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As summer arrives, curlyheads around the world may be dreading the humidity that comes with the heat. But if you know how to style curly hair, muggy weather needn’t be your enemy.

“Humidity can be a curl’s best friend or your worst nightmare, depending on what you want to achieve,” says stylist Philip Pelusi, who owns 13 salons in the Pittsburgh area and is the developer of the Phyto-Life line of products.

In most cases, it’s not the curls that bother people – it’s the frizz.

“If you control the frizz, you’ll love the curl,” says curl stylist Jonathan Torch of Curly Hair Solutions.

It can be the ideal time to accentuate curls, says Rodney Cutler of Cutler Salon-Redken in New York. He points out that the best curls often are behind the ears where it’s hotter and damper.

“Anybody who wants to wear their hair curly will have more curl,” he says. “The biggest challenge is preventing it from looking like an ‘80s perm.”

Proper care, a good cut and the right products are the keys to making humidity work for you, rather than against you.

Moisturize

“You just have to realize that humidity is moisture,” Torch says. “We freak out because we don’t know how to use the moisture in the air.”

Curl experts all agree that it is especially important to moisturize hair during the humid summer months. A rough, dry cuticle has a tendency to get frizzy.

“Think of your hair as a sponge,” says Curl Queen Ouidad. “A dry sponge will expand in water. A wet sponge in water won’t have any reaction at all.”

Wash Less, Condition More

Don’t shampoo every day because the hair needs the oils. When you do, make sure to use a more moisturizing formula. Or you can go no shampoo.

Deep conditioning at least once a week is a must. Leave-in conditioners also work especially well during the summer months because they keep the moisture in the hair. They can even be applied throughout the day if it begins to frizz up. Ouidad suggests adding some conditioner to a gel to provide added manageability.

“Constant conditioning is the No. 1 advice I give to people with wavy and curly hair,” says Christo of Christo Fifth Avenue, who created the Curlisto line of products for curly hair. “The hair is more exposed in the summer than at any other time.”

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