Humidity and Your Hair: What You Should Know
Moisture is all around us in the form of humidity. Whether you realize it or not, there's always at least some amount of moisture in the air. The term "humidity" is a measurement of airborne moisture such as this. While humidity is nearly impossible to avoid, though, it can take a toll on your hair. Turning a blind eye to its effects will result in frizzy hair that's messy and difficult to control.
Why Humidity Is a Problem for Your Hair
To understand why humidity is bad for your hair, you must first familiarize yourself with the basic construction of hair. Each strand of hair consists of protein-based keratin fibers. The individual keratin fibers essentially wrap around themselves to create strands of hair. If your hair is exposed to humidity, the moisture vapor will cause the keratin fibers to break away from each other. When this occurs, your hair will begin to swell.
Exposure to humidity doesn't cause frizzy hair -- not immediately, at least. It's only when your hair dries after being exposed to humidity that it will frizz. Once the keratin fibers have unraveled, your hair won't retain its original shape when dry. Instead, your hair will likely frizz wildly. You'll typically notice the frizzing effects of humidity shortly after your hair has dried.
How to Safeguard Your Hair From Humidity
The good news is that you can safeguard your hair from humidity in several ways. For starters, be conscious of the humidity level in your home, especially the bedroom where you sleep at night. If your is always humid, your hair will be more susceptible to its effects. You can purchase an electronic humidity monitoring device for less than $10, allowing you to keep tabs on your home's humidity.
There are oils you can apply to your hair to protect it from the frizzing effects of humidity. Oils, as well as shea butter, are designed to create a protective coating over your hair. This coating or barrier will then restrict the moisture that enters your hair. Just remember to start with a small amount of oil and gradually add more as needed.
Wearing your hair up, as opposed to down, can help minimize the effects of humidity. If you regularly wear your hair down, it will absorb more moisture from the air. Using a clip to hold your hair up, for instance, will reduce the amount of moisture to which it's exposed.