We’ve all experienced that prickly feeling of our hair standing on end in the crisp, dry winter air. But there are steps you can take to avoid a bad hair day caused by static and frizz.

We consulted hair experts to uncover the root cause of static hair, how to prevent the problem and the top-rated products to do so.

What causes static in your hair?

Static hair is caused by an increase of negatively charged electrons, often due to friction or environmental factors like humidity. When the hair rubs against certain objects (think a chunky beanie during winter) there is a buildup of negative charges. And because similarly charged objects repel each other, the hair does the same, causing static, frizz and flyaways.

“Static hair occurs due to a buildup of electrical charge,” says hair colorist and editorial stylist Jeremy Tardo, who has worked with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Miranda Kerr. “Friction from hair interacting with things like blankets, clothing or hats will create a static response.”

In addition to the scientific breakdown, dry climates and heated indoor areas leave the hair more susceptible to static. “Water stops the movement of electrical charges, so static will happen more easily when there is a lack of moisture in the air,” Tardo says.

How to prevent static hair

“You can prevent static hair by making sure you use extra moisture in the winter months — masks, creams, oils, conditioners,” explains Mischa G, editorial hair stylist and owner of Treehouse Social Club, a New York City salon, event space and art studio. “I often put a drop of my favorite hair oil and run it through my hair before putting on a hat or beanie.”

Because static hair is partly triggered by a lack of moisture, it is imperative that your hair care products are both hydrating and conditioning. Experts recommend starting with a quality shampoo and conditioner, followed by a deeply nourishing mask or treatment used weekly or as needed. If you’re on the go, there are a variety of leave-in products that are directly designed to prevent frizz throughout the day, too.

How to get rid of static hair naturally

For those times when you’ve slipped on a warm sweater or just brushed your hair only to find your hair is going haywire, TikTok has found a hack for stopping the static using a household product you probably already have: aluminum foil. The quick fix simply involves tearing off a small sheet of aluminum foil and passing it over your hair. The foil neutralizes the frizziness by attracting the electrical charge causing the static hair. You can also try using a dryer sheet for the same method.

And while this is an immediate fix, the long-term solution to combating static hair is keeping strands healthy and moisturized. In addition to using products packed with moisture, experts also advise that you shampoo less frequently, as it often removes the natural oils from the hair, creating the perfect dry environment for static.

“Since moisture eliminates static, dry [and] damaged hair is more likely to develop static than healthy strands,” Tardo says. “It’s important to keep your hair well hydrated to prevent static. Ultimately we need happy, hydrated hair to avoid static electricity.”

Limiting the amount of heat used on your hair — blow-dryers, curling irons, straighteners — has also been proven to reduce static buildup. And though there are dozens of tips, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the problem, and experimenting with what works best for your hair concern, type and texture is undoubtedly the best approach. Here are some of the best moisture-boosting products to help combat static hair.

Anti-frizz moisturizing conditioners

Iles Formula’s lightweight conditioner repairs damaged hair and combats unwanted frizz with a unique blend of sustainable ingredients such as tucuma palm, vitamins E and B5 and more.

“The Iles Formula conditioner is uber moisturizing and smells amazing!” says ​​Mischa G. “It instantly repairs dry, brittle hair and makes it look like spun silk. Plus, the brand is woman-owned!”

Packed with moisturizing ingredients like organic shea butter and sunflower seed extract, this hydrating conditioner from celebrity favorite Dr. Barbara Sturm will help to soften and strengthen dry and brittle hair.

Featuring an impressive list of ingredients that diminish the root causes of static — jojoba esters, hemisqualane, cationic sugar beet — this nourishing conditioner from Living Proof gives an overall sheen and is perfect for a variety of hair types and textures.

Anti-frizz leave-in conditioners

“Every client that I use this on texts me afterwards saying that they love it,” Tardo says. “Expect smoother hair that is super shiny and a result that lasts even after shampooing the product out. Unlike most leave-ins, Dreamcoat doesn’t need to be used every time that you wash your hair.” It’s also a favorite of Kim Kardashian’s go-to stylist, Chris Appleton.

“This lotion is a blend of light waxes and oils that provide moisture and moldability to the hair,” Mischa G says. “It can be used on wet or dry hair for smoothness and definition. It is eco-friendly and every product from the company comes in a refillable glass, aluminum or bamboo container.”

ExStatyk’s water-based spray is perfect for those looking for an everyday mist to tame frizz, and it is also free of fragrance, parabens and sulfates.

“Spray a little of this on your comb to prevent static,” Tardo says. “It gives an even distribution of Ionic charges and helps to smooth hair without fragrance or alcohol. It is great for anyone who needs hypoallergenic leave-ins!”

Anti-frizz moisturizing masks

“In an easy five to 10 minutes after application, you will feel a noticeable shift in the softness and moisture that your hair holds,” Tardo says of this hair mask. It includes baobab and jasmine extracts to help fortify and rebuild the hair, leaving users feeling refreshed with an added healthy shine. 

Those looking for at-home professional results should check out Redken’s Frizz Dismiss Mask. Perfect for use after cleansing and conditioning, the leave-in product is an instant relief for damaged or frizz-prone hair.

“The Eva NYC hair mask conditions, hydrates and adds smoothness to the hair,” says Mischa G. With more than 2,000 5-star ratings, the cost-effective hair mask is formulated with argan oil and plant protein and is proven to deliver 48-hour hydration to the hair. “It makes the hair stronger and is also super affordable yet feels like a luxury product,” the hair stylist says.