Be it advice on updos, braids or using the right towels, we have got you sorted. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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Three… two… one… say frizz!

Sometimes, your hair just wants to have a mini-tantrum of its own, in humid weather. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; frizz happens to all of us. We spoke with Mona Mady, specialist dermatologist and aesthetician, and Michael Sean, a Dubai-based trichologist, who take us through the methods of how to humidity-proof your hair in summers.

We've got you covered with seven ways to keep flyaways at bay and tame the frizz for good. Curly or straight, damaged or dry, these tips will have your hair feeling smooth, no matter what the weather throws at it. Be it advice on updos, braids or using the right towels, we have everything you need for the season ahead.

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1.  Fight frizz with the right products

To start off, look for shampoos, conditioners, and styling products labeled "anti-frizz," "humidity-resistant," or "smoothing." These formulas often contain ingredients like silicones, ceramides, and humectants that help repel moisture and keep your hair smooth, explains Sean. Silicones, for instance, coat the hair shaft, creating a physical barrier that repels water vapour in the air. This helps prevent frizz by minimising moisture absorption that disrupts the hair's natural structure. It’s like a protective layer that keeps your hair smooth and manageable, explains Sean. The Kérastase Discipline Smoothing and Anti-Frizz Shampoo is a commendable option. This sulfate-free shampoo is formulated specifically for unruly or chemically-treated hair. It contains morpho-keratine, a protein complex, and ceramides to restore hair fibres and leave it feeling smooth and manageable.

Another helpful option is OGX Brazilian Keratin Smooth. It’s affordable, and it benefits thick or coarse hair. Moreover, it has keratin proteins and coconut oil to smooth and strengthen the hair. These shampoos also have ceramides, which are naturally occurring lipids in the air. Anti-frizz products often contain ceramides to help strengthen the hair cuticle, the outermost layer. Sean adds that a healthy cuticle lies ‘flat’, reflecting light and giving the hair a smooth appearance. In seasons of high humidity, the cuticle lifts, causing frizz. By replenishing ceramides, the products help the cuticle stay smooth and prevent frizz.

2. Choose the right conditioners

These products add a layer of protection to your hair strands, preventing frizz and flyaways, explains Sean. Choose lightweight options suitable for your hair type to avoid weighing it down. Remember, frizz is often a sign of dehydrated hair. The leave-in conditioners act like a reservoir, replenishing moisture and keeping hair strands plump and manageable, says Mady. This reduces the urge for the hair to absorb moisture from the air, a major cause of frizz in humid environments. So, your best pick would be L'Oreal Professionnel Serie Expert Liss Unlimited Smoothing Conditioner. Formulated specifically for frizzy, unruly hair, it contains keratin oil complex, which helps to smooth and straighten the hair fibres, leaving it manageable and frizz-free. Another option is Aveda Smooth Infusion Conditioner, which is especially beneficial for those with limp hair. It contains organic cupuaçu butter and green tea extract to hydrate and smooth hair without weighing it down.

3. Pick the right oils and butters

Oils and butters are your closest comrades in your quest to keep your hair healthy and frizz-free. You could opt for argan oil. A popular choice for its nourishing and moisturising properties, argan oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids, which help to hydrate and tame the frizz. It also has a lightweight texture that won't weigh down hair. You can also opt for jojoba oil, a lightweight oil that is well-suited to all hair types. It has a similar chemical structure to sebum, the natural oil produced by the scalp. This allows jojoba oil to blend seamlessly with your hair's natural oils, providing hydration without feeling greasy.

4. Apply hairspray

Well, here’s another weapon in your haircare arsenal: hairsprays. Unlike heavy styling products, hairsprays are formulated to dry quickly. This helps to "lock in" your hairstyle before humidity has a chance to disrupt it. It’s like giving your hair tiny internal reinforcements, as they have conditioning agents and resins.

Our experts have some suggestions. You could opt for Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioning Spray, as it contains coconut oil and almond oil to help hydrate and nourish hair. It works well for wavy and curly hair. You can also opt for Schwarzkopf Professional Silhouette Super Hold Hairspray. As reviews say, this hairspray delivers what it promises – a strong hold that defies humidity and wind. So you don’t have to worry about your hairstyle collapsing throughout the day, whether you're at the office, exploring the city, or hitting the beach. It also provides long-lasting control, keeping your style in place for extended periods. No need for constant touch-ups – your hair will stay put with a single application.

5. Squeeze your hair dry with micro-fibre towels

You’re armed with shampoos, conditioners and oils - now you need a micro-fibre towel to go. As both our dermatologists explain, these towels are woven with incredibly thin fibres that create a large surface area. This allows them to absorb significantly more water than traditional cotton towels, which means less time spent with your hair wrapped in a damp towel that promotes frizz. The smooth texture of the micro-fibre minimises friction between the towel and your hair. This reduces breakage and helps prevent frizz caused by roughing up the hair cuticle.

6. Seal with a serum

You can rely on a serum to protect yourself from humidity. As Sean explains, many hair serums contain ingredients like silicones, polymers, and natural oils. These ingredients coat the hair shaft, forming a thin, protective layer. This barrier helps to repel moisture from the air, preventing it from entering the hair and causing frizz.

So which one would you like to use? You can look for serums with ingredients like shea butter or keratin, which help smooth the hair cuticle and reduce flyaways. Also for fine hair, choose a lightweight serum that won't weigh down your hair. One helpful option is GK Hair Global Keratin Styling Serum. This serum contains Juvexin, a complex derived from keratin, the protein that naturally strengthens hair. By replenishing keratin, the formula helps to reinforce the hair shaft, making it more resistant to frizz-inducing moisture in the air. It is also enriched with argan oil, a treasure trove of vitamins and antioxidants, which smoothens the hair cuticle, reducing flyaways and creating a protective barrier against humidity.

7. Turn down the heat

Skip the heat styling whenever possible. If you do need to use heat, a diffuser attachment on your hairdryer helps distribute heat evenly and minimize frizz. If you absolutely must use a straightening iron, don’t turn up the heat too much, warns Sean. You don’t need such high temperatures, and it can actually cause trouble and damage to your hair as it can’t handle the heat. Try starting with a lower temperature and work your way up if you find you need to. You can try the Revlon Smooth Brilliance Ceramic Flat Iron, which has ceramic coating, and helps reduce damage from over-styling with even heat distribution, making styling fast and easy. The reviews for this iron are glowing, and it has been termed as an ‘excellent’ purchase, by many reviewers.

Why do we need to protect our hair in humidity?

Think of humidity as a tug-of-war on your hair that can lead to split-ends and breakage, along with frizz and a subsequent lack of lustre.

Breaking down the reasons why humidity is a no-go for your hair, Sean says: "Your hair absorbs moisture from the environment. So, when there are high levels of humidity, your hair absorbs more water than it can handle. This causes the hair shaft to swell, disrupting its natural structure and leading to frizz, flyaways, and a lack of definition."

Moreover, the hair loses its shine, as humidity lifts the hair cuticle or the outer layer. "This roughened surface reflects less light, resulting in dull, lifeless hair that lacks its natural lustre," Sean explains. Worse, it gets more difficult to maintain your current hairstyle, let alone the one you desire.

Hence, you need to invest in humidity-reducing hair care products, explains Mady. "Use anti-humidity or humidity-resistant labelled products as these contain silicones which form a barrier on the hair shaft to keep the moisture out and prevent frizz," she added. You can take additional steps, such as tying your hair in updos, buns or braids, when it is hot and humid. Unless you apply the appropriate products, you should avoid wearing your hair down and loose during the summer season.

humidityhair-21When it comes to shampooing, Sean has some advice. You have to be able to remove environmental pollutants and excess oil, and gentle shampooing is the best way to do just that. Use a shampoo with clean ingredients that is free from toxins and harsh chemicals. Avoid excessive washing and wash only when you need to. For those with curls, replace your cotton pillowcases with satin. Cotton soaks up the hair’s natural sebum, which depletes the curls of the moisture it needs. Also, try using hair masks.

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