Summer is near and most of us are excited about the opportunity to shed our winter clothing. Some of us, you know the worry worts, are bracing for the dreaded bad hair days that usually accompany summer. Others will appear to be shocked by the challenges that hot, humid weather will offer. By the middle of summer they will look in the mirror with surprise as if they have never seen that frizzy, wind blown, scorched look before. Eventually, they will realize that they have been there before, but how they got through last summer will be a distant memory.

The most damaging exposure that we will encounter this summer is from water and the sun. Although water is normally good for the hair high humidity usually reeks havoc on our beautiful hairstyles. This condition begins a viscous cycle of physical and thermal damage. First, we begin to over comb and brush the hair, as we attempt to save our style or create a new one on the fly.Eventually, we figure out that even with a wonderful, gorgeous cut we are doomed to a mess that cannot be fixed without a heated styling tool or two. So… we begin the process of hot curling and styling the hair over and over and over.

Sometimes we even pile on a few globs of a thick, sticky, gel or hairspray to hold the hair in place and of course, dry it out. Basically this process goes on until it is time to wash the hair or the high humidity subsides.

This cycle of damage is only compounded by sweating and exposure to the sun. Sweating exposes the hair to not only the water, but also drying salt. Exposure to the direct sun for more than two hours can also dry the hair and result in thermal damage. The same type of thermal damage that can result when heated styling tools are used.

What is the solution? I suggest that first you re-evaluate the styles that you wear. If your hair is very porous it is probably not a good idea to wear it blow-dried and curled on a midnight cruise. Also, any time that you are carrying an umbrella there is cause for concern. When there is a good chance of rain there is also a good chance of a bad hair day. The humidity will likely be high enough to wreck your hairstyle even if it does not rain.

During times of high humidity it is best to rotate between styles that require little or no heat. By reducing the amount of heat used to create the style you also reduce the negative effects of humidity. Some options include ponytails, twists, braids, wraps or other types of wet sets. Longer hair, when regularly trimmed, can also be worn attractively without any curls. If you do wear your hair down it is best to avoid washing the hair immediately before the event. Freshly washed hair is very vulnerable to water absorption. Hair that is a few days old usually has a fine coating of sebum that makes it more resistant to humidity and thus to reversion. This is why it may take three or more minutes before the hair absorbs water during shampooing.

Applying oil so that the moisture does not easily enter the hair’s shaft is also an option. The oil will provide a barrier with effectiveness that is directly proportional to the weight of the oil. Oils, like rosemary, can also protect the hair from the sun, while offering deep conditioning. The combination of oil and sunlight can have the same effect as a hot oil treatment. When the use of oil is not feasible a hat or scarf should be worn.

Summer Styling Options

Waves, Waves and more Waves

After your hair is washed and conditioned, apply J Nissi Glossifier and Thirst Quencher moisturizer. Create approximately twenty medium sized braids. Roll the ends of the braids under and secure them with bobby pins. After about two hours or when the hair is slightly damp remove the braids. Now style the hair with your fingers. Do not use a comb because the hair will frizz. Your hair can be worn in an updo, ponytails or loosely styles. Whichever option you chose, you will have soft shiny waves that will be envied by all.