Home > Skin Care > 6 Hacks to Style Your Frizzy Hair When It’s Humid as Heck

6 Hacks to Style Your Frizzy Hair When It’s Humid as Heck

by Martha Adams

Along with warmer temperatures and the possibility of getting a haircut for the first time in months, summer is bringing humidity—and frizzy hair. For some people, humidity might not be a huge issue. But for others—particularly those with dry or damaged hair—that humidity causes enough frizz to ruin any plans you had for styling your hair.

Why does humidity make your hair so frizzy?

As anyone with just about any hair type knows—humidity can be the arch nemesis to your hairdo (and skin). “When the weather is humid, the air has a high concentration of water molecules, which are rich in hydrogen atoms,” Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center, tells SELF. “These water molecules bind to the hair, increasing the number of hydrogen bonds,” which can cause the hair to bind and fold on itself or to bind to other strands of hair. The result? Straight hair becomes wavy, wavy hair becomes curly, and curly hair forms even tighter curls.

Any type of hair—including straight hair—can become frizzy given the right environmental circumstances, but certain types are more susceptible. For example, if your hair is already very dry or damaged as a result of over-styling , over-processing, or using harsh products on your hair, you are more likely to wind up dealing with unwanted frizz. Those with curly or fine hair are also more likely to intrinsically experience this, Papri Sarkar, M.D., a dermatologist at Northeast Dermatology Associates in Boston, tells SELF.

Also, if your hair is more porous, you’re more likely to deal with frizz . What does this mean, exactly? Porosity describes the hair’s ability to absorb moisture, like the empty spaces in a sponge. If your hair has a high level of porosity, it can easily absorb the moisture in the air, Eliut Rivera, founder of Eliut Salon in New York City, explains to SELF. If you have low or normal porosity, you’re less likely to deal with frizz. To find out where your hair falls on the porosity spectrum, simply drop a strand of clean hair into a cup of water and watch to see what it does. If it sinks right away, you have high hair porosity, but if it seems to float around in the middle, you have normal hair porosity, Rivera says.

The good news is that, whether you deal with frizz daily or only once in a while, there are some easy tips and tricks you can use to combat that frizziness—even on the hottest and most humid of days. Here, hairstylists share their best-kept secrets for styling frizzy hair in humidity.

1. Use the right shampoo and conditioner.

It’s important to choose hair products that are made for your particular hair type. For example, if your hair is naturally frizzy, if you frequently use heat styling tools, or if your hair is chemically treated, you will need to use a shampoo and conditioner that is moisturizing and hydrating, Lauren Paglionico, NYC-based hair colorist and owner of LRN Beauty, tells SELF. Her go-to for her clients with over-processed blonde hair is IGK Bad & Bougie Amla Oil Deep Repair Shampoo ($25, Ulta ) and Conditioner ($25, Ulta ). This duo is formulated with amla oil, which can help moisturize hair and give it shine, she says.

Other products to try:

2. Use a leave-in conditioner.

If you really want to combat frizz, you’ll need to keep your strands moisturized and soft before going outside. After you use a moisturizing conditioner in the shower, Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist and TIGI Copyright Brand Ambassador, recommends using a leave-in conditioner to take your moisture level a step further. His favorite: Daily Dose Miracle Moisture Leave-In Conditioner ($18, Amazon ). “It’s lightweight and nongreasy so it won’t add weight or build up on your hair,” he says. “It’s also formulated without skin-irritating ingredients and helps restore the hair’s natural moisture balance to combat frizz.”

Other products to try:

3. Before styling, apply a heat protectant.

If you’re going to apply heat to your hair, be it from a blow-dryer, straightener, curling iron or wand, or any other heat styling tool, be sure to apply a heat protectant first . These hair-styling products create a barrier between your hot tools and your hair, protecting it against damage from heat up to 400 degrees.

Paglionico suggests thinking of your hair protectant like sunblock: You wouldn’t go to the beach without protecting your skin from the sun, right? The same goes for your hair. Her favorite is Milbon’s Weightless Replenishing Mist , which is lightweight and packed with ingredients that help strengthen hair.

Other products to try:

4. Try a twist out with hair oil.

If you want to embrace your natural texture but avoid dreaded frizz, Paglionico recommends doing what she calls the twist, which is essentially a type of twist out . Begin by applying a silicone-free hydrating oil , like Aesop Shine ($33, Nordstrom ), to damp (but not wet) hair. “It is perfect for hair that is dry and coarse,” she says. Apply the oil evenly from mid-length to ends and then section your hair in four quadrants, parting where you wear your hair. Then, in each quadrant, separate three or four pieces. Twist each piece of hair away from your face and then avoid touching your hair—instead let it air dry naturally on its own. Once your hair is dry, she recommends lightly separating each section. If you’re not into twisting, you can try this procedure with braiding instead.

Other products to try:

5. Apply a little hairspray.

As any hairstylist will tell you, it’s crucial to set your final look with some hairspray. It’s one of the best mechanisms to use against humid weather to fight frizz and tame flyaways. Fitzsimons’s favorite hairspray to use on his celeb clients is Beauty Works Super Hold Hair Spray . What he loves most about this spray is that it is a micromist, so it gives an invisible veil with a super-strong hold—especially if you’ve already applied the other tips here.

Other products to try:

6. Heat style in between washes.

If your hair is getting frizzy during the day, that doesn’t mean you have to rewash your hair and start over from scratch. In fact, over-washing is one of the biggest culprits for frizzy, dried-out hair. Sometimes all you need is a little restyling, Paglionico says. “If you wake up and your roots are greasy and your ends look frizzy, spray some dry shampoo into your hair and go over it with a dryer and brush the same way you would if it was wet,” she says. If you just have a little frizz or a slight bend from sleeping, she suggests going over it with your flat iron or curling iron to restyle.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Leave a Comment