It’s time to put your foot (and hair) down against static electricity.

By Hana Hong
Updated February 21, 2020
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As soon as winter rolls around, my hair adopts a life of its own. If you also have dry or fine hair like me, the season's cold temperature, lack of moisture in the air, and heated indoor environments can create a force field of electricity around your head that spawns Einstein-esque flyaways.

Static happens when two objects rub up on each other, causing electrons to be transferred from one to another. This swap causes a kind of electric charge to build up on your hair. However, if there isn’t enough moisture in the air or your hair, this charge makes your strands repel from each other like two wrong ends of a magnet.

Fortunately, there are ways to pacify those electrons. For anyone else prone to the frizzies, below are my top hacks to combat staticky hair so you can wear that fabulous chunky sweater or knit hat with no regrets.

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1 Rub a dryer sheet (or two) on your hair.

Nope, it’s not just another urban legend. This laundry room staple is loaded with positively charged ingredients that are released by heat and movement. When gently rubbed over your hair, they bond loosely to its negatively charged surface, neutralizing the charge and acting as a lubricant. Hot tip: Try rubbing them over your hairbrushes or your pillow before going to sleep to minimize static the next morning.

2 Apply a hair oil.

People with fine hair may cringe at the idea of applying more oil to your hair, but a little bit on the ends can do wonders for reducing winter frizz. Simply squirt one pump into your hands and apply it to damp hair to discourage pesky flyaways. Try a lightweight version, like the Moroccanoil Treatment ($15; sephora.com), which is packed with argan oil and fatty acids to leave your hair super moisturized, shiny, and static-free.

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3 Keep a bottle of hair water handy.

Heading into a last-minute meeting with supercharged hair? If you need to subdue those strands ASAP, you may be tempted to run to the bathroom and splash on some water, but this can just make your hair look soppy and more staticky once the water evaporates. The solution? Spritz your strands with a bottle of hair water, like Kristin Ess The One Signature Hair Water ($10; target.com). This isn't your average H2O—it comes out in a super-fine, consistent mist for even application, and has a proprietary strengthening complex with castor oil to smooth the appearance of damaged hair cuticles and protect your locks from environmental stressors.

4 Upgrade your hair dryer.

Ionic blow dryers emit negatively-charged ions that attach themselves to your positively-charged hair for a neutralizing effect. This helps seal the strands' cuticles to retain moisture and dry hair faster, minimizing damage. These dryers can come a bit pricey, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you use a lot of hot tools on your hair. We recommend the Bio Ionic 10X Ultralight Speed Dryer ($295; sephora.com). 

5 Comb through your hair with hairspray.

Spritzing hairspray onto a comb (preferably wooden or metal as this creates less static) can help spread the product evenly across your hair and keep the flyaways in place. Keep an eye out for hairsprays, like the R+Co Foil Frizz Plus Static Control Spray ($29; amazon.com), that are formulated specifically to attack static.

6 Dry off with a hair towel.

Do you towel your hair aggressively post-shower? This is one of the biggest hair mistakes you can make—when hair is wet the cuticle swells, causing strands to lose strength and leave it prone to breakage. Rubbing it in this state can further create uncontrollable frizz. Instead, wrap and squeeze it gently with a hair-specific towel, like the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban ($30; sephora.com), which is woven from fine and delicate microfibers to absorb excess water with minimal damage.  

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