How to humidity-proof your hair, according to the experts

Written by Hanna Ibraheem

Struggling to style your hair in this humidity? We asked the experts to share their tips.

“It’s the humidity!” Alongside being a famous quote à la Monica Gellar in Friends, it’s something we’re finding ourselves uttering time and time again at the moment.

With the weather drastically changing from an intense heatwave to non-stop rain, it’s fair to say the air is very humid at the moment – and, as a result, our hair is feeling the effects. While we always celebrate embracing your natural hair texture and frizz, humidity can make it slightly difficult to style. Particularly if you’re using straighteners.

So, we enlisted the help of two hair experts – Michelle Sultan, celebrity hairstylist and creative director and ambassador for Imbue and Jimmy Green, education manager at Redken and Pureology – to run us through their advice on how to humidity-proof your hair.

How does humidity affect hair?

“Humidity can cause hair to swell and frizz,” explains Sultan. “This is because hair is hydroscopic which means that the bonds can be broken in the hair structure by absorbing water.

“On a humid day, the air is filled with water, making hair prone to puffiness. If your hair tends to be damaged or dehydrated or you have split ends these areas will more prone to going frizzier faster in high humidity.”

Green adds: “A good example would be – if you had naturally curly hair that was blow dried straight and you were then in a damp environment, the straight hair would want to go back to its natural curly state.”

Are there certain ingredients that you should look for in haircare products?

“In haircare products, you should be looking for protein-rich products and products that contain humectants,” advises Sultan.

Sultan uses a hydrating serum on her hair before it dries completely to seal and lock in moisture She then finishes with Imbue’s Curl Worshipping Shine Oil, £8.99, as a sealant.

“Anti-frizz products tend to be silicone based so if you’re doing the curly girl method, avoid waxed-based silicones as these can be too heavy,” she adds.

“Also try to use a UV heat protectant spray to protect hair from UV damage, pollution and heat styling up to 220 degrees.”

Green also recommends products that allow you to add a protective layer over the hair to keep out moisture, such as bambassu oil, a key ingredient in Redken’s Frizz Dismiss range, from £11.90.

What are your tips for humidity-proofing your hair?

Here, Sultan breaks down her top humidity-proofing tips:

  • Keep your hair in good condition all year round, using deep moisturising/protein treatments, depending on your hair needs.
  • Protect and seal your hair before going out with sealant or oils.
  • Get regular trims or haircuts to remove split and damaged ends for optimum conditioning and styling options.
  • Protect hair against the sun by opting for protective styling like braids. Also, wear sunhats if sunbathing and use UV spray.

Should your approach change depending on your hair texture?

“You should definitely adapt your routine to suit your hair type,” says Sultan. “If your hair tends to be fine, I would encourage you to not fight the texture that may want to make an appearance. Let the loose waves come through, this looks cool and natural.”

“For curly hair types, I would recommend avoiding straightening your hair. Allow your curls to come through – this is their time to shine.

“But you have to put in the work beforehand, so apply your products (protein gels work really well to set the curls in shape), do not brush or comb the curls, coils or kinks unless you have a conditioning agent on your hair and let your hair dry naturally avoiding heat appliances.”

What’s the best way to wear your hair when it’s humid?

“Leaving you hair in its natural state is the best option,” says Green. “Embrace your natural texture and hair condition.

“You could also wear your hair up in a loose hairstyle. This would protect the hair from absorbing moisture in the air.”

Main image: Getty

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