Extra moisture in the air on hot, humid days causes the hair shaft to swell, bend and kink, creating wild waves and ferocious flyaways. We asked Claudine Baltazar, a Toronto hairstylist, and Jade Ward, a senior stylist at Lure Salon in Vancouver, to share their top tips for getting a polished ’do, even when the weatherman is calling for a bad hair day this summer.
1. Give your locks a deep treatment
Once a week after shampooing, gently squeeze the excess moisture out of your hair and use a wide-tooth comb to work a hair mask through your strands. (You can use it up to three times a week, if your hair is very dry or damaged.) Leave on for five minutes, or according to the package directions, allowing the product to fully absorb into your locks. For even better results, wrap your hair in a towel or cover it in a shower cap while the mask works its magic. “The heat that you trap inside will help open the hair shaft and allow the product to really soak in. Then when you rinse, use very cold water—I call it an Arctic rinse—to close up the hair cuticle and seal the product into every strand,” says Baltazar.
Read more: The biggest sunscreen myths debunked>
2. Towel dry the right way
Roughing up wet hair with a towel (like our mothers taught us) only creates more frizz. Instead, squeeze out extra moisture without rubbing. If your strands are particularly prone to frizz, you might want to switch to a softer material than terrycloth, like a microfibre towel or specialty hair wrap. Even an old cotton T-shirt will do the trick.
3. Sleep on it
A slept-in style gives your hair a much-needed break from heated styling tools that contribute to damage and frizz. Plus, an overnight ’do allows you to just wake up and go. Here’s how: Suds your hair at night using a smoothing shampoo and conditioner, then towel dry. Next create two loose braids or wrap slightly damp hair in Velcro rollers to sleep on overnight. In the morning you’ll have smooth waves or curls that will only require some minor finessing with your fingertips. “After the hair has been styled, finish off with an anti-humidity hairspray to block out moisture,” says Ward. Even regular hairspray will help create a barrier and keep frizz-producing moisture from making its way into your coif.
Read more: Facial oils — what’s all the fuss about?>
4. Use the right products
Anti-frizz serums and straightening mists do a good job of smoothing out straight or wavy hair without weighing it down. If you have colour-treated hair, opt for one with a UV-protectant to shield your locks from sun bleaching. Thick and very curly hair types require heavier oil-based or cream products to keep frizz in check. Before blow-drying or using a curling or flat iron, spritz on a heat-shield spray (suitable for all hair types) to protect from damage and frizz, then follow up with hairspray to set your tresses.
Read more: Hot mom hair — 3 no-fuss styles>
5. Keep your hands off
Once you’re out the door, resist the urge to run your fingers through your hair during the day. Curly hair in particular is prone to puffing up and losing its shape. “The more you fuss with it, especially on a humid day, the more frizz you’ll create,” says Baltazar.
Products we live, from left to right:
John Frieda Frizz Ease Heat Defeat Protective Styling Spray, $12, Well.ca
Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-frizz Serum, $10, Walmart.ca
Brazil Nut Define & No-frizz Hair Smoother, $12, Thebodyshop.ca
Superbly Smoothing Argan Hair Pak, $35, Kiehls.ca
Hydrate & Defrizz Kukui Oil Shampoo, $10, Ogxhair.com
A version of this article appeared in our July 2014 issue with the headline “Smooth moves,” p.32.
Stay in touch
Subscribe to Today's Parent's daily newsletter for our best parenting news, tips, essays and recipes.