Caring for your hair can get tremendously frustrating. The styling regimen that delivers perfect results one day might leave you feeling disappointed the next. You can at least take heart in the fact that this is often due to circumstances beyond your control, like humidity. That doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to looking bedraggled and frizzy in wet weather; the advice below can help even during the wettest months.
The Science of Frizz
Although high humidity is the special bane of folks with curly or kinky hair, the truth is that it affects all forms of hair to a similar degree. When airborne moisture penetrates to the inner layers of a strand of hair, it gets absorbed and causes the strand to thicken. Humid air also makes the outermost layer of a hair strand – the cuticle – rougher and more open. This, in turn, admits more moisture, causing more frizz.
The good news is that simply living with frizzy hair is a pretty viable option these days. The natural, no-fuss look is very in, and some hairstyles actually look better when the weather is wet (examples include textured braids and loose dos with lots of intentional flyaways).
Keeping Hair Healthy
We all know that there are those certain super-humid days when you look in the mirror and see a head of hair that looks like it lost a fight with an electrical outlet. If you want to minimize the number of humidity horrors in your future, you need to keep your hair as healthy as possible. When it comes to beating frizz, that all comes down to moisturizing.
At first it might sound counter-intuitive to you. If frizz is caused by moisture getting sucked into your hair, how can the solution be to put even more in? The answer is really all about timing. Healthy hair holds in all the moisture it needs regardless of the condition of the air around it. Because it’s effectively saturated, it doesn’t drag in much extra moisture on muggy days. Healthy hair also helps by strengthening that outer cuticle layer. This makes your hair more resistant to humidity changes in general.
Using the Right Products
You want to take a minimalist approach to keep your hair under control in the muggiest months. Don’t shampoo any more than you have to, and use shampoos that don’t have too many salts and sulfates. Avoiding these ingredients will cut down on the amount of damage that shampooing does to your cuticles.
You can get good results with leave-in conditioners during damp weather because they “lock in” a perfect amount of moisture when you style your hair. Serums may also help, but bear in mind that most of them are based on silicone or oil. These can make your hair feel dirty and weighed down and tempt you to over-style. There are now a few all-natural serums on the market that avoid these drawbacks – you might want to try one out.
Although having to adjust your hair care routine to suit the weather might not seem fair, it can be effective when you use the right tools and keep your hair in tip-top shape. Unless you’re ready to give up the struggle and go with the shaved look, keep experimenting with ways to overcome humidity.