You know that meme with the super fuzzy rabbit making fun of the electrifying effects of humidity on hair? You know- Is it humid today?
Well, I hate to be that girl, but it’s a real thing, and you really haven’t experienced humidity until you’ve lived in the MidWest. Or at least somewhere other than Southern California. I’ve described California dry heat as ‘blistering’. And make no mistake- it is. But I would describe Illinois humid heat as oppressive. It is a different animal, and it wants to lick you in the face.
You see the grey, cloudy sky outside in August and it fools you. Boy, does it fool you. The temperature reads something like 78 but you then look at the “feels like”- more around 90. You step outside and you feel like a warm, wet dog has jumped on your back. Or like you’ve just walked into a mouth. You feel the urge to take a really, really long nap and your sentences suddenly go incoherent. Someone described walking outside in Midwestern humidity as “like trying to walk between the slices of your peanut butter sandwich”. Might be true.
But the hair. Oh, the hair. And irony of ironies, that I would choose this year to commit to bangs. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve met a single soul out here that also has bangs. Except for maybe the five year old boy with the bowl-cut-of-no-choice or the little girl with bangs that make her look like Matilda. It’s just me and the kindergarteners, because no grown woman would dare make the witless decision to cut bangs in weather that at times feels like trying to backstroke through butter. Bangs in humidity, when you’ve initially straightened or blown them out, seem to devolve within two minutes into one giant, self-inflicted cowlick that look like some awkward bird’s wing sticking out of your forehead.
But there are ways, believe it or not, of gaining back a sense of power and control over one’s hair in humidity. It’s not a set of fancy tricks, it doesn’t mean cutting all your hair off (though that is a solution), and it’s actually more of a practice in paradox than anything.
The secret to gaining control over hair in humidity is letting go.
Let. It. Go.
And I’d cue Elsa, but her climate is entirely inappropriate for our topic of discussion, so ignore the frosty connotations.
I woke up this morning knowing that it was a hair wash day for me (about every three days). However, I knew I’d have no time to dry it, and what on Earth would become of it once I stepped out into God’s Armpit?!? I had no time, but the wash had to happen. I actually packed my hair dryer and my straightener with me to bring to work, thinking I’d fix things once I got there or at least blow out my bangs (ha!). Again, no time. Got to work, got started with work right away. The only precaution I took were a few spritzes of Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Infusion on my wet hair before leaving. I also had neither the time or attention span to think of touching my hair once I got to work either. I just kept flipping it from side to side, without touching it or my bangs, hoping for the best.
And you know what? Here’s what I got:
Not too bad, eh? A deep, messy side part along with haphazard bangs also tossed to the side didn’t turn out half as poorly as I’d expected. Now, some of you are probably rolling your eyes saying, “Oh, my hair would never dry that way”. Well, keep in mind that this is where humidity actually helps. Humidity helps bring out wave and curl. And adding a product with some oils in it like the Surf Infusion will add definition to that wave or curl, and will also help to control some of the frizzies (though obviously not all). But, if you’re in dry heat, I can’t say your hair will dry this way because there probably won’t be enough moisture in the air to bring out good wave/curl.
This oil-infused Surf Infusion is also better for my hair because typical salt sprays tend to really dry mine out, and it’s dry to begin with. This spray feels extra hydrating without sacrificing the beachy effects.
So again, if you have hair that’s prone to frizz, I think one of the easiest ways to get frustrated with it in humid weather is by fighting that frizz. It’s honestly better to just roll with it. And don’t fight volume, either! Go ahead and flip your hair upside down and shake it out for the most volume you can get (so long as it’s already dry- avoid touching it at all while it’s still wet). Anytime I’ve tried to keep my hair remotely straight or smooth out here in the summer, it’s turned into a battle where I’m constantly touching it and constantly wanting to reapply something like Alterna Caviar’s CC Cream to keep things at bay. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
So all this to say, just stop fighting it. Besides, who doesn’t look okay with big hair? I mean seriously! Big, voluminous, crazy hair has always been fun, has always been je ne sais quois, and has always been associated with Beyonce. Or Diana Ross. Or someone else awesome that seems to be having a good time in life. Just go with it. xo, MR