Why does humidity cause frizz? + 6 fixes

“Ok! When I go places with high humidity, it gets a little extra body, ok?” It’s not just Monica from Friends who has that problem. Most of us face it, if not to that degree :). With the rainy season here, I am struggling with frizzy curly hair and so I thought this is the perfect time to put up this article. Why does humidity cause instant frizz and an unruly appearance?
One of the reasons curly hair is curly is due to disulphide bonds between the keratin molecules of the hair. There is another connection that can form between adjacent keratin proteins – hydrogen bond which is much weaker and temporary, with hydrogen bonds breaking forming each time your hair gets wet. Hydrogen bonds occur when 2 protein molecules form a bond with the same water molecule, thereby indirectly bonding the two keratin proteins together.

Hydrogen Bonding in Hair

Absorption of water into the hair from the air causes more number of hydrogen bonds to form thus curling hair more. This is why hair curls up in humidity.

Absorption of moisture can also cause the hair shaft to swell and expand and disrupt the cuticles which can lead to a big frizzy appearance. This is especially true if your hair cuticles are not lying flat and if your hair is porous.

Here are 6 tips to manage curly hair in humidity!

  1. Make sure your conditioning is top notch. After conditioning and detangling, your hair should feel smooth to touch. That will make sure all your cuticles are lying flat.
  2. Avoid humectants in your products. They have the ability to attract water from the atmosphere. These include ingredients like Glycerin, Dipropylene glycol, Panthenol, Sorbitol, Hydrolyzed silk protein, Honey, Sodium PCA
  3. Use product with anti-humectants. They work as moisture blockers. Look for silicones, beeswax, castor oil, polymers. These coat the hair shaft and seal the cuticle layer thus preventing moisture from penetrating.
  4. Keep your hair moisturized. If your hair is parched, it will pull moisture from the humid air. So make sure your hair is hydrated in the first place so that it doesn’t reach out to the air.
  5. Help the cuticles lie flat. Make sure the last rinse is with cold water, use a tee to dry your hair and use a silk pillow case to sleep on .
  6. Wrap your hair with a thick scarf. Use a scarf while you are out so that the water gets absorbed by the scarf before it can reach your hair.

 

 

8 comments

  1. I have exactly the same problem now! 🙂 yesterday I had a hair SPA and the Natur Vital aloe mask made my hair very rough…
    I’m big fan of ‘Friends”! 🙂

  2. Excellent article Anjana, as all that you write.
    You are great at helping others, I’m a fan of yours.
    Thank you so much,
    Lígia

  3. You suggest using silicones to combat humidity?? all along curlies are advised to use products that don’t contain silicones.

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