Do you plan on doing any traveling this year?
Whether you are heading to a humid tropical paradise or a cold winter wonderland, these tips will help you to care for your hair no matter the climate you may be in.
If you have ever been in a humid environment, then you are likely already well aware of what humidity can do to your hair.
Human hair is extremely susceptible to humidity, to the point where human hair is often used in hygrometers, which are devices that are designed to measure humidity, as the hair changes in length depending on how much moisture there is in the air.
But why exactly does humidity affect human hair in such a significant way?
The answer lies in the chemical structure of human hair, which makes it susceptible to the amount of hydrogen present in the air, causing it to fold back on itself at a molecular level.
This means that, whether your hair is naturally straight or curly, it will become wavier, and frizzier, when exposed to humidity.
So, what can you do about this?
Fortunately, quite a few different things…
To begin with, an anti-frizz product is essential. These tend to be lightweight sealants that coat your strands of hair and prevent them from being exposed to the humid environment quite as much.
However, you do need to apply this to wet, rather than dry, hair.
Because as soon as your hair starts to dry, even just slightly, frizz will begin to form. In order to avoid this, your anti-frizz product needs to be applied before any part of your hair begins to dry.
Do anti-frizz products just not seem to work for you?
In that case, give an oil a try. There are many hair oils out there that you can purchase, or, alternatively, opt for a completely natural oil, such as coconut oil or whipped shea butter.
Not only will both of these help to reduce any frizz, but they will also boost the overall health of your hair, giving you plenty of shine and sleekness.
Of course, the way in which you wash your hair can also have a huge impact on how your hair reacts to humidity.
Smoothing shampoos are essential, while leave-in conditioners can really help to combat the frizz.
You should also be using a microfiber towel, rather than a regular bath towel, to dry your hair after washing it.
Because regular towels are quite coarse in texture, meaning that when they come into contact with your hair, they cause friction against your hair cuticles, resulting in frizz. On the other hand, a microfiber towel is much softer and smoother, and will dry your hair without causing the same amount of friction and frizz. Since they also have fantastic water-absorbing qualities, the time that you spend towel-drying your hair will also be cut in half.
Make sure that you do not over-wash your hair either. This is important in every environment, but especially so in a humid one.
Your hair contains natural oils, and these tend to be stripped away each time your hair is washed. However, these natural oils are what keep your hair smooth, and naturally prevent frizz, so you want to keep them around.
Whether you are dealing with heat and dryness or cold and dryness, dryness in itself can really cause havoc to your hair. Dry climates are basically the opposite of humid ones, with barely any moisture in the air. This means that the moisture that is in your hair, and that gives it its lustre and bounce, will end up being sucked into the environment, leaving your hair dry and brittle.
So, what can you do about this?
To begin with, you need to preserve as much of your hair’s natural oils as possible…
This means cutting back on the amount you shampoo your hair, and, when you do wash it, making sure that you use mild and gentle shampoos that do not contain any sulfates, as these will only end up stripping your hair of its natural oils.
Do you often skip out on conditioning your hair?
If so, this is not something to be doing in a dry climate. Your hair will need as much conditioning as possible, and you should be using deep conditioning treatments as well as your normal conditioner.
What’s the difference between a daily and deep conditioner?
Well, daily conditioners are also known as surface conditioners, and your hair only absorbs a small amount of the ingredients that a daily conditioner contains.
On the other hand, deep conditioners have a much thicker and heavier consistency, and are designed to be left on the hair for up to 30 minutes, unlike a daily conditioner which is normally rinsed out after a couple of minutes. The ingredients used in deep conditioners tend to have a lighter molecular weight, meaning that they are better absorbed by the hair, especially since they are left on for longer.
Wondering how often you need to be deep conditioning your hair?
In a normal climate, once a month may be enough, but, in a dry climate, you will likely need to be doing this every week or two.
For those of you who have dry air in your home, a humidifier is a great way to counter this. They work by adding moisture back into the air, and will benefit both your hair as well as your skin.
Another trick to help with dryness is to use both hot and cold water when washing your hair.
How does this work?
The alternating temperatures cause your blood vessels to vasodilate and constrict, which therefore boosts blood flow to your scalp, making it much healthier and stronger.
Do you often use heated styling tools to style your hair?
If so, this is something that you should cut back on as much as possible when in a dry climate. The heat of your tools will only cause your hair to become even drier, leaving it so much more susceptible to breakages and other types of damage.
Give yourself a few days a week where you do not use any heat on your hair, opting for protective hairstyles instead, such as braids, buns and twists.
Sunshine and Heat
You are likely already well aware of the fact that the sun’s UV rays cause so much damage to your skin, but did you know that they detrimentally affect your hair too?
However, rather than the sun darkening your hair like it does your skin, UV rays lighten the hair. This is not a good thing, as it is caused by the melanin in your hair, which is what gives it its color, being oxidized. For those of you who color your hair, the effect is even more, as the molecules in hair dye are even more susceptible to degradation by UV rays.
In addition to damaging your hair’s melanin, UV rays also damage the molecular bonds in your hair, leaving them dry, brittle and damaged.
How can you prevent this?
To begin with, try to prevent your hair from coming into contact with the sun’s UV rays as much as possible. This means that you may need to wear a hat or a scarf over your head, especially in extreme heat.
Another alternative is using hair care products that contain sunscreen, as this will then protect your hair, as well as your scalp, in the same way that sunscreen protects your skin.
If you are spending quite a bit of time in the sun, then chances are that you will likely also end up in a swimming pool at some point…
If this is the case, you need to be aware of the fact that chlorine can really damage the hair.
Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can protect your hair from this:
- Apply a deep conditioning treatment, and then place a swimming cap on your head before getting into the pool
- Your hair can only absorb a certain amount of water before it is completely soaked, so try rinsing it with fresh water before getting into the pool, as this will then reduce the amount of chlorinated water is subsequently absorbs
- Never shampoo your hair before entering a swimming pool, as this will strip away your hair’s natural protective oils, leaving it so much more vulnerable to the damage that chlorine causes
- After exiting the swimming pool, make sure that you either rinse or wash your hair. If you are using a shampoo, try to find one that contains ethylene tetra-acetic acid, as this ingredient is fantastic for countering the damaging effects of chlorine
Since your hair is already being exposed to quite a bit of heat, it goes without saying that you should try to avoid heated styling tools as much as possible. Allow your hair to air dry rather than blow drying it, and opt for natural hairstyles rather than ones that require heated tools.
Keeping your hair hydrated from within is also important in a hot and sunny environment. Make sure that you are consuming plenty of liquids, as this will prevent your hair from becoming dehydrated.
A windy climate can be so frustrating to deal with when it comes to hair, as the wind not only damages your hair, but also interferes with so many different hairstyles.
When styling your hair, you will likely need to use more product than you normally do…
However, you do not want your hair to end up stiff, so opt for something that gives your hair some extra hold, but still allows it to move slightly with the wind. A gel or serum is perfect for this, and can be set into your hair with a quick blast of a hair dryer.
Are you tempted to use a hairspray?
This is something that you are best off avoiding on a windy day. While there is no denying that a strong hairspray can really help to hold your hairstyle together, the majority of hairsprays out there contain alcohol, which will dry your hair out even more when combined with the wind.
Of course, the easiest way to style your hair for a windy day is by opting for a wind-friendly hairstyle. This can be anything from a braid to a bun, as long as it keeps your hair held back and held together.
Do not underestimate the power of bobby pins either…
While these may seem quite small and delicate, they can really help to hold a style together. They also come in a wide range of sizes, from mini to extra long. Of course, the longer bobby pins are the ones you will likely want to use on a windy day.
Make sure that you are using your bobby pins in the right way too…
Didn’t realize that there was a right and wrong way?
The wavy side of your bobby pin should be facing downwards, as it is the wavy side that will better grip your hair.
Protecting your hair from the elements, whether this may be with a hat or a scarf, would also be wise.
The wind can often have the effect of drying hair out, leading to several split ends.
Unfortunately, there is no way to fix a split end, and your only option is to have them trimmed off. This means that, in a windy environment, you are likely going to need to schedule yourself in for more regular trims than you usually would.
No matter where you may be traveling to this year, you will no doubt want to keep your hair in the best condition possible. This means that you do need to be aware of the impact that different climate types will have on your locks, so that you can prepare for this in advance, and acquire all of the knowledge you need to deal with any issues that may arise.