Nothing will bring on the frizz like a rain shower. Many curlies can predict the weather before the clouds roll in, thanks to an increase in the amount of moisture in the air.
Image by iStock
To understand why those raindrops can ruin your best-tressed day, there are four things to take into consideration:
- The dew point
- Hair porosity
The dew point is the maximum amount of water in its gaseous form that the air can hold. Beyond this point, rain—helped along by the vertical movement of the wind—will occur. Moist air contains high levels of hydrogen, which hair is extremely sensitive to (as water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen). Each strand is comprised of several layers, but it’s the middle layer, which is made up of bundles of keratin protein, that is affected. The keratin bundles are secured by chemical bonds of sulfur or hydrogen atoms. Unlike the sulfur atoms, which are permanent, hydrogen atoms are temporary. Hydrogen atoms give hair its shape by reforming bonds with other hydrogen atoms on nearby keratin protein stands. These bonds hold until hair is wet again (that is why healthy curly hair that has been blown straight re-coils in the shower).
Both curly and damaged tresses can be the most susceptible to moisture in the air. They can absorb it like a sponge, causing strands to swell, which leads to frizzy, poofy hair that lacks shine and definition. The more porous your hair (regardless of the cause), the more you will need to take precautions to minimize frizz. Follow the tips below to look fabulous even as the rain falls.
Check the Frizz Forecast at NaturallyCurly. Syncing your wash day with a rainy day will allow you to adequately moisturize your hair, sealing it off from hydrogen gases. Not only will the Frizz Forecast help you to predict how easy or difficult it will be to manage your tresses based on the humidity, it also provides you with product-type recommendations.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. If you wake up to rain and frizzy hair, starting fresh with a wash and go (if time allows) might be your best bet. Avoid clarifying, though. Instead, use a gentle co-wash, or the Condition-Cleanse-Condition method. Rinse, and then apply a rich moisturizing conditioner, thoroughly massaging it into the ends of your hair. After rinsing your hair, apply a leave-in conditioner, and the styler of your choice, or seal your hair with the LOC method. If you’re using gel, skip the scrunch out the crunch step. The humidity will break the gel cast, and you’ll find that your curls stay well-defined.
If you are working with second-day or beyond hair, or want to refresh those parched strands, spritz with a mixture of water and leave-in conditioner, and then scrunch and pin curl your hair back to pre-frizz perfection.
Limit humectants. Humectants such as glycerin, propylene glycol, and others draw moisture from the air and into the hair on humid days. While it is usually not necessary to eliminate them completely, you may find that choosing products where humectants are not listed in the top five ingredients (particularly for your stylers and sealers) will make a big difference in the amount of frizz you experience.
Choose products with ingredients formulated to stand up to moist air. They can keep you well-coiffed, even under the toughest circumstances. These include: polyquats such as PQ-69, butters, oils, and serums.
Finally, if you get caught in the downpour, or if you just want to get up and go on that rainy morning (sans the wash), avoid over-manipulation of your hair. While it may be tempting to try to wrestle unruly curls into their best shape, this often leads to more frizz. A carefree style that embraces a little frizz always looks great. Some rainy-day hairstyles include:
Messy bun. It’s always a classic and can take you from work to workout.
Image by iStock/RantaImages
Curly bun with a headband. When your baby hairs won’t cooperate, or when you curly bangs look like a visor, this is the look you need.
Space buns. Not only are space buns super cute, but when you take them down, you’ll have a gorgeous stretched style that lasts.
Image by iStock/izusek
Ponytail. This is the hot look of the season. Slicked back hair with a full pony is chic and works for the cubicle and the club.
Hat. A hat is an accessory that never goes out of style. It’s especially useful for hair that gets puffy in the rain.
Headband. If you have hair that curls well underneath but tends to frizz around the hairline, a headband is a great tool.
Hair pins. Strategically placed hair pins can help secure unruly locks. You can even use them to create waves where you want them. And if you have frizz in the front with curls underneath, this half up/half down style is perfect.
Image by iStock/VladimirFLoyd
Carefree updo. Rejoice in the rain with this style that flaunts those flyaways.
What is your favorite rainy weather tip? Let us know in the comments. For more information on dew points, click here.