There’s nothing like stepping out of the shower to face another humid summer day, only to find your damp strands have suddenly become a frizzy halo.
You aimed for Britney circa 2000, but you ended up with Justin Timberlake's "ramen noodle" hair.
Humidity happens to the best of us, and try as you may to mat down those freewheeling hairs, it's usually all for nought.
It’s not that there aren’t products designed for us; it’s just a few greasy experiences in the past make it difficult to believe anything works as advertised.
If there’s any lesson to be taken from superhero movies, it’s this: You can’t fight an enemy until you know exactly what you’re dealing with.
To help you understand and tame frizz, we contacted two of the best in the business: Nicholas Vickers, the “Mane Maestro” of New York’s Fox and Jane Salon, and Eric Spengler, Living Proof’s senior vice president of research and development.
Armed with the right tools and expert knowledge, your humid-hair worries will evaporate into thin air.
Frizz starts inside your strands.
Let’s start with the basics: When the weather is humid, air contains exponentially more moisture than on a dry day.
You'd think that was good for your mane, right? Wrong. Some of the extra dampness absorbs into your hair, which Spengler says can up the weight of your mane by as much as 30 percent.
When hair takes in dampness, its exterior cuticle expands.
The result is jagged outer edges rubbing against each other and bending all sorts of ways, causing friction and impossibly frizzy flyaways that just won’t stay put.
Thirsty hair will be the first to run wild.
It’ll be no surprise to most curly-haired girls, but Vickers says they’re most likely to feel the effects of a humid day.
Dry or damaged hair needs moisture, which is exactly what the weather is providing. (And you thought Mother Nature was doing you a favor.)
Keeping hair healthy is the easiest way to improve its state on humid days.
So it’s not a good idea to turn on the blow dryer every single day (not like you’d want to in the summer heat). High temperatures will temporarily smooth cuticles and tame the frizz, but they’re causing more damage than good in the long term.
Calm frizz with light oils and creams.
Frizz can seem daunting, but both Vickers and Spengler assured us it’s more of a fair fight if you have the right tools.
When choosing products for humid days, pick light, creamy substances created to smooth your hair’s outer cuticles without going limp.
What should you look for? Start by really reading the ingredients. The pros recommend avoiding products with drying agents like sulfates and alcohols.
Vickers stands by R+Co's TINSEL Smoothing Oil for thick hair, while recommending FOIL Frizz + Static Control Spray for women with fine strands. To seal in the moisture, lightly coat your locks with hairspray.
Living Proof patented its own frizz-frighting ingredient: OFPMA, a "brilliantly bulletproof molecule” that smooths and protects strands from humidity as well as healing damage.