While it may seem like a great idea to sit indoors with the air conditioner blasting during those unusually muggy summer days, it’s not exactly practical. We equip an arsenal of products and accessories to keep us looking and feeling top-notch when we finally step out. Unfortunately, if you have a head full of natural curls, the wrong combination of products may take your curls from looking Solange worthy straight into Ms. Frizzle from The Magic School Bus.
The dilemma of curly hair is the never-ending thirst. Natural oils rarely make it down the hair strands, leaving the ends parched. While products offer to weigh your hair down in humid conditions, it all comes down to your nourishment of the strands from the start of your day until the finish. Yes, curl maintenance is a lifestyle.
Why does hair frizz up in humid weather? It comes down to the hydrogen bonds in your strands. Hair is especially susceptible to water in the air due to the molecular structure of keratin proteins. Since water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, the excess hydrogen forces the creation of new hydrogen bonds in the keratin proteins. These bonds, in turn, ‘coil’ your hair into tighter curls and frizz.
So where do we go from here? We turned to celebrity hairstylist, Ona “The Hair Saint” Diaz-Santin, to give us pointers on natural curl maintenance and small changes you can make to reduce frizz.
“When dealing with humid weather, here are a few things to remember.
- Do not prep with any shampoos or conditioners that promote moisture/hydration. This will only result in more frizz.
- It’s best to utilize products that will smooth out the cuticle layer of the hair.
- Remember to rinse with ice cold water after to close the cuticle layer of hair. Making hair resistant to humidity.
- When styling, stay away from oil or products that contain oil in them. Oil is a wonderful source for maximum hydration, but when trying to keep your hair from frizzing, oil is not your friend.
- Style with products that leave a “dry cast” such as gels and mousses.
- Use anti-humectant hair spray over your hair once you’ve styled.
- No leave-in conditioners before styling products. This will only result in adding unwanted moisture/frizz.”
Notice the suggestion to not prep with moisturizing shampoo and conditioner? If you’re looking for length with your curls, Ona suggests refraining from over-moisturizing. “If your hair has a high shrinkage factor applying oils and products that promote moisture/hydration will encourage more shrinkage! Not only that but over moisturizing hair can lead to hygral fatigue!”
Ona’s Product Recommendations for controlling frizz-prone hair:
Sebastian Shaper Plus Extra Hold Hairspray • $19.50
System Professional Smoothen Shampoo • $37.99
System Professional Smoothen Mask • $59.99
Living Proof No Frizz Humidity Shield Hairspray • $24.01
Ouidad Advanced Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel • $50