Humidity hair hacks: How to rain-proof your hair

"Straight hair that has been blow dried or curled to add volume will lose that volume once it's exposed to humidity," says Redken NZ artistic director Mana Dave. (File photo).
JOVAUGHN STEPHENS/ UNSPLASH
"Straight hair that has been blow dried or curled to add volume will lose that volume once it's exposed to humidity," says Redken NZ artistic director Mana Dave. (File photo).

This story was originally published by beautyheaven and is republished with permission.

With daylight savings now in full swing, it's safe to say we've officially reached the end of winter. The days are getting longer, the temperature's getting warmer, you've (hopefully) said sayonara to your seasonal depression and you're almost ready to retire those jeans you've been wearing for the past eight months and let your legs see the light (with a little help from self tan of course).

But, while you might think it's all sun and games from here on out, there's a bit of bad news. Want to know what meteorologists are predicting for most of NZ for the next couple of months? Short answer: a hell of a lot of rain.

To say nothing of what this means for your after-work Aperol spritz in the sun plans, a moment of silence, please, for all those good 'Rich Girl' hair days you saw on the horizon.

Rain, as we know, is no friend to our follicles. Add increased temperatures and you can probably expect to look like a hot humid mess from now until Christmas. Or not – because we asked the experts how to tame your tresses at this tricky time of year, and here's what they said:

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Why hair hates humidity

When we style our hair using heat tools and smoothing or volumising products, we temporarily change the bonds that determine whether our hair is curly or straight.

Redken NZ artistic director Mana Dave explains that wet, warm weather is our hair's worst enemy because it returns these bonds to their natural state.

"Curly hair that has been blow dried straight will ultimately go curly and frizzy once the damp moisture in the air kicks in. Similarly, straight hair that has been blow dried or curled to add volume will lose that volume once it's exposed to humidity."

Start in the shower

To give your hair the best shot at surviving a rainy day, Mana says you've got to lay the foundations with a shampoo and conditioner suited to your hair texture. For fighting frizz he recommends the Redken Frizz Dismiss range, whose special HPF (humidity protection factor) stops hair from soaking up all the moisture that makes it swell. If amplifying your hair is a concern, try a volumising duo that will visibly thicken each strand and keep your 'do from falling flat.

Dry, dry again

"If your blowout is going to defy the laws of nature and survive our humid spring weather, then do not skimp on time!" says Mana. As previously mentioned, a blow-dry essentially reforms your hair bonds – whether the desired effect is to tame or volumise.

To make your blow dry last longer, you need to dry hair completely and let it cool right down. Linda Dalley, education manager at Professional Hair Brands suggests blasting hair with your blow dryer on a cool setting, "or clip styled sections of hair out of the way to set, prior to releasing and brushing them out".

Top stylists also agree that directing the hairdryer's airflow down the hair shaft will seal the cuticle, creating a smoother, glossier finish and most importantly, locking out the moisture that will sabotage your style. Another pro tip from Mana? "To tame and smooth, use a boar bristle brush. To add body, use a ceramic brush.

"Heated tools can flatten your cuticle into a near impenetrable fortress against moisture," says Lauren Gunn. (File photo).
UNSPLASH
"Heated tools can flatten your cuticle into a near impenetrable fortress against moisture," says Lauren Gunn. (File photo).

Sensible styles

While the above tips and tricks will stand you in good stead, attempting the perfect Victoria's Secret-inspired blowout on a wet and windy day probably isn't going to pay off as well as you'd like.

Instead, Colleen creative director and Evo ambassador Lauren Gunn rates a super sleek straight look, achieved using a Cloud 9 flat iron. "Heated tools can flatten your cuticle into a near impenetrable fortress against moisture," she says,

Adding that a generous spritz of hairspray will act like an extra umbrella over your hair. Her other go-tos include effortless hairstyles like a relaxed ponytail or a bun, and for shorter hairstyles she recommends ramping up your product use. "Visible product in a short haircut is a very chic look so don't be shy with you texture paste or gel."

When all else fails

"Don't fight it!" says Mana, who encourages taking a day off from perfectly blown-out hair. "Curly-haired girls can activate their curls with the Redken Curvaceous range – be generous with the product, create a low side part, flip to the side and allow hair to air dry.

Easy!" For those with flat hair, he's a fan of the wearable, wet hair trend. "First, work through a bodifying mousse. Then create a side part with a wide tooth comb and slick the sides back, combing the top away from your face.

With your hair dryer's diffuser attachment on, dry the front area flat and simply scrunch dry the ends. No brush, no problem!" Finally, don't leave the house without a little help in your handbag – a travel sized dry shampoo or hair dust is essential for boosting your hair's height throughout the day.

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