I love the sunshine and all the beach days; the humidity is another story. Since high school, I've had to learn how to manage my thick, coarse, wavy hair on humid days to keep it from poofing and frizzing up.
If we’re going to spend time fixing our hair, we want it to stay fixed no matter what the weather does, right? I’ve spent decades figuring out what works best for combating humidity so my hair doesn’t poof up and look like Monica’s hair in the episode “The One in Barbados.” Here are my top six tips for keeping hair smooth and styled so the humidity can’t wreck any more good hair days.
How I Prevent My Hair from Frizzing on Humid Days
1. Get formaldehyde-free keratin smoothing treatments.
The absolute No. 1 step I take to avoid poofy, frizzy hair on humid days is to go to the salon and have a keratin smoothing treatment done. The last time I had this done was back in February 2021, but I’ll be getting a fresh keratin treatment done soon after we move back to Florida full time at the end of April.
When looking for a stylist to do a keratin smoothing treatment for you, make sure you check that the product the salon uses is formaldehyde free. The one I’ve used in the past was a formaldehyde-free product that lasted up to four months.
The more I had keratin treatments done, the longer I noticed the results would last. It is an investment, but if you live in a humid environment and your hair poofs out at the first sign of moisture in the air, I cannot recommend this service enough.
2. Wash and dry hair at night.
I’m not 100% sure why this works for me, but I’ve noticed my hair stays much smoother and holds style more on the days when I don’t wake up and wash and fix my hair that morning. So, I like to wash and dry my hair at night, sleep on it, and then finish styling my hair in the morning.
I have thick, coarse hair that leans dry (I use a lot of moisturizing products for my hair). So, from what I’ve read, moisture in the air (humidity) breaks down hydrogen bonds in hair strands. This causes the hair to swell, which creates frizzy or wavy hair because the moisture has changed the way the protein bundles of the hair bond together.
The reason I think washing and drying my hair at night helps prevent frizz on a humid day is because the hair cuticle has had longer to seal back up after washing and drying when done at night than if I were to wash and dry my hair in the morning before going outside.
I also use Olaplex shampoo and conditioner each time I wash my hair, and once a week I use a deep-conditioning hair mask like this one by Moroccanoil. I also religiously use an Aveda leave-in conditioner after every hair wash. It is the one product that makes my hair feel like pure silk after I blow-dry my hair.
3. Use a silk pillowcase.
Not only does a silk pillowcase help prevent hair breakage and reduce wrinkles on your face, but it also helps prevent frizzy hair. A silk pillowcase doesn’t pull moisture from your hair strands like a typical cotton pillowcase might, which means you’re less likely to wake up with dry, frizzy, damaged hair.
Since a silk pillowcase doesn’t ruffle up your hair cuticle and cause damage, the cuticle can remain soft and smooth, which allows less “openings” for moisture to seep in past the cuticle barrier and cause frizz.
I use a silk pillowcase from Blissy and love it. I wash it once a week, hang it dry, and put it back on my pillow.
4. Embrace hair texture.
On super humid days, I don’t even bother using a straightening iron on my hair. I know even with the best prep in the world, my hair is still going to pull in some moisture and my straight hair will get some wave to it—just not a full on poofy, frizzy mess. On high humidity days, I embrace my hair texture and use a curling iron or curling wand to set curls in my hair.
Since I wash and dry my hair at night, it’s also nice to only have to curl my hair, which takes about 15 minutes. So, it’s also a time-saver to do some of the hair prep work the night before.
5. Apply hairspray.
Hairspray is a must for taming your mane. My go-to hairspray of choice is the Moroccanoil medium-hold hairspray. It doesn’t feel too heavy or sticky on my hair, but it has just the right amount of hold and smells heavenly.
Since my hair is thick, I’ve learned that I can’t just apply hairspray on the top layer of my hair. On humid days, I actually have to apply the hairspray on the layers beneath the top layer as well. My hair will poof out underneath first if I don’t apply hairspray or some type of “coating” to those hair strands to seal the hair cuticle better.
6. Use anti-humidity spray.
Last summer, a sales associate at Blue Mercury introduced me to the R&Co. Moon Landing anti-humidity spray, and it changed my life. Since my hair is so thick, it typically poofs out and frizzes through the underneath layers first. So, I separate my styled hair into sections and apply the anti-humidity spray to ensure it protects all of my hair from the humidity. After each spray, I also make sure to rake my fingers through my hair to ensure the anti-humidity spray has coated as much hair as possible.
An anti-humidity spray is the absolute last step when fixing your hair; it even gets applied after hairspray. It’s meant to be the top coat to all your products to lock your hair in place as much as absolutely possible.