Preserving Natural Hair in High Humidity
I still laugh at people who think that natural hair is immune to moisture. Like kinky/curly haired girls can just walk in the rain, jump in pools, and leisurely stroll through a humid jungle with hair perfectly in tact. Ha!
Humidity is still the bane of black girls all over the world. We spend hours straightening our hair or waiting for our twistouts to dry just to walk outside on a 80% humidity day and become a walking poofball. Every morning we have to open the weather app and decide whether today is a fro day or a bun day. However, it doesn’t always have to be like that. There are things we can do to fro out even on the most humid days:
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Make sure your ends are trimmed & your hair is moisturized
My hair can hardly hold a curl in perfect conditions when my ends are trashy. Bring on the smallest bit of humidity and my whole style goes down the drain. If you’re having issues maintaining your curl styles, this is probably the place to start. Additionally, dry hair will want to suck up the moisture in the air like a sponge, leading to a poofy mess. Make sure you’re hair is properly moisturized from the inside out.
Try a Wash and Go
Rocking your natural texture might be the easiest route. For those who have mastered the wash and go, this is probably the path of least resistance on a humid day. Your curls are in their natural state so there’s not much for it to revert to. Frizz can still happen, but the likelihood that you’ll end up with a poofball is slimmer. If it’s wash day and the rain or humidity won’t quick, save your time and rock your curls as is.
Use products made for combating humidity.
1.5 words: anti-humectants. You’re going to want ingredients and products that keep unwanted moisture out and lock the moisture you want in. Silicones, beeswax, and castor oil, for example, will help keep an unwanted moisture out of your strands. Some great products to use are Aveda Anti-Humectant pomade is one product I’ve used on humid days and in the gym on both twistouts and straight hair. Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel is another good option.
On the flip side, watch out for your products that have humectants like glycerin. Humectants draw moisture in and on a humid day it’s like you’re diving in the ocean. Most moisturizers and creme stylers have glycerin and other humectant ingredients. For this reason, you want to opt for gels rather than cremes for your curl styles when you know humidity is a factor.
Shield your hair from the elements
If you’re in the situation where you’ll only be exposed to the humidity for a short time, it’s worth it to just cover your hair until you get to your destination. A satin scarf, bonnet, or silk lined hat are great options to keep your style preserved during the quick walk to the train or car.
However, some days, you might just not want to even fight with the humidity. Protective styles like mini twists, crown braids, or slicked back buns are all cute options that you don’t have to worry about.