Humidity, Frizz and Hair -O Myyy!
It's that time of year -humidity abounds! In fact, we've also had quite a lot of moisture in Western New York this summer. For certain types of hair, this means that you are struggling with an ever-growing ball of frizz on your head. Especially if you have any curl in your hair-
What's up with that?
Thanks for asking! What's going on is that your hair is dry by nature.
If you have curl, the natural oils secreted by the hair follicles are caught up in the twists and turns of the hair shaft, unable to move smoothly along the strands as intended. Those oils would smooth and condition your hair, if only they could-
Your hair is soooo thirsty!
And there is all this ambient moisture -in the humid air, in the steam after your shower, in the falling rain.
So your hair acts as a humectant, drawing moisture into each strand. Moisture that takes up space and causes the hair shaft to swell. And swell.
That's why it keeps getting bigger.
But what's causing the frizz?
In order to draw in the moisture, your hair has to open up the outer layers of overlapping translucent scales -known as the cuticle layers. We open these layers when we are doing any chemical work that has to alter the structure of the hair. You may have noticed that your hair has a little more volume after color services, for example. That's because we've engaged the same process: open the cuticle, insert pigment molecules to change the color, close the cuticle back down. But it doesn't close completely back down. That's why it's got more body.
But I digress.
It is the opening of the cuticle to absorb moisture, around which the cuticle doesn't close back down to its original position that generates the frizz.
Nice to know what's going on but-
What can be done about it?!?!
First, be diligent about keeping your hair moisturized. And conditioned.
Leave your moisturizing shampoo and conditioner in for a bit before rinsing. Let the ingredients get in there and do their jobs!
Then there's the leave-in conditioner.
I will likely do a whole post about leave-ins because they are more important than most people realize. But for now, there's a little trick to help you fight the frizz!
Keep your leave-in conditioner in the shower.
After rinsing your conditioner, gently squeeze extra water from your hair. Then apply that leave-in to acidify your cuticle layers. This will bring the ph down to where it naturally falls, 4.5-5.5, and help the cuticle to close down futher. It will also put a light film of product on the hair to seal it And keep it from pulling in moisture.
I also strongly recommend regular deep conditioning treatments.
But that's a post for another day!