Can you tell what season it is based purely on the state of your hair?
If so, winter will mean polished locks cascading over woollen scarves. Summer, on the other hand, creates a mop of unruly frizz that would make Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell green with envy.
Given humidity is one of the biggest hair challenges of warmer weather, we asked some of Australia’s best stylists about how to conquer it.
Why does humidity cause hair to frizz?
Hair loves moisture and is extremely porous, which means that as soon as it gets hot, the follicles begin to swell.
“The humid air causes hydrogen bonds to form between the water molecules and the proteins in your hair, which is what turns locks into a frizzy mess,” says Anthony Nader, owner of Raw Salon.
“Humidity affects hair texture in different ways,” notes hair stylist Alan White.
“Fine and straight hair types tends to lose volume and generally look flat, curly hair gets frizzy and thick hair becomes heavy and unmanageable.”
“Curly and grey hair is especially susceptible to humidity frizz as it’s more porous,” adds salon director Barney Martin.
How to beat the frizz?
The first step in fighting flat or frizzy hair is to ensure your hair is in top condition to begin with.
“A leave-in conditioner with anti-humidity technology will also assist,” adds Ziyad Nicolas, owner of Ziyad Salon and Pure Hair Food Ambassador.
Keeping your ends freshly cut with regular trims is also a good line of defence.
After washing your hair, Nader suggests combing it with a wide-tooth comb.
“A finer comb will only stretch each strand and damage it, causing it to go frizzy,” he says.
When it comes to styling products, dialling down the heat will also help.
“Blow drying hair on a medium setting instead of high heat will yield better results,” says White.
Nicolas recommends adding a diffuser to your dryer and using a cool setting.
Those with straight locks should try a straightening iron after blow drying to smooth down frizz and close the hair cuticle.
When humidity is high, White recommends also making sure hair is properly dry before you leave home, as hair will soak up extra moisture outside causing the hair shaft to swell.
How to make humidity work for you?
Not into poker straight locks? No problem.
“Use humidity to your advantage,” says Nicolas, who recommends channelling the extra volume.
“For wavy to curly hair, try using thickening spray on the ends and mid-lengths,” he says.
“Twist the hair down to the roots in roughly 20 small sections and diffuse dry on a cool to warm setting. Finish by re-spraying the thickening spray and scrunching it into the hair. This will give you that sexy beach look.”
Another alternative is to simply pull hair back for a more polished effect.
“Slicked back ponies are always on point,” says Martin. “And in hot weather it can be a good way to keep cool by getting the hair off of your face and back of your neck. If your hair is shorter, a bit of a ’90s slicked back look will work.”
Humidity-fighting products experts love
Curl Shine Styler Brush, $110, by Y.S Park
“This round brush will smooth down and close the cuticle, sealing the hair shaft and creating a barrier against unwanted moisture.” – Alan White
Smooth Your Hair and Curl Your Hair, $28.90 each, by Pure Hair Food
“Both are highly conditioning and will nourish, soften and tame the frizz while leaving the hair smooth.” – Ziyad Nicolas
Bel Air Shampoo, $36, and Conditioner, $38, by R+Co, 1300 725 122
“The name says it all: stunning, smooth, shiny hair.” – Anthony Nader
Impermeable Anti Humidity Spray, $49, by Oribe, 1300 725 122
“Apply on dry hair to help keep your finished style through the hottest of days.” – Barney Martin
Styling Cream, $35, by Sachajuan
“This cream contains Ocean Silk Technology that absorbs right into the core layers of the hair shaft, leaving hair soft and silky with a superb shine.” – Alan White
Ultimate 10 BB Crème, $10.99, by Pantene Pro-V
“Apply to damp hair to seal the hair and prevent frizziness.” – Barney Martin
Gold Lust Nourishing Hair Oil, $68, by Oribe, 1300 725 122
“You only need a few drops of this special blend of high grade oils. Work this through your strands for beautiful hair all day long.” – Anthony Nader.
Aura hairdryer, by ghd
“This dryer uses cool wall technology and a non-turbulent stream of air, leaving hair with an incredible finish at the same time as reducing frizz and fly-aways.” – Alan White
By Eliza Cracknell for honey.ninemsn.com.au