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Weather-Related Hair Emergencies—Solved

Even if you’re facing humidity, wind, sun or dryness, it’s a 100% chance of a good hair day with these solutions.

| September 19th, 2011
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hair for bad weather

Sometimes knowing if you’re going to have a good (or bad) hair day seems as unpredictable as Mother Nature (Hurricane Irene, we’re talking to you). But just like grabbing a sweater or ditching tights, when deciding on a stick-straight blowout or spending an extra five on your curls so they don’t go ballistic the moment you step outside, consider the elements. Follow these simple solutions for the most common weather-related hair dilemmas and day-shmay, you’ll have a gorgeous hair year.

MORE: The Psychology of a Bad Hair Day 

Weather Warning: Out-of-control humidity

Hair Forecast: 100 percent chance of frizz

“Hair is porous, so it absorbs moisture from the air,” explains Jeni Thomas, Ph.D., a Pantene principal scientist in Cincinnati, Ohio. “As water moves into the hair fibers, it rearranges their hydrogen bonds and turns those that are smooth and controlled more chaotic and roughed up—and what you see in the mirror is frizz.”

MORE: Tame Your Hair Troubles

Quick Fix: When you’ve got a the-sky-is-falling situation and need to pull hair back into a pony or a low chignon out-of-the-blue, reach for a bungee elastic (it’s like the Hunter boots of hair—it protects your style from a wash out, yet still looks chic). “Bungee elastics are better to use than ordinary wrap-around bands because they don’t leave a crease and you can put your hair up and take it down as many times as you need to,” says Ted Gibson, owner of Ted Gibson Salon in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Bungee elastics are straight pieces of cord that have little hooks on each end. Gather your hair in a ponytail with one hand, hook one end of the bungee into the base, wrap the elastic around the ponytail a few times and then secure the hook on the loose end back into the base.

Styling Solution: Sure you can flat iron like a mad woman but lets be real, as soon as you see those wiry strands popping up minutes later, you’ll want to rip your hair out. Let the extra moisture work for your natural wavesor curls. “When moisture gets into hair it gives it more bounce and shape,” says Gibson, who suggests applying a creamy styling product through damp hair to create a moisture-shield and stopping frizz. Put a small amount in your palms, then rake fingers through hair starting on the bottom layer and working up; wrap sections around two fingers as you blow dry, says Gibson, who uses this ringlet trick on Twilight star Ashley Greene. “Your fingers act like a mold, creating a smooth shape” Aim the nozzle of the blow dryer directly at and down on strands, let them cool, then release that section and pick up the next.

If you’ve got styling time to spare, coat hair with a lightweight oil such as Davines Essential Haircare Oi/Oil, then twist and pin strands and let hair air dry, says Nackie Karcher, owner of The Parlour Brooklyn salon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “Since oil molecules are denser than water, they help push water out of sopping hair and allow it to dry faster, plus keep moisture from the air out of hair all day long.”

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