This is How to Keep Your Natural Hair Moisturized This Summer

IG @prii_babii

by Sabrina Perkins of

Summer is finally here! Goodbye to the big clunky coats and hello sundresses and crop tops. No matter what style they choose to rock, a major challenge that some naturals always seem to face during the hot and steamy summer months is keeping their hair hydrated. That's right, some naturals face hydration problems in the summer as much as they do in the winter!

But there are ways to incorporate moisture into any summer routine that will leave your strands hydrated and soft. Here are 5 ways to keep your hair hydrated this summer:


Becoming Best Friends With Humidity

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By Emilia Obiekea of

The #1 problem in the natural hair community is combating dry hair. For our textured hair this is definitely an issue. Cold weather robs our strands of moisture. The spring and summer months we can turn it around. Humidity can over-saturate the hair with moisture. Then when it dissipates the hair is left feeling super brittle. When we talk about humidity it is usually brought up as a bad thing but it really isn't.


Caring for Your Natural Hair in Humidity

by Hadassah Agbaps of

As a natural based in Nigeria, I am constantly faced with sometimes unwanted natural phenomena such as:

- frizziness
- dryness
- single stranded knots and splits
- shrinkage

Nigeria is an African country situated in the tropical belt. The weather is for the most part hot and humid and the sun beats down mercilessly on my fine, type 4, highly porous natural hair.

Sometimes it gets my hair confused. On one hand, the humidity and heat act as a steamer for my hair, on the other hand, the midday sun dries it all up!

So, how do I cope with this?

Here are my personal tips for maintaining my natural hair in humidity.

Read On!>>>

Fight the Frizz or Go with the Fro?- The Deets on Anti-Humectants

by Susan Walker of DrWalkerWellness

As the weather gets warmer naturals are finally letting go of their protective styles and being free with their hair. Wash n’ gos, twist outs, braid outs, bantu knots outs – you name it, it’s out!

And while we’ve done away with our winter hibernation styles and embraced the freedom of summer, there is a common issue that seems to come up time and time again.

Another “F” word that for some is not the desired style. That word is FRIZZ.

Read On!>>>

Glycerin-Free Natural Hair Products for the Summer

Summer is here! It’s time to stow away our sweaters and boots and bring out the sundresses and flip-flops. And for some, it’s time to pack up products containing glycerin, due to the heat and humidity. Here are some Glycerin-Free Hair Products that can help you this summer.

Oyin Handmade Hair Dew
A leave-in conditioner that is creamy, light weight, and great for refreshing curls. This leave-in conditioner is even moisturizing enough to use on the hair by itself! But as always, seal your hair to protect those curls.

Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker

Looking for a curl definer to use after wash and go’s? This product will leave your curls defined and soft. If you don’t like curl definers that leave your curls hard and crunchy, this would be a great product for you to try.

Curly Hair Tips for Spring & Summer Humidity

Tonya Mckay writes;

As we move into spring and summer — our favorite seasons for fun outdoor activities — we face challenges with our curly hair that are unique to the climate and activities.

There’s no denying that the change in seasons can be tough on our hair care routines. Products and processes that were working so well suddenly seem to have the opposite effect. Often, at the heart of these issues is a change in the environmental moisture content (humidity). High humidity is especially harsh on curly hair.

The reason for its susceptibility to humidity fluctuations lies in the physical structure of curly hair. Straight hair, undamaged by environmental or treatment factors, has a protective outer layer of cuticle scales that overlap and lie fairly flat against one another. Curly hair, even in very good condition, is much more porous because those cuticle scales do not always lie flat. This porosity allows more water to migrate out of curly hair into the environment in dry weather (not good), and also allows more moisture from the environment to migrate into the cortex of the hair strands in humid weather (also not good).

Read on for tips and ingredient recommendations>>>

Maintaining Straightened Natural Hair

by Alicia James of

The truth is... fighting humidity is a pointless fight. When the moisture from the air hits your hair, the hair immediately starts to expand and shrink. Unfortunately, some more than others.

I live in a climate that is very humid. As someone who uses heat regularly I have learned a few strategies on maintaining my heat stretched hair.


Humectants, Weather and Hair Care: Part 1

A re-post for those confused about glycerin and humidity as spring approaches!

by Susan Walker of Earthtone Naturals

Changes in weather require modifications to your hair care regimen in order to keep you hair looking and feeling at its best. But how do you know what you should use and when? This article will serve as the foundation for what you need to understand in order to choose the correct products for your hair in any season. This requires a good understanding of humectants: how they work, their purpose and how they are relevant to hair.

Read On!>>>

The Right and Wrong Way to Use Glycerin for Hair

It seems that naturally curly folks have a love/hate relationship with glycerin. There is a lot of information, and misinformation, about this seemingly simple substance. I thought I’d shed some light on the chemical makeup of glycerin and how it affects curly hair specifically.

Read On!>>>

Mineral Oil for Reducing Frizz and Damage in Natural Hair

by Ktani

Curly hair, and African-American hair in particular, can be dry. Products aimed for the latter used to contain not only mineral oil, but petrolatum, lanolin and sometimes vegetable oils. Petrolatum is greasy and contains wax; lanolin is a greasy, sticky wax and both can be hard to remove from hair without clarifying.

Cosmetic (USP/BP) mineral oil used on its own can enhance curls, seal in moisture and can be removed easily and completely with one wash with sulfate-free shampoo or conditioner only, when used in small amounts. It is a non-drying oil, not a liquid wax like jojoba oil. A drying oil can leave “a dry, hard and tough film” on hair and have environmental consequences as well.

Read On!>>>

The Science of Frizz- Nature or Nurture?

Most curly-haired people have considerable personal experience with frizz. It is notorious for being an intruder on school picture days, job interviews, special occasions, outdoor events, and first dates. Its appearance can turn a good hair day into a ponytail day in a surprisingly short amount of time. Many a woman, when faced with rain, fog, or hot and humid weather, has suffered the sensation of her hair growing larger, coarser, and more unruly by the moment. Although much of the wisdom about the prevention of frizzy hair gives the impression that only overly dry or damaged hair is susceptible to the phenomenon, anecdotal experience definitely indicates that certain hair types are simply more prone to frizz. This can be especially discouraging if you are one who seems to always be fighting frizz, even when your hair is very healthy. So what makes certain hair types more likely to suffer from frizz, and what, if anything, can be done to minimize it?

Read On!>>>

Humectants, Weather and Hair Care Part 2

by Susan Walker of Earthtone Naturals

As a review of last week’s post we found that the state of your hair relies on a few things, and a very important factor is moisture. Weather can strongly influence the condition of your hair with conditions of high moisture and low moisture having various effects on the hair. Furthermore, specific ingredients like humectants can be detrimental if not used properly in extreme weather conditions. The amount of humidity in the air can be assessed by using the dew point. The higher the dew point, the more moisture in the air; the lower the dew point, the less moisture there is. You can determine the dew points for your area by checking out various weather channels or online.

Read On!>>>

Humectants and Natural Hair Care- The Ultimate Guide

Maintaining Natural Hair in Humidity- Silicone or Coconut Oil?

via TheBeautyBrains

CYW says…I have curly colored hair. I was wondering if silicon serum or coconut oil would be best for fight frizz? Or is there a third product I should consider in this nasty humid weather.

The Beauty Brains respond:
You raise a very interesting question and one that we have never seen addressed in the technical literature. However we can still give you our best guess.

Silicone coating vs coconut oil penetration
One way of fighting frizz is to waterproof the hair so it won’t absorb moisture which causes the fibers to bend and twist. Silicone and coconut oil are both good waterproofing agents although their mode of action is very different. Silicone coats the hair forming a barrier which prevents water from penetrating while coconut oil penetrates inside the cortex where it waterproofs from the inside out.

Read On>>>

Glycerin – Check Your Ingredients

by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChic

So it’s officially summer people! Although my air conditioner has been pumping nonstop for almost a month now and the shorts and maxis have already made their debut, the calendar says today is the official kick off. While many naturals are turning to Havana twists and box braids for refuge this season, others are total rebels and prefer to let their hair run wild and free. It is important to remember that the way you cared for your tresses during the Spring will probably not suffice if you live in a climate where relative humidity is in full effect. If you find yourself wondering why you’ve done everything right and your hair still falls prey to the big bag humidity wolf, start by checking the ingredients on whatever product you are using; if you see glycerin, step away from the product during humid weather conditions. To be fair, some people do fine with glycerin no matter what the dew point but this is a good place to start if you are having issues.


Frizz Fighting Products That Really Work

by Nicole Hollis of Hair Liberty

There are times when you need your hair to look like perfection. Maybe you have an exciting date or a big meeting at work. You take the time to put every strand in its proper place, but within minutes of going outside, the best twist out ever or the most polished blow out turns into an undefined mess. That's because humidity in the environment brings excess moisture to your hair. The humidity may be from rain, or because you live in Texas or Florida, or because you're sweatin' out your hurr in a hot club. Wherever the excess moisture comes from, it's usually not enough to make your hair look wet, just enough to swell your strands and make your hair poof out. So frustrating!

Unlike many other hair care problems, the strategies for fighting frizz are more about product than technique. To protect your hair from humidity, you have to seal like your life (okay the life of your hairstyle) depends on it. Here are the must haves:

Frizz Fighter #1: A protein conditioner/treatment

Rinse out products that contain hydrolyzed protein temporarily patch up some of the cuticle holes in porous hair. If African American hair doesn't get additional protein regularly, it will frizz out very quickly no matter what you do. Make sure to use a strengthening product at least once every 2 weeks. Salon quality protein conditioners will leave your hair smooth and strong, not stiff.

Product recommendations

Curlisto Deep Therapy Masque
Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner for Dry Hair
Nexxus Emergencee Strengthening Polymeric Reconstructor
Ouidad 12 Minute Deep Treatment

Humidity Schumidity – You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.

by Julia-Anne of Three Naturals 

I recently got back from a fabulous two-week vacation to my island home – St. Lucia (with a quick hop over to Barbados for a wedding – shout out to Charm & Tunde). I didn’t really give any thought at all to how I would style my hair in St. Lucia, because I figured for one thing… “who cares?, I’m on vacation!” and “I’ll do what I normally do”. I packed a couple 1 ounce containers of our Three Naturals Shea Butter mix, and off to the races wit’ that.

The night before we flew out, I spritzed my already blown out hair (I had blown it out about a week and a half prior) with water, smoothed in some shea mix and braided it in about 12-15 braids, planning to take them out in the morning. When the morning came, I figured I could put the braids up in one, let them set a little more and take them out at the airport or on the flight. I didn’t want the terrible Toronto summer humidity to get to my braid-out and then get to St. Lucia looking all puffy and crazy.

I took the braids out while waiting in the departure lounge for the boarding call and ended up with what was probably one of the best braid outs I have ever had. No, I didn’t take a picture…but it looked something like this, only longer, because it was blown out:

All the way to St. Lucia…perfect hair. And as soon as we landed – this:

Can you say humid? Steamy? Watery air?

This happened as soon as I stepped off the plane. But do you know…after the horror of it died down, a few days into the trip I thought, maybe it was just humid that night. I’ll try again. So two days later on the eve of my birthday, I braided it up again. The next evening…

Not bad…this is at the door of our hotel room. I’m about to step outside…elapsed time: approx. 1.5 minutes to get to the restaurant, poolside…

And several moments later…

Hard to see so I drew a nice pink outline around my hair for ya.

So what have we learned girls?

It wasn’t just an odd night the first time…Pretty much every night’s a humid night on the island.
What we call humidity up here in the good old North is a gentle moist caressing of our hair, compared to the rain shower of invisible water that affected my hair in St. Lucia

And the moral of the story is…I will never complain about humidity again (now that I know what it really is).

Should I Use Glycerin in Hot, Humid Weather?

via TheBeautyBrains

CYW says…I always get confused about glycerin. Is it an ingredient I should use to combat my frizzy hair on hot, humid days? If so, how much can I add to my leave in conditioner so it will be affective without being sticky.

The Right Brain  replies:
Glycerin is what is known as a humectant.  That means it has the ability to absorb moisture from the air. This is a very helpful property in skin lotions where it can help bind moisture to the skin. However, since humidity tends to increase the frizzing of hair, binding additional moisture is the last thing you want to do. I would stay away from glycerin in a leave in conditioner to be used under high humidity.

There is one possible exception: certain types of highly textured hair which are extremely dry, may still benefit from glycerin even in high humidity.

CN Says:

For more in depth detail on using glycerin and other humectants in the summer, click HERE!

Here's an excerpt-- 

"Some of you, especially those with porous hair may notice a backlash from humectant use. The products that controlled your curls in more temperate dew points may cause you to get the cotton candy look in the summer. Those of you who get humectant induced frizz in the summer many want to look into anti-humectants to help keep the moisture out of you hair. Others resort to hard hold type gels along with their regular routine. I seem to have a preference for polymers like PVA/PVP in high dew point conditions. It sort of locks the curl down for me."- RCC

I CAN'T use humectants in the summer... I end up with a shrunken, sticky, tangled mess.  Awful.

Summer Curls- Understanding Dew Points

Re-post from 6/2010

Humidity and dew points have come up quite a bit lately, and instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I looked to a legend to break it down for us! RCC's blog Pittsburgh Curly is very informative, she writes:
'The care and maintenance of naturally curly hair is one of my favorite hobbies. I have really enjoyed learning how much of a difference things like ingredients, weather, seasonal changes, and a host of other random quirks affect the way our hair curls. Whether or not we end up with pretty waves, curls, and kinks, or, end up with a head-full of frizz can be a simple matter of one ingredient or a slight change in the humidity.'
RCC is the author of the following article. I hope it helps you to make better product and ingredient decisions no matter the weather!

Dew Points

When many curlies talk about humidity and their hair, they often look at relative humidity. While this makes some sense in a humid summer, it really doesn’t give a clear picture. Once winter hits, it can still be 100% humidity, but your curls will not spring out like they will on a summer day that is 100% humidity.

That is because there is a difference between relative humidity and actual humidity, or how much water really is in the air.

If you want to use humidity to gauge what types of hair products you need, you need to check out your dew point.

Dew point is the temperature at which water will condense and form dew (or fog), hence the name dew point. The catch is that the dew point cannot be higher than the air temperature. If it’s 20 degrees with 100% humidity, the dew point will be 20 or so. If it’s 90 degrees with high humidity, the dew point will often be in the 70’s.

How much water the air can hold all depends on the air temperature. Think of a cold day as a shot glass. It can only hold a little bit of water. Now, think of a hot day as a keg. It can hold a lot more water. So, even if your cold day/shot glass is 100% full of water, it still isn’t that much water compared to a 1/4 full keg/hot day.

What most people consider a “humid” day really means a “high dew point day.” Many people start to feel uncomfortable when the dew point reaches 60 degrees, and at 70 degrees, it feels quite oppressive.

What does this mean for you and your hair? Does all of this meteorological mumbo jumbo really mean anything when it comes to how your curls behave? You betcha!

Winter Hair: (dry dry dry)

This can also apply to curlies who live in areas that are low humidity year-round such as the Rocky Mountain and Southwest regions of the US.

Conditioners and humectants will be talked about in this section, and then mentioned in following sections.

I consider a dew point of 30 (-1 C)and lower to be dry. A lot of this is influenced by where I live. I live in an area that has four distinct seasons. For some of you, 30 might be a good day. For others, dry to you will be a dew point of 45 (7 C).

If there isn’t much moisture in the air, there is little for your hair to retain. Like your skin and sinuses, (think of those wintertime frozen boogers!) hair is often drier in the winter. The tight perky curls you had in the humid summer will often take a looser pattern in the winter. That’s fine, and pretty normal. It’s nothing to panic over. But, if you totally lose your curl pattern and see a bunch of flyaway static-like poofy frizz, there are things you can do.

If appropriate, get a humidifier. I have a plug-in one that I use so my nose isn’t super dry, and it seems to help with my hair too.

Conditioners. You will need richer, thicker conditioners in the winter than you did in the summer. You will probably also have to condition more often. I prefer heavier conditioners with things like shea butter. Look for conditioners made for dry hair, or those that claim to be thick and rich. I’m a big fan of Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose and White Camellia conditioners this time of year. Do be careful not to over-condition, but do condition enough so that your hair isn’t ending up being a static poofball.

Humectants. A boon to curls in the spring and summer, a bane to them in winter. This article by Curl Chemist Tonya McKay will give you a much better explanation of the role of humectants and humidity than I ever could. The main thing is that you need to avoid humectants in dry weather conditions as much as possible. While someone in Boston may only have to avoid them in the winter, someone in Utah may have to avoid them most of the year.

To quote a part of the article:
In extremely low-humidity conditions, such as a cold, dry winter air, there is no appreciable amount of water in the air for the humectant to attract to the surface of the hair. In this particular type of climate, the best one can hope for with most traditional humectants is for them to prevent evaporation of water from the hair into the environment. Also, under these circumstances, there is some risk of the humectant actually removing moisture from the cortex of the hair itself, creating the problem it was intended to prevent.
The main humectants one sees in hair care products are glycerin, honey, propylene glycol, and panthenol/vitamin B5. If you can avoid most of them (which can be difficult) you’ll do a lot to help keep moisture in your hair. The Aubrey conditioner mentioned above is humectant free, as are others. This is one of those annoying ingredient issues that requires lots of label reading time. Hair gels often contain humectants, which is why they work so well in the summer. You can switch to a curl cream if that works better for you, or use your gel over a leave-in conditioner to see if the conditioner will be enough of a buffer between your hair and the hemectants of the gel.

Leave-in conditioner. If you don’t use a leave-in any other time of the year, you way want to consider one in the winter. A leave-in can add an extra layer of protective moisture to your hair. Just look for one without humectants!

The In-Between Stage: Is it dry? is it normal?

I consider the 30-40 (-1 to 4 C)degree dew point range to be the in between area. It’s not super dry, but it isn’t comfortably moist either. I have noticed lot of variance in what other curlies like in this range. Some do best with a modified low dew point routine such as still using moisture but adding small amounts of humectants. Others keep a low dew point routine, and some use a routine that also fits the comfortably moist range by using a balance of moisture and humectans that works with your hair’s texture and porosity. It is hard to give recommendations that work for all in this range as this seems to be the range that most have a hard time with. In places with four seasons, you see this range a lot in the seasonal transition from winter to spring and from early to late fall.

Comfortably Moist – Happy Hair

The 40-60 (4 to 16 C) degree range seems to be a happy haven for most curlies. There is enough humidity to keep curl formation, but no so much that you get the big giant frizz. Depending on your hair type, a good balance of moisture and humectants works here. While there are differences between the lower and upper ranges, the range itself is comfortable for many.

Sticky! Big Hair for Humid Days

Many people notice that it feels sticky once the dew point hits 60 (16C ), and most will feel it when it reaches 65 (18C). At 70 (21C) and over, it is quite uncomfortable. This is the range when people call it a humid day.

At this point, many curlies will put away the thick rich conditioners they used in winter or drier times, or, they may just use them less frequently. Some skip using a leave in conditioner. I have porous hair, and I still like a leave in during the sticky months because it does seem to help keep the cuticle tamed a bit. You can play around with this to see what works best for you. I’m having wonderful luck with Curl Junkie Curl Rehab as a leave-in in various dew points. Other might prefer this in the moderate to dry range only.

Some of you, especially those with porous hair may notice a backlash from humectant use. The products that controlled your curls in more temperate dew points may cause you to get the cotton candy look in the summer. Those of you who get humectant induced frizz in the summer many want to look into anti-humectants to help keep the moisture out of you hair. Others resort to hard hold type gels along with their regular routine. I seem to have a preference for polymers like PVA/PVP in high dew point conditions. It sort of locks the curl down for me.

For those of you who, like me, are absolute heat wimps, updos are an option too. I tend to put my hair up a good deal in July and August because it just gets too uncomfortable to wear it down all of the time. I tend to put the anti-humectant properties of pomades to good use then also as they help keep my updos in place. Right now I am a big fan of the Kinky Curly Gloss Pomade that I can pick up at my local Whole Foods.

Checking Your Weather and Wrapping it Up
If you want an easy way to check you local dew point, plug in you zip code into the Weather Channel search bar on the top of their page. The results will show you the dew point right below the pressure. Or, if you want an hourly estimation of what the dew points will be like for you that day, plug in your location on Weather Underground. This is really good for those of you who live in variable climates where you have quick changes during the day or from day to day.

I, along with No-Poo Jillipoo and Colorado Curly being the hair science geeks that we are, talked about it enough that there is a simple, if theoretical, temperature chart. bear in mind that this is what seems to work for me and my area. While the guidelines are also helpful for many others, they are merely guidelines. Use this info and tailor it to your individual needs.
  • Dew point below 15F (-9C) – very dry. Use as much moisture and emollients as you hair can handle without overconditioning. Many will have to expect a looser curl pattern at this point. For those who like to occasionally straighten their hair, this is a good time for it since you may have less curl to fight. Humectant use may need to be cut out entirely or severely limited.
  • Dew point 15-30F (-9 to -1C) – Dry, add moisture and emollients. Limit or cut out humectants.
  • Between 30-40F (-1 to 4C)can be iffy. Some people can tolerate more humectants. Other cannot. Very trial and error in this range.
  • Between 40-60F (4 to 16C). Prime curly range. You should get some curl without that summer frizz. Find a balance between moisture and humectants that works for you.
  • Dew point 60F (16C) and up. You need to find a moisture/humectant tolerance that works for you. Some of you will be able to tolerate humectants. Those of you with more porous hair may start to see humectant induced frizz at this range, and especially so once the dew point hits 70. Those who get humectant induced frizz may want to look into anti-humectants to keep that muggy weather out of your hair.

Top 10 Humidity Fighters- Natural Hair


Need to beat the humidity? The lovely ladies of CurlTalk suggest these products to fight it!

The goal is to prevent moisture from the air getting in and puffing up your curls into a frizzy mess! So you use these gels more like serums... not like you would heavy defining gels.

Check out this article to learn more about humidity and curly hair.

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