Chances are, you’re only days away from one of the sure signs summer is indeed upon us.
We’re talking, of course, about the first time a friend or loved one says that old familiar line:
“IT’S NOT THE HEAT, IT’S THE HUMIDITY!”
No doubt about it:
Even if you like warm, sunny weather (and who doesn’t?), thick, moisture-saturated air can be one of the most unpleasant parts of summertime.
“Everybody likes a sunny day outdoors...but not the sticky sweatiness that goes with it!”
That’s because even though humidity is great for your respiration, and the condition of your skin…1
...too much of it carries the risk for a number of potentially serious threats, including:
- Muscle cramps and pain
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- ...and even heatstroke!2
YOUR SUMMER HUMIDITY HAIR PRIMER
So, given these drawbacks, it should come as no surprise that heavy humidity is one of your hair’s worst enemies, too!
And one of the trickiest things about fighting humidity is just how hard it is to get away from.
Granted, when you’re at home, managing humidity’s effects can be easy.
All you need to do is switch on an air conditioner, and you’ve got the problem under control.
But as soon as you set off for a beautiful day outdoors, you’re dealing with that humid air again.
And even if you don’t live in a naturally humid area...your summer travel plans could create humidity issues.
Because whether you visit the beach or the seaside...pitch a tent at your favorite campground… or just enjoy a “staycation” afternoon with the kids at your local park…
...it’s a good bet damp, heavy air will be there...waiting for your hair!
“Frizzy, untamable hair can put a damper on even the most fun and relaxing day”
With that in mind, consider this a crash course in summer humidity.
We’re going to let you know just what humidity does to your hair…
...and how you can fight off the style-stifling effects of airborne moisture!
HOW HUMIDITY WORKS
It turns out humidity’s effect on your hair has a lot to do with the amount of hydrogen in the air.
You see, the strands of your hair are mostly made of bunches of a protein called keratin.
And these bunches are partly held together by hydrogen bonds between water molecules in and around your hair.
The more water molecules in the air, the more hydrogen bonds get formed…
...and this means on a damp day, your hair’s keratin forms a high concentration of these bonds.
This leads to clumping and folding of those keratin bundles.3
And as a result, the individual strands on your head start to absorb the air’s moisture at different rates.
That means, if you’ve got naturally wavy or curly hair, you’re liable to end up with bushy or frizzed-out tresses.
On the other hand, if your hair is thin or fine, the extra water saturation can weigh your strands down...flattening your hair and causing it to hang from your head, limp and lifeless.
“Heavy moisture in the air can likewise weigh your hair down, robbing it of bounce and life”
To be perfectly honest, your hair is normally expected to hold on to some amount of water.
Healthy hair usually hangs on to about 15 percent water weight. And on humid days, this can bump up to 30 percent.
But if you already suffer from dryness or damage...or your hair is naturally coarse…
...that percentage of water retention can leap all the way to 55 percent!
The result: Swollen strands, and intensified frizz that’s powerfully difficult to tame!4
KEEPING YOUR HAIR HUMIDITY-FREE
So, now that you’ve got the inside details on just what humidity does to your hair…
...let’s talk about how you can keep that moisture from sabotaging your style...no matter where the summer days take you!
First, during the summer, you want to avoid over-washing your hair.
Too many washing days will strip your hair of natural oils...an open invitation to frizz.
We suggest, at most, you wash every other day. And, if you’re concerned about an oily scalp, count on dry shampoo to give your roots a non-washing-day refreshment.
Fortunately, a lighter washing schedule and dry shampoo are essential components of a strong vacation hair routine…
...as is another frizziness-fighting technique:
Wearing your hair up!
“Updos are a top vacation go-to hairstyle...and they’re also perfect for fighting humidity!”
A très cool braid, casual ponytail, or kicky bun will tame those frustrating flyaway hairs.
Plus, the waviness humidity brings out in your hair gives that updo a dash of volume enhancement.5
Finally, if you’re hitting the salon for a summery new vacation look…
...your best humidity-taming choice is a layered style that works with your hair’s natural texture.
A blunter style gives too much weight to your hair, laying it dense and flat against your head.
But the natural dimension those layers will add keeps your look from going limp...even in seriously humid conditions!6
DON’T LET IT WEIGH YOU DOWN
Summer is a time when all the beauty and warmth of the world is waiting for you to savor it.
So you want to be sure humidity doesn’t put a damper on your travel and leisure.
We hope these humidity-busting style and maintenance tips help you keep your hair from going flat or frizzy…
...for summer days and nights sure to leave you feeling fun, fresh, and free!
- “Benefits of High Humidity.” Skymet Weather Services, 17 Feb. 2015, www.skymetweather.com/content/lifestyle-and-culture/benefits-of-high-humidity/.
- Urgent Care. “Effects of Humidity on the Human Body.” UPMC HealthBeat, 22 Nov. 2017, share.upmc.com/2014/06/effects-humidity-body/.
- Stromberg, Joseph. “Why Humidity Makes Your Hair Curl.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 12 Apr. 2013, www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-humidity-makes-your-hair-curl-21127724/.
- Coffman, Leanne. “Effect of Humidity on Human Hair.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 18 July 2017, www.livestrong.com/article/229240-effect-humidity-human-hair/.
- Han, Lim. “10 Tips & Tricks to Successfully Humidity-Proof Your Hair.” Marie France Asia, Women's Magazine, 11 Apr. 2017, www.mariefranceasia.com/beauty/beauty-sos/beauty-tips-and-tricks/tips-tricks-humidity-proof-hair-245422.html#item=1.
- “How to Maintain Your Hairstyle in Humid Weather and Overcome the Effects of Humidity on Your Hair.” Women's Hairstyles and Looks of the 1980s, www.hairfinder.com/hairstyling/humidweatherhair.htm.