Maintaining your mane's natural volume during the steamiest season comes with a pretty payoff. Here’s how to humidity-proof your hair.

By Erin Reimel
July 27, 2020
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Summertime heat and humidity can mean one of two things: flat, deflated hair or lots and lots of frizz.

“The moisture from the warm air penetrates and alters the hair shaft, making any styling you’ve done disappear,” says Sally Hershberger, hairstylist and founder of the eponymous brand. Yes, your hair texture is never more extra than now, but we say embrace it. Here's how to humidity-proof your hair while staying natural.

Fine Issue: Limp Strands

“The thin diameter of the hair makes it difficult to build volume, so it tends to fall flat,” says Hershberger. “And heavy products weigh it down easily.” Keeping that in mind: after shampooing, concentrate a lightweight conditioner on your midlengths and ends, avoiding your scalp completely. Then wrap hair in a microfiber towel. “The Aquis Rapid Dry Lisse Hair Turban (Buy It, $21, amazon.com) quickly soaks up moisture, which makes fine hair prone to breakage,” says Hershberger.

Add a few spritzes of Moroccanoil Root Boost (Buy It, $28, amazon.com), “and blow-dry your hair upward to train your roots to stay lifted,” says hairstylist Jennifer Yepez. “Keep the heat setting low when you’re blow-drying, since high temperatures can make your hair extra silky, and you’ll lose volume.” Finish with dry shampoo, such as Waterless Dry Shampoo No Residue (Buy It, $7, amazon.com) to add even more height and texture. (Related: 10 Products That'll Make Your Thinning Hair Look Thick AF)

Thick Issue: Puffy Texture

Thicker hair types naturally have more volume thanks to the larger follicles the hair grows from, says Hershberger. But moisture affects that volume just as easily as any other hair type: Water in the air breaks the hydrogen bonds that typically keep a style in place, so your hair frizzes and expands.

To combat this, you actually need more moisture because well-hydrated hair won’t absorb as much water from the air. Apply a leave-in conditioner like R+Co x Ashley Streicher Collection Sun Catcher Power C Boosting Leave-In Conditioner (Buy It, $32, revolve.com) to damp hair. Then air-dry, or if you want to smooth strands, wait until your hair is 90 percent dry, spritz it with a heat-protectant spray like Kérastase Paris Genesis Defense Thermique (Buy It, $37, sephora.com), and then style with your blow-dryer on the cool setting to minimize damage and dehydration. (BTW, there is a *right* way to air dry your hair.)

Curly Issue: Frizz

Humidity can affect your curl pattern, so even if you already have your taming routine down pat, there are a few techniques to consider during peak heat. Your first step: washing upside down. “Flipping your head over while you’re in the shower lifts your roots, which gives your hair tons of body and prevents the conditioner from getting onto your scalp and weighing hair down,” Hershberger says.

Once hair is washed and rinsed, evenly distribute a curl cream like Tresemmé Curl Hydrate Leave-In Curl Cream (Buy It, $9, amazon.com). Many women prefer to use the shingling method, which means applying the cream on each curl to separate and define it, celebrity stylist Koni Bennett explains. Then air-dry. “Curls always tend to frizz less this way,” says Yepez. “But if you’re in a rush, dry with a diffuser. Just resist touching your hair as much as possible—that creates more frizz.”

Coily Issue: Dryness

The summer weather can cause hair to return to its most natural state. “Add in moisture, and maintain your volume by washing with coconut oil,” says Hershberger. It’s high in essential fatty acids and vitamin E, which hydrate and add shine. Leave the oil on like a mask for the length of your shower, then rinse.

If hair feels too heavy, do a quick wash with a shampoo that also contains coconut oil, like Sally Hershberger 24K Get Gorgeous StylePro Shampoo (Buy It, $32, sallyhershberger.com). To pump up the volume, Hershberger recommends tying your hair up at the crown of your head with a silk scrunchie until it’s mostly dry. “This helps lengthen the curl pattern and lift the roots,” she says. When you take it down, apply a nourishing oil like Ouidad Revive & Shine Rejuvenating Dry Oil Mist (Buy It, $28, ulta.com) for extra shine and definition.

Shape Magazine, July/August 2020 issue

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