If you take a look at a single strand of hair, it might not look frizzy at all. Yet with all of your hair combined, a straggly look may appear—why is that? Well, frizz doesn’t necessarily take over every single strand. “Frizzy hair is caused by the cuticle being flared,” stylist Amy Stollmeyer tells mbg.
“Think of shingles on a roof, aligned and lying flat,” Stollmeyer says. When the many causes of frizzy hair take place (more on that next), they can all cause the cuticle (AKA the shingles) to raise and flare out, she explains.
“This creates a rougher and ‘frizzy’ surface texture as well as allows moisture to enter and swell the hair strands,” Stollmeyer notes. But what does this actually look like? Let’s be honest—frizz is subjective.
If you tend to have very slick, straight hair, then a slight frizz for you might be the smoothest day of all for someone else, and vice versa. We all know what frizz can look like on our own hair, and that’s what matters most in terms of taming (or styling) your strands.