Summertime—gorgeous and potentially excruciating all at the same time, especially for those of us with natural hair! Anyone living in an area with high humidity can relate.
Statistically speaking, 12% of women have canceled a date, and 20% of women have called in sick into work one day, all because of a bad hair day (2000 women surveyed, Daily Mail).
Have you ever bravely tried to wear your natural hair down in the middle of July, only to return to your car or home for a quick re-style, sweating like you just left an interrogation?
Trying to be fabulous and slay at the waterpark or beach, but tired of wearing a simple ponytail or bun?
Focus on one less thing this summer: managing natural hair in the scorching heat.
Now, let’s deep dive into five different methods for managing natural hair in hot and humid weather.
Why is Extra Care for Natural Hair in Humidity Important?
When it’s really humid outside, there is a lot of moisture in the air. This can cause extra crazy frizz. You have to create styles that work with your curl pattern in heat and moisture.
Be mindful of the following steps this summer for healthy natural tresses.
1. Avoid applying more heat and further damaging your hair:
This may seem like common sense to some, but we all have been guilty of still trying to put that flat iron to use - even when humidity is wreaking havoc on our hairlines.
My first summer in FL, before I started my loc journey, I remember flat-ironing my hair for my first day of college.
After a couple of hours and only one trip across campus to change classes, I was left with a sad, greasy, dripping mess. I put up the fight and, obviously, humidity won. This is a definite no-no. Humidity will always win this way!
When dealing with humidity, protecting your hair and replacing nutrients should be a top priority. Not only will too much exposure to heat damage your hair, but getting your hair to stay straight throughout the course of the day will be even more difficult. Let the straightening comb rest, sis.
Luckily, there are plenty of other options.
2. Switch up your routine with a protective hairstyle for humid weather:
Now, it’s time to have some fun. Protective hairstyles do exactly what they say they will—protect your hair. You have the option of adding extensions to give your hair a stylistic flair, or simply wearing your own natural hair.
Give your hair a rest by trying one of these easy, convenient protective styles:
Cornrows are a classic hairdo perfect for all natural hair types and lengths. Simply part your hair into sections of rows, starting with front of your head and parting towards the back. You will then either braid the sections of your hair back as normal, or add extensions as you braid.
Senegalese Twists: (Sounds fancy, huh?)
Do you prefer twists over braids? This ‘sassy do’ is another simple, but effective way to protect your natural hair in hot weather. While twisting your natural hair as normal, add the extensions in and twist them until they coil. This ensures that the extensions will stay in place in your natural hair.
3. Wear styles appropriate for your texture of natural hair type:
Not really a fan of extensions? Wear a style that allows you showcase your type of natural hair:
Feeling tropical now? Good! This cute and classy hairstyle is easy to execute and impressive. Your hair is gathered in the back and beautifully showcased in the front. Use a HairZing to make this style even easier to create with elegance.
One of my personal favorites! Perfect hairstyle for dreadlocks, although any hair type can rock it. Convinced that you are a part of the Royal Family? Make sure everyone else knows it too!
Take sections of your hair and twist them, as though ringing out a mop if you have dreads, stack and intertwine each twisted section, and pin them together.
Braid the hair in sections first if you want to make this process even easier. You can leave some of your hair out in the back as well if you like.
4. Use products that are designed to fight humidity:
Oil - helps combat frizz and seal in moisture.
Personally I love Cantu Anti-Frizz Smoothing Oil because it helps your hair maintain its shine and it isn’t heavy or messy the way some oils tend to be. It’s infused with Argon oil, which is very healthy, and it actually smells great too.
If you have issues with frizz or “flyaway” pieces of hair, this Silicone-free oil smoothes your hair and conveniently comes in spray form. Appropriate for all natural hair types.
Gel - promotes maximum hold to keep hair in place.
For Type 3 Hair, Try Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel . For Type 4 Hair, or edge control on any hair type, Try Black Panther Edge & Braid Control.
Normally I am not a fan of gel, because it tends to leave a film or little flakes. If you are going to use gel, I recommend trying Mielle’s gel because of the organic, natural ingredients.
For Type 3 Hair, Try Mielle Organics Honey & Ginger Styling Gel .
This gel has no extra additives and features ingredients like ginger, honey, and babassu. Mielle’s works great for curl retention in humid hair if you have type 3 hair and it doesn’t leave behind a film behind.
For Type 4 Hair, or edge control on any hair type, try Black Panther Edge Control .
It’s lightweight, smells amazing, and will hold your hair in place for hours. This gel works well with humidity and isn’t sticky or flaky. It helps sculpt edges and the most stubborn of hair without the messy film and has ingredients like olive and lavender oil.
Mousse— helps with volume and curl retention
Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Frizz Free Curl Mousse is only appropriate if you are going for the curly, coiled look. Type 3 hair can appreciate this mousse because not only does it help with frizz, but it also brings out your natural curl pattern.
With oils like neem and coconut, as well as silk protein, this product is healthy and effective against humidity.
5. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated:
Again, this tip may seem like common sense, but it often goes neglected. If your body isn’t receiving enough hydration, then, yep, you guessed it, your hair isn’t either!
Experts say you should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces daily. (Grab those 32 oz bottles, not the mini bottles, don’t cheat!) If you sweat a lot or exercise daily, you should be drinking even more. So grab your favorite brand and drink up!
Your hair will thank you later, trust me.
Preparing natural hair for humid conditions does not have to be a headache. Remember to keep from applying extra heat, try a variety of different protective hairstyles and products that work with your hair type curl pattern, and keep yourself hydrated.
This summer, never let humidity be the cause of a bad hair day again! Make sure to visit hairzing.com for more protective style ideas and accessories specifically made for thick, heavy, natural hair.
Article photos: Shelby Smith
Header Photo by: Godisable Jacob from Pexels
Written by: Shelby Smith
Shelby Smith is a freelance content writer, blogger and clarinetist with a passion for the arts. Bethune-Cookman University alumna, Tau Beta Sigma member and ex-Marching Wildcat, she is constantly looking for innovative ways to serve the writing community, on and offline. Shelby, currently residing in Florida, loves spend her spare time traveling, reading and cooking.