by Mary Wolff
If you have curly hair, you know it is a science to figure out what works best for your hair. You know the importance of keeping hair properly moisturized to lock in hydration, but what about the moisture found in the air naturally? If you have ever wondered how your hair is dry with moisture in the air, read on to find out. This type of moisture isn’t as helpful with hydration as you might hope.
In the curly hair community, we talk a lot about humidity. It can take a good hair day and ruin it in a matter of minutes. Humid air is air with higher hydrogen molecules present than the air itself. For example, when you hear someone say the humidity is 100% it means the air can’t hold more water molecules because the capacity for hydrogen molecules is at capacity. Remember, the hotter the air, the more water it holds. That is why it is usually so hot before it starts raining.
You know dry air is bad for your hair. Well, moisture loaded air is just as bad. Human hair is sensitive to hydrogen molecules in the air even though you already have smaller amounts of these molecules in your hair. When air is humid and full of hydrogen, the hydrogen molecules from the air will actually form between the existing hydrogen and protein bonds in your strands. These extra water molecules are too much for your hair to absorb and they attach themselves to the keratin bonds, essentially causing hair to swell up which leads to raised cuticles. The raised cuticles bring on the frizz all curlies know all too well.
Here are a few tips to beat this curly hair foe:
- Know what to expect! It is always good to know the weather so you can prepare your emotions and your hair for the day ahead. NaturallyCurly’s Frizz Forecast is a great tool that uses dew points and humidity levels to tell you what kind of hair to expect.
- Pack for the weather. I don’t mean an umbrella, although that is always good to have on hand. On days when the weather might play devil’s advocate with your curls, throw your favorite moisturizer, a silk scarf, and a few hair ties in your bag. With these essentials, you will always be ready!
- Adjust your style throughout the day. If you find the weather is wreaking havoc on your curls, there is nothing wrong with changing things up to better protect your curls.
What challenges have you had with dry hair? Share your thoughts on these tips in the comment section!