Now reading: How To Humidity-Proof Curly Hair
How To Humidity-Proof Curly Hair
May 13, 2024

How To Humidity-Proof Curly Hair

Humidity and curly hair—we all know these two have a reputation for not getting along. If you’ve ever stepped out on a muggy day just to watch your hair puff up (or shrink down) in seconds, you know the deal.

There’s nothing wrong with a little frizz, but if you aren’t feeling the extra fluff, we’ve got tips to help you humidity-proof your curls. Use this guide to smooth things over when summer (or your next tropical vacation) rolls around.

Why does hair get frizzy in humidity?

Humidity opens the hair's cuticles, allowing moisture to enter and swell the hair shaft. When that happens, hair loses its defined shape and reverts to its natural state—cue the curl shrinkage and frizz.

Your hair’s hydration level also plays a part. Dry, dehydrated strands will resort to soaking in moisture from the air, meaning more frizz. But if your hair is well moisturized, it won’t absorb as much moisture from humidity, which means it will hold its defined shape better. Curly and coily hair types are naturally drier and frizzier since the natural oils produced by the scalp take longer to travel down the hair shaft than straighter hair types.

Damaged, high porosity and heat-styled strands also have more open cuticles, so they’re more prone to puffing up on humid days.

(P.S. Curious to learn more? We’ve got a really detailed guide on the science of frizz.)

Curly hair humidity tips: how to control frizz

No, you don’t need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a Brazilian blowout—unless you want to, of course!

But if you’re more low-maintenance (like us), here are some easy ways to improve how your hair reacts to humid weather.

1. Wash with cooler water.

Hot water opens up your hair cuticles, whereas cool water helps to seal them. On wash day, opt for lukewarm water over steamy temps to help reduce frizz. If you can brave it, give your hair a cold rinse before styling to keep everything oh-so-smooth.

2. Up the moisture.

Dry, thirsty hair will drink up moisture from the air. To keep your strands nourished, start wash day with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner made for your hair type. If you have extra dry or damaged hair, a deep-conditioning mask can strengthen your strands to stand up better to humidity. Be sure to apply a leave-in conditioner post-shower to seal in all that moisture as your mane dries.

(FYI, you shouldn’t have to layer on a million different moisturizers to get juicy, hydrated hair. With the right products, it can really be that simple.)

3. Check your towel-drying habits.

Scrubbing your wet hair with a terry cloth towel? Out. Gently squeezing your strands with a microfiber towel or cotton t-shirt? In. The goal is to minimize friction (it creates frizz) and avoid breakage.

4. Add anti-frizz styling products.

Products that contain film-forming ingredients like silicones and hydroxyethylcellulose will be your holy grail on humid days. These form a barrier around the hair that blocks excess moisture from getting in so your strands stay sleek.

And if you want better curl definition, don’t forget good old hair gel. Our Flex Hair Gel is a non-drying formula that provides a crunch-free, long-lasting hold—ideal for humidity-proofing curls.

5. Lock it in with hair oil.

Once you’ve shielded your hair with a healthy dose of moisture, seal it in—and shine it up!—by lightly coating your curls with oil. Oil is great because it not only locks moisture in but also locks humidity out.

You’ll want something that’s not too thick or heavy so it doesn’t give a greasy look but still protects and nourishes. We designed our award-winning Hair Oil to be just that.

6. Dry your hair completely before stepping outside.

If you can, make sure your hair is 100% dry before you leave the house. Even partially damp hair cuticles are more open, so they’re more likely to absorb moisture and swell up. Here’s how to speed up air drying if you want a break from your blow dryer.

7. Be realistic.

If your hair is sensitive to humidity, a wash-and-go might not be the best move on a rainy day. At peak mugginess, consider rocking a ponytail, bun or braided style instead to keep your hair in place. Get inspired with these curly hairstyles for humid weather and lazy summer days.

The Drop

Humidity doesn’t have to mean a bad hair day. To prevent frizz from foiling your plans, be sure to deeply moisturize and protect your strands with products that strengthen, seal and define. Take our quiz to find a routine for your hair type.

Shop products for frizz

Written by Lindsay Holden