, comb the conditioner through the hair, getting rid of old hair.  Then rinse well to remove any excess conditioner.  By doing these steps, you avoid frizz and tangles, plus you reactivate the curl!
  3. STOP brushing.  It’s your brush that’s causing the damage. You never want to brush dry hair since that’s when it’s most fragile and likely to frizz. When you brush dry hair you disturb the cuticle, forcing it to stretch and break. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb in the shower. Once you’ve combed wet hair through, rinse and apply products. Then you can use the diffuser to dry.
  4. Don’t use your fingers to distribute products. Instead, use your palms. Fingers contain natural oils which can lead to frizz.
  5. Use products that are water-based.  The goal is to put healthy oils into your hair. Long-term use of products with silicone and other additives are going to coat the hair and block moisture.  Also, don’t overuse any product. A dime-size amount is more than enough for shoulder-length hair. If your hair is shorter, use less.

When hair is treated correctly, it naturally has a healthy shine.

Here’s to you ruling the curl!

Ricky Pennisi is a prominent stylist, educator and founder of RICI hair care, a custom line that focuses on hydrating curls and combating frizz. With two decades of industry leadership, Ricky is known as the “king of curly hair” whose passion and dedication created the innovative line of products designed to moisturize, tame frizz and create shiny hair with each and every use. The RICI hair care product line is sold exclusively online at