The Dreaded Humidity
Come September and humidity is at an all time high. When the air produces an excess of humidity, our hair can become frizzy and sometimes unmanageable. Why does this happen? The chemical structure of hair and air are key elements here. Hair’s chemical structure is extremely sensitive to changes in the air. When the air becomes humid, a surplus of hydrogen bonds are formed. This then weakens your hair’s chemical bonds, which manifests in the dreaded frizziness.
Who is Affected?
So, when the air becomes demandingly stuffy and humid, some of us are grimly anticipating uncontrollable frizziness. While anyone’s hair can become frizzy, there are specific hair types that are more more affected. For instance, dry or damaged hair is more susceptible to humidity. Additionally, those with curly or thin hair are more sensitive. Finally, if your hair is more porous, you are more likely to be affected by humidity. Porosity is the hair’s capacity to absorb moisture; those who have higher porosity absorb more moisture which results in dryer hair. Recognizing your hair’s porosity is simple: drop a strand of hair into water and observe- if it sinks immediately, your hair is quite porous. If the hair floats for a while, however, your hair is less porous.
Solutions and Tips
Fortunately there are many hair hacks we can apply to keep our hair healthy and happy. Often people assume that when it becomes humid, the first thing to do is wash your hair. However, this can be counterproductive, because shampooing will actually dry out your hair, especially if it already tends to get dry. Furthermore, many shampoos contain ingredients that are too harsh for human hair – for instance, the sulfates and surfactants can reduce moisture and dry out hair. Consider decreasing your shampoo use and increasing conditioner use: many experts recommend using leave-in conditioners that will provide your hair with more moisture.
For those prone to frizziness, consider more frequently keeping your hair up. There are so many cute hairstyles that are humidity-friendly. Styling your hair in a chic ponytail, french braid, or set of buns can be a great way to avoid the awful frizziness and flyaways that develop due to the humidity.
What about Heat?
Almost anyone with curly, thick, or frizzy hair can relate to the desire to style your hair with heat, producing a sleek and manageable hairstyle. However, research and experts have shown time after time that heat overtime causes dry and brittle hair. Yes, using heat protectants is a good cautionary measure and will certainly decrease the damage. However, the best thing to do for your hair is to really cut back on heat. Embrace your natural curls and you will soon see that your curls fare much better sans heat.
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