Curly Hair and Humidity

Long curly hair in humid weather
Photo: Progressman/Shutterstock
Q: The humidity here in Miami, Florida, is terrible. Having curly hair is not helpful at all. If I don't put any products on my hair, it will look like a puffy cotton ball, so whenever I wash my hair, I put mousse and hairspray, and I blow dry it with the diffuser.
I have to say, it looks great, but my hair gets really hard like straw. What product would you recommend that would make my curls look nice and swirl, and will take away frizz, but at the same time won't make my hair so stiff? Thanks!

A: Having hair that is affected by humidity is a common problem for curly-haired women in tropical and/or coastal climates.
The key to coping with naturally curly hair in such situations is using the kind of products that will help to protect the hair from the humidity. This is accomplished by using products that will help to seal the cuticle of the hair and make it less penetrable by the moisture in the air.
In many cases, it takes more than just a single hair product to get the longlasting results most women want. Here are some tips for making the hair better able to resist the humidity:
 •  Use a good "smoothing" conditioner every day. The better condition your hair is in, the smoother the cuticle layer is likely to be, and the less porous the hair will be. Less porosity in the hair means less effect from humidity and moisture in the air.
 •  Use a liberal application of anti-frizz serum to the hair while it is still wet and comb it through the hair to evenly distribute the product through the hair. These (usually silicone-based) products coat the hair shaft and seal the cuticle layer from penetration by outside moisture, helping to prevent frizz and keeping the hair smooth.
 •  For styling product, use a wax-based mousse applied to towel-dried hair and combed through to distribute it evenly.
After these steps, you can style the hair by separating and wrapping the hair in thin segments around the fingers, creating coils and allowing the hair to airdry naturally. You can also use a diffused hair dryer to get the hair mostly dry, and then use the fingers to smooth and separate the hair into coils.
The benefit of the wax-based styling mousse is that it remains pliable, allowing you to tweak your hairstyle as needed throughout the day. It also better seals the cuticle layer of the hair shaft, preventing frizz and protecting from the effects of humidity. The resultant curls will be firm, but will not get hard or feel brittle.
See also:
Curly hair and hairstyles
How to maintain your hair in humid weather
Maintaining curly hair in different climates
What hairspray should I use to keep my curly hair from frizzing in humidity?