Best products for frizzy chemo hair

My hair re-growth (so far) has gone through three distinct phases – first the lonely strays, then the Chia Pet sprouts, and lastly a weird curly-mullet ‘do. All humor aside, though, I was not going to walk around in the real world looking like any of these – ahem – “styles.” Here are the products that helped me tame the otherwise wild mane I was so grateful to have.

Initial hair re-growth was spotty and sparse, giving me all the Pigpen feels.
As it started growing in earnest, I felt like an As Seen on TV Chia Pet – at this stage, headbands became my best friends.
Hair definitely came in longer in the back; the sides were their own quirky story, and I had to laugh at my “mullet in the making,” morphing daily.

More on how long each stage lasts in another blog post which will most definitely include good-for-a-giggle photo galleries of all the awkward looks. I see you there, sexy peach fuzz! And you too, bean sprout-ish strands! And of course, the longest lasting one, a classic take on the finger-in-wall-socket shock of hair, hair, hair everywhere, sticking out in every blasted direction…I see you too!

It’s actually that last one that brings me to today’s post.

What are the best products for frizzy chemo hair?

I’ve got two, neither of which were on my (again, beauty minimalist) radar before I went all Bald Becca.

The first is Cotril Primer pre-styling and protective spray. It’s a credit to my Lucy, the same hairdresser who helped me shave my head with dignity and privacy before chemo. After seeing me post in frustration about my wildly frizzy mane, which made me feel self-conscious and like I had to explain to people (“It’s not lazy grooming; I’m doing the best I can and yet I still look like I don’t care”), she reached out and told me she had a product that could help.

Woman in pink blouse smiling and holding two de-frizz hair products.
Frizzy chemo hair can be tamed. These two hair products made a huge difference for me. They also last a long time and are easy to use.

At our next appointment, when I was in urgent need of a shape-up from hair that was sort of growing everywhere with no particular style, Lucy showed me the Cotril. I love it, and am still on that first bottle, which is saying a lot for the value as this was close to a year ago. Well, that and the fact that my hair is still supah dupah short, so a little goes a long way.

The second product I would recommend, even putting it ahead of Cotril, is L’anza Keratin Healing Oil Smooth Down Spray. The woman who trims my daughter’s hair recommended it, and I cannot thank her enough. As my hair has grown longer (I can now rock a Pebbles-length ponytail – it barely classifies as one, but I’ll take it! – complete with Farah Fawcett-ish whispy side curls), the frizz factor has returned. Cotril helps some, but not as much as I would like.

This other stuff, when applied after I’ve towel-dryed my hair, helps the style to remain smooth and frizz-free, especially when I blow dry it in sections using my round brush. While I don’t love paying $31 for a 3.4-ounce bottle, it, like the Cotril, is lasting me a long time. And it means a lot to look in the mirror and recognize the things I once liked about my appearance.

Cancer temporarily upended a lot of what I thought made me beautiful, but I’m slowly getting my groove back, smooth hair and all.