After years of heat styling my hair is so dry and frizzy, how can I combat this?

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Could you please help me! Basically I have very long hair which I straighten every day. I have recently noticed my hair has gone very dry so I decided to work with my natural texture, which is wavy, but not a good wave.

When I wash my hair I leave it in a loose plait and then the next morning it just looks frizzy, dry and horrible. So I have two questions: 

  1. How can I work with my natural texture to create beautiful beach waves and stop the horrid frizz.

  2. If I stop using heat on my hair for a couple of months and work my natural texture will this in time help with the overall condition of my hair.

If I can get my natural wave to actually look ok then I will probably stop straightening my hair – it’s a vicious circle, I straighten it because I hate my horrid waves yet the more I straighten it the worse the condition!

Please help, I’m so fed up with this and on the verge of shaving it all off!

Thank you,

Sam, London

Hi Sam,

There are a few things you can do to repair hair damaged by overuse of heat tools. If you're going to continue using the heat tools, then you need to use a good preparation product to provide some heat-protection whilst styling. These are easy to find and most good salons will do a range suitable for your hair type and be able to advise you how to use them. When styling with heat, they give off a mist or 'steam' and this is the product burning off and protecting your hair from the drying effects. Obviously, the ideal scenario though is to avoid heat styling as much as possible, especially if you know you've damaged your hair already. 

In that instance and in terms of styling, try a salt-spray for those beachy, wind-swept waves. Bumble&bumble developed the original 'Surf spray' (now copied by numerous cosmetic companies) to create definition, texture and volume in natural wavy hair and it can be cocktailed with other products to add more polish if you want a more elegant, evening style. You can either spray it through the roots and lengths and leave to dry naturally or style it with a dryer if you prefer. They also do a range called 'Straight' which helps you achieve the straightened blow-dry without the straighteners and is much kinder to your hair and would allow you to keep the style without so much damage.

There are also products you can use to repair the damage to your hair caused by the straighteners and dryers. Bb also make a product range called 'Quenching' which is profoundly hydrating and was developed for exactly that purpose; restoring natural moisture, softness and strength. The complete range includes shampoo, conditioner, leave-in styling complex and deep conditioning masque, but you can mix and match depending on what you think you need most. They're like antibiotics for your hair and as such should only be used for a limited amount of time to regain the moisture lost through heat-damage. Once you're happy with the condition again, return to an everyday cleansing and conditioning product and just treat your hair with a Quenching masque every so often to maintain it. You can return to the products whenever you feel like the condition is suffering again.

Hope this helps!

Sophie Webster, salon owner, Simon Webster Hair, Brighton


You will be doing your hair a great deal of good by not straightening it every day so please stick with the natural waves and you will reap the rewards.

To help with the styling of the hair you should be using products that will help enhance and condition your curl. For example, use a curl shampoo and conditioner and use a styling product like ‘Mixed Chicks Leave-in Conditioner’ or even a light non-sticky mousse.

Another great product you can use to help with the condition of the hair is ‘Phillip Kingsley Elasticizer’ this is a pre-shampoo treatment which you massage into the hair and leave for 10-20 minutes covered with a plastic cap - you then shampoo and condition as normal.

I would also strongly recommend a good haircut to get rid of all the dry broken ends as these will just get worse over time and it is very hard to fix once snapped or broken. The biggest thing you should be aiming for is prevention. Start a fresh and from this day forward enjoy your fabulous locks.

Joseph Koniak, Artistic Director of Joseph Koniak and Eleven Hair, London  

Hi Sam,

Firstly you are not alone! Thousands of ladies are caught in the net of heat damage and are now having to use heat to get the finish they want. It’s no problem – it’s my area of expertise.

Your hair is dry because it lacks moisture, you need to condition it more or use a conditioning mask once a week. Also, there are lots of curl creams on the market which you apply to wet hair. Leave these in your hair whilst drying naturally or diffuse dry without touching it.  

These creams are packed with love, moisture and hydration as well as weight to stop the curls from fluffing up. Apply three or four 50p sized amounts to your mid-length and ends and leave to dry – just watch the curls stay controlled and lush.  

My favourite products for curls is the Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious range - dedicated to curly hair the range never lets me down. The effects last a long time and give the hair the moisture it needs. There are others on the market but not as moisturising. Also regarding your beach curls, Bumble and bumble have just launched their new surf shampoo and conditioner, the first of its kind. Team this with their surf spray and it gives the type of beach hair every girl wants – it’s amazing!

Nelson Brown of browns in Dumfries 

Hi Sam,

Love your wavy hair; it is today’s big fashion to have waves however the hair must be in excellent condition. May I suggest you see a hairstylist who likes long hair and will simply cut off the split ends, 1cm is usually enough to minimise split ends. 

To achieve excellent conditioned hair I recommend ‘Alterna’, look it up on Google. You will find many sites where you can buy Alterna hair products. Alternatively, check out hair salons in your area who sell Alterna products, they are exclusive and not cheap but they work magical results in a short time. Here is the American site for Alterna you can buy the same products in the UK

Plaiting your hair: To get the best results for a soft and shiny wave the hair needs to be damp (not wet) before plaiting and you need to apply a light hold setting lotion or foam. This will help to calm down the frizz and give your hair a little more hold and structure.

To achieve larger waves you need to make a thick plait, for smaller waves make smaller plaits. Your Plait must be plaited tight and not lose as this will help keep down the frizz. The hair in the plait needs to be totally dry before opening, and then use your fingers to comb your hair through (do not use a brush). Massage a few drops of an ‘Anti-frizz and Shine’ product on your hands and gently move your fingers through your hair, this should give you a soft wave which should last.

Alternatively, there are straigh

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