How to Maintain Your Hairstyle in Humid Weather

Man with Coarse Hair
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I recently had a client come in and mention he was struggling maintaining his pompadour on more humid days. Most guys wear fairly short hair, so humidity is normally not a problem, but with many of today's popular side-parted or pompadour styles, humidity can be a common men's hair problem. High moisture in the air can weigh your hair down and cause styling products to give out early. For those of us in high humidity climates, I offer these tips on how to maintain your hairstyle in humid weather, especially during the summer.

How do you know if humidity is going to be a factor? Well, you could just go outside and see if it feels humid (hot and sticky), but the easiest thing to do would be to simply check the weather. anything above about 50% is considered to be high humidity and may trigger that bad hair day. Typically, humidity is typically higher in the summer and much lower in the winter. Hair is capable of retaining a great deal of water from the atmosphere, so high humidity can cause your hair to frizz, swell in diameter, and can dilute your styling product.

First, of course, the easiest way to combat humidity is to fine a style that works well with the natural texture of your hair. For example, curly (especially curly hair) hair will often become more curly or frizzy in higher humidity.Fine hair can be weighed down by high humidity and become limp and lifeless. Wearing a style that works with your natrual hair type is often easiest.

You may also consider opting for a very short hairstyle which will require minimal styling and very little product. Shorter layers which decrease weight in your hair are a good idea. Your barber or stylist can work with you to find a hairstyle that works for your face shape.

Next, you'll want to make sure to pick the right shampoo.

Look for shampoos which specifically target humidity. Key words to look for are "smoothing" or anti-frizz." Use of a good conditioner will also help prevent the hair from absorbing unwanted water. While we're on the subject of shampooing, properly drying your hair after can help combat frizz as well (blot the hair instead of rubbing).

In terms of styling, it's important to remember that humidity can help weigh hair down, so opt for lighter products. Next, it's time to look at products that are 'anti-humectant' (these are products that repel moisture from the hair). Unlike humectant products (which contain molecules that attract and bind water to themselves), anti-humectants do just the opposite. So, you can see how a product which attracts moisture to the hair could give you problems in a humid climate. Aveda makes a great pomade called brilliant anti-humectant pomade (the Aveda folks spell it in all lower-case letters) that works wonders. The finish on this product is a satin finish, so it's not too shiny or too flat. A volumizing product and a blow-dryer can also help add fullness and height if you're going with a pompadour or fuller style. The right product is critical to helping to reduce frizz in curly hair.

You may also opt for an anti-frizz product like Bumble & Bumble Defrizz which acts as a moisture barrier. Anti-humidity hair spray such as Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine Anti-Humidity Hairspray can also help lock your style into place once you've achieved the look you're after. Whichever styling product you use, it's best to start with a small amount and work up from there. Remember, lighter is better as you want to avoid adding weight to the hair -- stay away from heavy, greasy products.

Since many anti-humectant products may build up in the hair, I'd recommend using a clarifying shampoo (such as Redken Men Clean Brew) to completely remove styling products from the hair.

It may also be a good idea to keep some styling product on hand. If your hair tends to go flat, you can spritz on a bit of hair spray and hold the hair up with a brush until it dries.

If you get frizzy, a little smoothing serum (or even hand lotion, used sparingly) can help calm your frizzy mane.