Tumble Dryer Sheets For Frizzy Hair, Static, and Flyaways Are An Instant Win. But Are They Good For Your Hair?

By Charlene Latreuille
Published 06 Oct 2021

Tumble Dryer Sheets For Frizzy Hair, Static, and Flyaways Are An Instant Win. But Are They Good For Your Hair?

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When beauty-savvy TikToker @snconroy showed off her amazing trick for taming frizzy hair in seconds using a dryer sheet, I was instantly a fan!

It’s true. Using tumble dryer sheets to tame frizzy hair, flyaways, and static works like a charm. You can even use them to revive second-day strands, freshen up your locks after a gym session, or smoothen up a post-blow-dry.

But are they any good for your hair?

Read on to find out …

Dryer Sheets for Hair – Just Swipe to Defrizz!

dryer sheet around the house

It doesn’t get any easier than just swiping the F out of your hair when those pesky staticky strands pop out of nowhere, going against the natural flow of your intended style.

Want proof?

Check out @snconroy’s TikTok video to see how she uses a tumble dryer sheet to eliminate frizz and static with one sweep.

The Woop! is optional, but seeing how satisfying this is – I must admit, I can’t help myself from doing it too when I occasionally whip that laundry sheet through my long hair in one go!

Try hard as you might. Every hair wash day brings its own set of challenges. Towel drying, brushing, detangling, and heat styling can lead to unwanted frizz and statics all over the place. That’s because your hair builds up electric charges caused by friction (drying, brushing), resulting in loose electrons developing on the surface of the hair shafts.

When this happens, the hair fibers repel each other, preventing them from lining up and laying flat in certain parts.

The fuzzy and irregular textures contribute to the appearance of frizziness in the form of small, tight, wiry curls and unruly hair strands extending in all directions.

Ideally, you would use an anti-frizz serum to smooth down your lengths and tame the frizziness and statics, but there are occasions when you just don’t have the time, or you don’t have one handy.

This is when a tumble dryer sheet can save the day.

Just as it makes your clothes come out softer without any static cling, it’s also excellent for nixing frizz that makes your hair look dull and gritty after detangling, towel drying, brushing, or blow-drying.

How Does A Dryer Sheet Work To Remove Frizz and Static?

dryer sheets for static hair

A dryer sheet, also known as a fabric softener sheet, is made of paper or woven fibers coated with fabric conditioners, stearic acids, quats, lots of fragrance, and various other chemicals that give the cloth a cationic, positively charged surface.

When clothes are tumbling together in a drying machine, they tend to stick together and crease up due to negative charges building up in the process. That’s why without a fabric softener, your clothes would come out sticking to each other, over-creased, and looking rough.

how do dryer sheets reduce static

When you use fabric softener sheets in your dryer, they neutralize the static and loose electrons that attach negative charges to your clothes.

As a result, your laundry comes out feeling smooth, soft, and smelling fresh without any rough surfaces or getting stuck to each other.

The science of neutralizing negative charges on surfaces makes total sense why it works so well on human hair.

When you brush or dry your hair, the friction generates an imbalance in the positive and negative charges, the latter being more abundant. Dryer sheets contain positively charged ions to balance loose electrons, thus neutralizing the charges and acting as a lubricant to calm frizz from the resulting friction.

How To Use Dryer Sheets On Hair

To use it, you literally just swipe the linen-scented square lengthwise down your hair or stick it to your hairbrush and brush along.

However, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Don’t let it touch your skin and scalp

Tumble dryer sheets contain perfumes and scents, which may cause skin irritation. So make sure you do not wipe your face or scalp, and keep it away from the roots.

Use scent-free if you are heat styling

The scent/perfume in a dryer sheet can be flammable. So if you’re planning to apply heat to your hair, make sure you use unscented ones.

Don’t let the scent clash with your perfume

If you’re wearing an expensive perfume and don’t want the laundry sheet to compete with it, use an unscented one.

Sure, it does the trick, but you’ll have to understand that dryer sheets contain chemicals and formulations that may cause irritations and allergic reactions. Some may even contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be hazardous when using a heat styling tool.

Are Dryer Sheets Good For Your Hair?

If it’s not intended to be used on your hair and the box doesn’t make this claim, then it’s not ideal.

Although many hairstylists and beauty bloggers rate it as an excellent DIY hack for eliminating frizz, I personally use it as an emergency-only fallback.

Why?

Some of these sheets may contain chemicals that can cause health hazards like allergic reactions or irritation.

According to WomensVoices, tests conducted on dryer sheets indicated that most of them contain volatile organic compounds like acetaldehyde, butane, acetone, and fragrance chemicals that can cause headaches, dizziness, and respiratory irritation.

Another interesting article on the BeautyBrains blog, which I am a big fan of, states that fabric softener sheets have a stronger charge than regular hair conditioners. While it’s a good thing for your garments, repeated use on your hair can lead to nasty waxy buildup from the quats (quaternary ammonium compounds) added to them.

Finally, fabric softeners are pretty heavy on fragrance, which can lead to choking and respiratory irritation.

The Bottom Line Is:

Dryer sheets are not safety-tested for use as hair products.

Read: Are Dryer Sheets Safe to Use? What Research Says

If you fancy the idea of taming frizz and static in a pinch, then I suggest checking out the hair-friendly alternatives to dryer sheets.

Anti-Frizz Sheets Designed for The Hair

Anti-frizz hair sheets do everything that your Lenor or Bounce sheets can do, plus a lot more.

Sweep it over the surface of your ponytail, refresh your post-workout hair, or do a last-minute touch-up before an important meeting or a date. These sheets will lock your style in place without leaving a single strand out of place.

Read: Anti-frizz sheets – The best way to tame frizz with one swipe

Designed for your hair. Not the dryer!

The Nuno Saviano sheets can tame electro-charged flyaways just as fast as the traditional fabric softening sheets. Infused with super hydrating ingredients, it does an excellent job at protecting your locks from buckling under intense humidity or heat.

The Nexxus frizz defy uses argan oil as a key ingredient to nourish, soften, and deliver frizz-resistant hair. Formulated to combat humidity and flyaways from popping back up, the Nexxus portable anti-frizz pads make a great addition to your on-the-go hair routine.

Founded by Hollywood Celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin, the OUAI anti-frizz hair sheets were created for busy women in mind.

It’s safer to use on your hair as compared to dryer sheets as it contains all the balanced ingredients that you’ll usually find in a frizz-fighting hair serum like shea butter, coconut oil, and silicone, just to name a few.

Along with its instant smoothing effect, it also skims over split ends, gives your hair a glossy shine, and adds a fresh scent that lingers softly in your hair for hours.

The faux cigarette pack makes it look so desirable as well. Just throw one of them into your bag or keep one on your desk.

Drop a Box Of These In Your Handbag!

If you’ve got a penchant for frizz and flyaways the minute you take a brush to your mane or as soon as you step outside, carry a box of Anti-frizz sheets in your handbag for a frizz emergency.

They do a better job than tumble dryer sheets with the added bonus of smoothness, shine, and moisturizing goodness.

Anti-frizz sheets are also formulated for your hair without any potential health hazards.