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How to Handle Curly Hair When Humidity Hits

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Prose
June 19, 2019
Home Hair Tips Grooming How to Handle Curly Hair When Humidity Hits

Nothing ruins a good curl day faster than a bout of humidity. When the air gets thick and soupy, curly hair can be a little unpredictable. Unfortunately, you can’t control mother nature, but you can control how your hair reacts to her. With the right styling tips and tricks, you can keep your curls flourishing through even the muggiest of summer days.

Add moisture

Yes, we know it sounds counterintuitive. Moisture is your problem in the first place, so why on earth would you want to add more? But, hear us out. Your curls are actually pretty dry and thirsty, so they’re soaking up every last bit of water from the air. This sudden surge causes the hair shaft to swell and expand. And hello, frizz! But when you give hair the right type of moisture that comes from well-formulated, conditioning hair products, the humid air can’t find its way into your hair shaft. “The answer to all #curlyhairproblems is conditioner,” says Devin Toth, hairstylist at Salon SCK in New York City.

On high humidity days, try this tip from Toth: “When you’re in the shower, don’t rinse out your conditioner all the way,” he says. It acts like a leave-in treatment that hydrates hair and smooths and seals the cuticle layer, so no outside moisture can get in. A pre-shampoo mask also gives curly hair a much-needed dose of hydration while ingredients like rice water smooth hair’s cuticle and reduce frizz. You can also sneak in extra moisture while styling by mixing a leave-in conditioner in with your curl cream or gel.

Pro Tip: Use hair oils to lock in hydration instead of silicone-laden anti-frizz products.

Skip the alcohol

No, we’re not suggesting you give up your favorite summer cocktail. We mean avoid hair products that contain high levels of alcohol, which dries out curly strands, sending them searching for moisture in the air. Hairspray is one of the worst offenders, says Toth. Gel is a biggie, too, so be sure to look for alcohol-free versions of both. Or you could switch to products that lock in moisture as they style such as hydrating serums, oils or leave-in conditioners.

Change your pillowcase

Lose the cotton pillowcase and upgrade to satin. Cotton absorbs moisture, which can further dry out your curls when you’re sleeping on it for six-to-seven hours. Satin doesn’t have this effect. Plus, the slippery material reduces the amount of frizz-causing friction if you’re tossing and turning.

Be a pin-up girl

If all else fails, put it up. “Your hair can’t frizz out when it’s pinned up,” says Toth. “A messy, non-structured updo is the go-to hairstyle for curly hair in the summer.” Don’t overthink it. “Just pin your hair up above your neck so you can cool off and leave a tiny amount of curls down around your face,” he says. Romantic braids, ponies, and buns are also quick and easy ways to get through a humid day sans frizz.

 

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