March 1, 2020

Caring For Curly Hair In High Humidity

Anyone with hair can tell you that humidity changes the way hair behaves. Human hair is dynamic, and its reaction to humidity in the air can be felt immediately. Unfortunately for us curlies and wavies, however, the changes that humidity brings onto our hair are not exactly welcome. Many curlies find that their hair becomes unmanageable and frizzy in humid weather.

We’ve become used to frizz during those muggy summer months, and many curlies have just decided to grin and bear it. But it is possible to minimize the effects of humidity on your curly hair, it just requires a bit of fine-tuning to your usual routine.

Firstly, however, we need to understand what happens to curls when humidity hits. Each strand of hair, curly or otherwise, is comprised of several layers. The outer layer is called the cuticle. When hair is exposed to high humidity conditions, the cuticle opens and allows the moisture from the air into the inner shaft of the hair. This changes the chemical bonds of the keratin strands in your hair, altering its texture. Humidity causes straight hair to become wavy, and curly hair to transform into a frizzy, unmanageable mess.

The following adjustments to your routine can help you minimize frizz and better manage your curly hair in the humid summer months.

humidity and curly hair

Up The Moisture

This may seem counterintuitive, but giving your hair the moisture it needs will prevent it from accepting moisture from the air when it’s humid outside. The dryer your hair is, the more susceptible it is to the effects of humidity.

Adding more moisture is very personal and dependent on your hair’s specific needs. You will need to pay attention to your hair to learn how frequently it requires a boost of moisture. You can give your hair the moisture it needs in the form of deep conditioning treatments and oils, and avoid anything that could be drying to your hair such as too-frequent washing or harsh products.  

curly hair and humidity

Use A Heat Protectant

This goes double if you use heat to style your hair, but heat protectants can be helpful even if you don’t use heat as part of your styling routine. Heat protectants nourish and seal your hair and help the cuticle lie flat, thus preventing frizzy curls when the humidity rises. If you notice that deep conditioning treatments and oils are just not enough to keep your hair sufficiently moisturized and frizz-free when the weather gets warm, try adding a CG-friendly heat protectant product to your routine.

how to keep curly hair from frizzing in humidity

Be Gentle When Washing, Drying, And Styling Your Hair

This is always a great rule to follow, but it becomes particularly important during those hot and humid summer months. Avoid using terrycloth towels to dry your hair after a shower, as they raise your cuticle and remove too much moisture from your hair. This results in hair that is both parched and already has a raised cuticle, triggering frizz when your hair has dried and becomes exposed to moisture in the atmosphere.

Another good rule of thumb is to avoid brushing your hair, even when it’s wet. Brushes are too rough for curly and wavy hair, and can weaken and damage the individual strands over time. Instead, opt for a wide-tooth comb or finger detangling, and only detangle in the shower with enough conditioner to completely coat your hair.

Finally, pay attention to which products you are using to wash your hair. Some products, even if they are CG-friendly, are more drying than others. If you notice a particular product is too drying for your hair, consider removing it from rotation for the high-humidity months.


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