People with wavy, curly and kinky hair know all too well the power of a humid or rainy day.
“It’s all about the weather,” says Redken artist Omar Sassin of the Omar Sassin Salon in Tampa, Fla. “Weather has an immediate effect on the hair – especially humidity.”
Humidity is defined as the ratio of vapor pressure of water in the hair. In high humidity, hair will absorb moisture from the air. Humidity has a truth-serum effect on the hair.
“It brings out the true qualities of your hair,” says Jesse Linares, a Redken artist at Studio Gaven in Nashville, Tenn. “The higher the humidity, the more the hair will want to revert to its natural state.”
While fine hair goes limp, coarse, curly hair can become curlier – and frizzier. The moisture in the air reacts with the hydrogen bonds in each strand of hair. And because naturally curly hair tends to be more porous, humidity can be especially challenging for curly girls and guys.
“Humid weather is one of the most challenging elements for people with curly hair,” says Tim Cowan, a national artist with Redken and owner of Image One Salon in Springfield, Mo. “With the right products and the right strategy, it will set you up for good hair days every day.”
The style should be designed to work with natural texture rather than fighting it. That way, it will look good no matter what weather conditions you face.
“If it’s humid, play to your natural strengths,” Sassin says. “The quickest way to draw attention to yourself is to try to get your hair to go in a direction it doesn’t want to go in. It becomes painfully obvious.”
Those with thick, curly hair may want to choose a cut that is longer during humid summer months. Length helps create more weight on the hair strands, which helps prevent excessive shrinkage.
“It comes to how much volume you want,” Linares says.
Keep your hair well-conditioned and -moisturized. A wet sponge absorbs less water. Deep condition at least once every two weeks with a product like Redken Smooth Down Butter Treat or Redken All Soft Heavy Cream. If your hair is dry and damaged, a product such as Redken Extreme Rescue Force can help repair damage and strengthen the hair.
And if your hair needs extra attention, go to your local Redken salon for a conditioning treatment with the Redken Chemistry System. Shots are blended to create customized formulas that address hair’s individual needs, such as color protection, strength, softness or anti-frizz.
A good leave-in conditioner, such as Redken Fresh Curls Curl Refiner or Smooth Down Detangling Cream, helps moisturize the hair. It also coats the hair, which cuts down on frizz throughout the day.
When it comes to styling products, opt for products that smooth and enhanc curls, such as Fresh Curls Spring Mousse.
“Because curly hair isn’t always evenly curled, some individual hairs may escape from a lock of hair, making it look fuzzy,” Cowan explains. “A product like Spring Mousse helps keep it in a clump. Ten hairs together make a curl; ten hairs apart is frizz.”
Anti-frizz products are a must. These products help enhance shine and lock in moisture, making it less susceptible to frizz. Sassin is a big fan of Fresh Curls Anti-Frizz Shiner, whether you’re going for a curly or a straight look. It blocks humidity for all-day frizz control and shiny curl perfection.
“I would love it if they sold it in a gallon size!” Sassin says.
For especially unruly curls, Cowan likes the combination of Redken Ringlet and Redken Crystal Curls, which are a little bit heavier. He puts the Ringlet on first, finishing it off with Crystal Curls.
If you’re going for a straighter, smoother look, use products that protect the hair from heat styling and resist humidity. Cowan recommends Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide, which contains macadamia nut oil and candelilla wax to provide heat-safe control. He also likes Redken Align, which is a protective balm that conditions while resisting humidity.
“They help straighten the hair, and keep it straight,” Cowan says.
Hot, dry weather poses its own special challenges for curls and kinks, as anyone who has spent a summer in Arizona has experienced. The curls may lose their shape and the hair may get very flat. In addition, the low humidity may dehydrate curly hair since curls and kinks tend to be drier naturally.
For dry climates, Sassin recommends using a shampoo like Fresh curls Shampoo and Conditioner. He is a big fan of Fresh Curls Curl Boost to keep curls looking luscious.
“With Curl boost, we can seal in as much humidity as possible, even in the driest weather,” Sassin says. “That helps the curls maintain their shape.”
To keep the curls looking their best, he likes finishing off with a hairspray such as Redken Forceful. If your curls need a pick-me-up during the day, Linares suggests Redken Fresh Curls Spring Mousse, which can be scrunched into dry hair.
Make sure you’re protecting your hair from the sun during the intense summer months. The Redken UV collection, including new Shimmering Defense daily care protective lotion, contain UV filters to deflect and protect the hair.
“Make sure you’re protecting your hair on a deeper level,” Linares says.
Work with your hair’s texture. High-humidity days are not the ones to go against your hair’s natural gain.
Wear your hair longer during humid months. The extra weight of the hair will keep it from getting puffy.
Leave-in conditioners can help keep the hair moisturized, keeping frizz at bay. Try Fresh Curls Curl Refiner.
Use styling aids designed to resist humidity. Many people find that product cocktails can help you customize your styling aids to meet the needs of the day. Try layering Redken Fresh Curls Anti-Frizz Shiner with Fresh Curls Spring Mousse for defined, humidity-resistant curls. Or try Ringlet layered with Redken Rough Paste.
In dry climates, use products that encourage the curl, such as Redken Fresh Curls Curl Boost.
Hair spray can be your friend. After styling your hair, spray on some non-sticky hairspray. It will act as a barrier, making it tougher for moisture to be absorbed. Try Redken Forceful or Redken Workforce.
Always have a Plan B. Keep pretty headbands and clips in your purse to put your hair up or back.