I am a desert girl by birth. The dry heat has become an ally when styling my hair— because when you perfectly curl it, it stays perfected. When you straighten it, it stays pin straight. And when you tame flyaways, gosh darn it, they stay tame. I know the dry heat is my ally because I know what it’s like to be in the humidity— and what that muggy weather can do to a head full of (normally smooth) hair. One word: poof.
One specific time I remember, was when I traveled to Florida at the end of July, which I’m told is the height of rainy season, also the height of humidity levels. As soon as I walked off the airplane, I was struck with such blunt force humidity, it made me feel instantly claustrophobic. That’s not an exaggeration, either. The wet air was shocking. I felt heavy, hot and sticky. The feeling didn’t subside, either. In fact, even after I was in the “comfort” of my hotel room, (AC blasting) I felt wet. Which was only magnified when I then spent four long days, at a very sunny, hot Disney World. Ladies, everything I thought I knew about haircare was shattered when I spent some quality time with humidity. I’d never had such a string of consecutive bad hair days like that week in Florida. The way my hair turned both limp AND frizzy, as the heat index rose, was astonishing.
Since then, and after being reintroduced to humidity, time and time again, I’ve learned a few good hair tricks. Because I’m convinced nothing can make one feel as homely, as when hair is both unintentionally wavy and frizzy— but also heavy and sticky. Let’s not let it happen again. Let’s learn to tame that Humidity Beast! OK?
Hair is extremely effected by humidity, so much so that some humidity level monitors (hygrometers) use human hair as a measuring tool— because hair changes THAT much in length, depending on moisture levels in the air. Because hair is porous, it attracts moisture. So when the air is hot and heavy, (i.e. humid) that airborne moisture is absorbed and causes your hair to swell. It swells so much so, that the outer cuticle of your hair is broken, which is when the FRIZZ happens.
Each person’s individual response to humid environments is different— like, have you ever noticed one of your friend’s hair stays perfect and sleek and shiny in humidity, while you end up looking like Josie Grossie (ala Never Been Kissed). Totally not fair, but what is these days? Not only does each person’s hair react differently to humidity, but EACH individual hair on your head is going to react differently to all that moisture in the air and how it absorbs it. It won’t absorb evenly. They have a mind of their own. Which is why your hair will twist, bend and frizz in some places, while other places will stick flat to your head. Awesome, right?
So here are my humid weather hair tips:
1. Adequately moisturized hair will be impacted less by environmental changes, like humidity. If dry hair is more prone to absorption, then keep your hair well moisturized! In humid places, I apply a quality hair oil morning, noon and night. Rigorously, I apply it rigorously. I keep my hair very well moisturized, which keeps it tamed and smooth.
2. Once your hair is moisturized, seal in that moisture! Think of it like a protective coating, think of it like an umbrella—a sealing serum will keep your hair’s moisture IN, while keeping the environmental moisture OUT. It’s a humid weather game changer.
3. Damaged hair is more porous hair, which will be way more effected in humidity. So the goal is to have less damaged hair. Keep your hair healthy, by laying off heat styling tools, chemical processing, and over-bleaching. Get a trim, if you need to— even if that sounds scary, sometimes you just need a trim. Work on getting nutrients BACK into your already-damaged hair, by using a rich moisturizing hair mask regularly.
4. Shampooing removes the oil (and dirt) from your scalp and hair. Obviously we love this, but it can also strip the good oils from your hair, making it more dry. You remember all my talk about moisture, right? After shampooing, always use a leave-in conditioner. It’s a good step in creating a “moisture foundation” for your dried out strands.
5. If you have a natural wave, curl or texture to your hair, play into that! The humidity will effect your hair with texture significantly more that stick straight hair. So if you can, lean into it and embrace the waves and curl that comes! Use a anti-frizz gel that will give you more defined curls without the unwanted poof— the product should be lightweight and non-sticky, so your waves will be soft and not crunchy. If your hair still need some guided encouragement to wave, use a wave-inducing spray. It will give your slightly textured hair more build able texture. Because who doesn’t love beachy waves?
6. And finally, sometimes the best answer is just to wear your hair up. Off your face and sweaty neck. During that long, hot week at Disney World, I finally gave up the idea of wearing my hair in neatly, barrel-curled waves, and just threw it up in a killer top knot. I was 5000% happier without frizzy hairs clinging to my face. Find creative ways of styling your hair! You know we love braiding creatively at Barefoot Blonde Hair, no surprise there. So watch our past tutorials and find some go-to hairstyles that provide you with a cute insurance policy, for the days when humidity levels are high and you need to keep your cool.
As always, let us know any tips and tricks you’ve picked up in the comments below! Stay dry, frizz-free and well moisturized out there! And don’t let the humidity get the best of your hair— show it who’s boss!