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The Best Shampoo for Flyaways

author image Dan Ketchum
Dan Ketchum has been a professional writer since 2003, with work appearing online and offline in Word Riot, Bazooka Magazine, Anemone Sidecar, Trails and more. Dan's diverse professional background spans from costume design and screenwriting to mixology, manual labor and video game industry publicity.
The Best Shampoo for Flyaways
Don't sweat the flyaways -- you have plenty of preventative options. Photo Credit: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images

Although flyaway hair looks like a beauty problem at first glance, it's actually a simple science problem -- friction and ionization cause static electricity, which leads to wild individual strands sticking our from your head. Dry, dull or damaged hair has a rougher surface, so it generates more friction and heightens the problem. Likewise, these problems make hair more susceptible to the close cousin of the flyaway: frizz. To fight both of these pesky issues, shampoos that smooth and shield the hair serve as your best bet.

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What to Look For

To find the most effective flyaway-fighting shampoos, look for key words on shampoo labels, such as “anti-frizz,” “anti-humidity,” "hydrating," or “repairing.” The ingredients list also provides plenty of insight. Keep an eye out for OFPMA, octafluoropentyl methacrylate, a molecule that creates a thin shield around each hair, warding off humidity and flyaway strands. Moisturizing shampoos and those with Argan oil can also help ease flyaways, especially on over-processed hair.

Shampoo Sans SLS

Many shampoos rely on sodium laureth sulfate an active agent to clean and lather. While other ingredients typically offset these properties, SLS alone acts as a somewhat harsh detergent -- this property makes it effective at removing sebum and buildup, which makes it a popular shampoo ingredient. However, sebum naturally coats the hair and prevents it from drying out; dry hair, of course, leads to flyaways. While the presence of SLS doesn't automatically cause flyaways, sulfate-free shampoos can help alleviate this problem -- especially for people with thicker hair -- by helping your hair maintain its natural oils.

After You Shampoo

In addition to shampooing, conditioning is absolutely vital if you have flyaway problems. After you shampoo, apply a silicone-based wash-out conditioner or a leave-in conditioner. This helps repair cuticle damage and coat rough hair fibers with a smooth finish, making them less prone to static. Use a clarifying shampoo about once or twice a month to help normalize your hair after using specialized shampoos and flyaway-control products.

Fighting Flyaways

Continue the fight against flyaways long after your step out of the shower. Use a natural hair brush rather than rougher synthetic bristles and avoid brushing right after you come in from cold weather -- both practices help cut back on static. For a quick flyaway fix, rub a dab of pomade, hair wax or skin lotion between your palms and gently smooth out stray strands. If you're on the go, you can also apply touch-up flyaway tamer, which comes in a small bottle with a mascara-like brush, to smooth out wild strands or hairline frizz. For a big-picture solution, go with a long, evenly cut hair style rather than a graduated look, as the former makes for heavier, more stable hair.

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