Hair Vs Humidity: The Science Behind How Humidity Affects Hair

What you will learn about Frizz in high humidity from this article:
frizzy hair before and after

Humidity is a common weather condition that we associate with sticky, uncomfortable feelings AND frizzy, out-of-control hair. Fortunately, frizz-fighting formulas have come a long way! And there is hope, help and new hair product technologies to keep your hair smooth, frizz free and looking its best even in the worst humidity.

In this article, we’ll explore why humidity makes hair frizzy and how to prevent it from happening in the future. We’ll also look at how natural texture influences the effect humidity has, plus some of the best products available to combat frizz in 2023. 

 So if you want to know how to tame your locks on even the steamiest hot summer day, read on for some helpful tips!



 We’ve all experienced that “dreaded frizz” when humidity is high. Whether its stick straight, super curly, thin, thick or coarse, almost every hair type changes when the dew point goes up.  The result can be anything from a halo of fuzzy frizz to random curls popping up to puffed-out bushy volume or even extra wiry texture that feels coarser than usual.  

If your hair isn’t naturally smooth, sleek or straight, but you like to style it that way by blow-drying or flat-ironing, high humidity can un-do all your efforts in minutes.  And turn your hair back into its natural curly, frizzy texture. 

But what exactly causes this phenomenon? 

What causes frizz in high humidity?

If your hair’s outer cuticle layer doesn’t lay smooth, flat and tight but is even slightly a lid that’s ajar!... it’s a safe bet that important moisture has leached out, leaving your hair strands dry, dehydrated and porous. The more dry, dehydrated and porous your hair is, the more it craves moisture, and the more likely it is to be affected on steamy days when there is lots of water vapor in the air.

When moisture content in the air is greater than the moisture level in your hair...

Frizzy hair is caused by a lifted cuticle

Here’s what happens: in an effort to replenish the lost moisture, your hair, like a dry sponge, is ready to soak in any moisture from the atmosphere. And, also like a sponge, is ready to swell up and puff out from the moisture it takes in, leaving your hair a hot mess!  

Unless you’ve treated your hair with a powerful humidity-blocking product, you can definitely say bye-bye to any smooth, sleek blow-dry style you worked so hard to create.  


How the natural texture of your hair influences the effect humidity has

Straight, fine hair types

If you have fine, thin, straight hair (no curls or wave pattern) it will tend to go limp in damp, humid weather and styles will fall flat.  This is very frustrating for anyone who wants to add volume to their thin, fine limp hair

Curly hair types 

Naturally curly hair can frizz up and get super poofy in humid weather. But the real heartbreak happens when you’ve spent time blow-dry styling or flat-ironing your curly hair only to have it revert back to it’s original, frizzy state when you step outside in damp, humid weather. Has this happened to you? The frustration is real!


 How humidity makes hair frizz

When you style your wet curly hair with a blow-dryer, using a round or flat brush to shape the strands, you are actually restructuring hydrogen bonds in the hair. This is known as a “wet set” – it’s a temporary reconfiguration of your natural hair strands. 

Then, along comes HUMIDITY! It’s like an explosive water bomb to hair that’s been styled smooth.  Your blow-dried hair absorbs moisture from the environment, which infiltrates each strand, breaking down the temporary bonds you painstakingly created when styling. 

And boom, your hair reverts back to its natural curly, frizzy state.

How the condition of your hair influences the effect humidity has 

Damaged hair 

If you’ve inadvertently damaged your hair (and it’s easy to do If you heat style frequently without using protection) the cuticle will be raised, and your hair will become dry and dehydrated. That means your hair will seek moisture from the air and gets frizzy on humid days.  

Dry, dehydrated hair 

Hair that is extremely dry and dehydrated, either naturally or from chemical abuse (like overprocessing with peroxide) or too much heat styling, is EXTREMELY reactive to humidity. This type of hair literally has a “moisture void”.  The strands need heathy hydration at their inner core, and can absorb it, but they can’t hold onto it because of open cuticles.

What happens to high porosity hair in high humidity? 

High porosity hair is frizzy by nature, with a rough raised cuticle. In humid weather, it pulls in moisture from the atmosphere and becomes even puffier and much frizzier.  If high porosity hair has been styled to look smooth and sleek, humidity will cause it to revert back to its natural rough, curly/frizzy texture. 

What happens to low porosity hair in high humidity? 

If you’re one of the lucky ones born with low porosity hair, which has a naturally closed tight cuticle,  humidity is no problem to you.  Low porosity hair is naturally resistant to atmospheric moisture. 

Want to know more about hair porosity? Read this!

How can I stop frizz in high humidity?

It’s a fact: frizz can ruin your hairstyle, and ruin your whole day. Frizz is SO frustrating for so many women that Color Wow CEO Gail Federici has spent decades developing the most powerful anti-frizz formulas available today.  Thanks to her “frizzy hair” expertise and relentless efforts to create solutions to the universal problem of frizz, today there are easy treatments  to block humidity and new types of hair products to keep styles frizz-free for days.  

Understand your hair type 

Knowing exactly which products to use to keep your hair smooth and frizz free starts with understanding your hair type, texture and condition. 

Hydration is the key to fending off frizz 

One thing is true for all hair types: in high humidity, the best way to keep frizz at bay is to ensure your hair is well-hydrated and nourished. Moisturizing humectants, emollients and oils are the most important ingredients in combating frizz, as they help seal the cuticles to block out humidity.  If your hair is dry, dehydrated and porous, it also needs major moisturization within the stand to fill the “moisture void” and stop the urge to pull in frizz-causing humidity. 

A Run Down of the Best Products to Fight Frizz in 2023

The best way to fight frizz is to stop it from happening in the first place! Color Wow has developed the industry’s first family of moisture-repellent, humidity-blocking sprays that keep hair frizz free for days.  

For long-lasting frizz prevention, Dream Coat formulas are applied to wet hair before styling.  Which Dream Coat formula is right for you? Take the quiz!

Best Frizzy Hair Products: Dream Coat

1) Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray

This multi-award winning, anti-frizz treatment creates smooth, glossy, glassy that lasts through 3 washes. Ground-breaking humidity-blocking technology stops hair from going frizzy even in the worst humidity. 

Renowned Color Wow chemist, Dr. Joe Cincotta, explains that, “the formula contains a specialized polymer that, as your hair dries, begins to create interlinking polymer chains that coalesce into one big mesh on the surface of the hair. 

This weightless, molecular sheath provides a barrier (think raincoat) on the surface of the hair, so that your freshly blown-dry hair stays impervious to weather, no matter how high the humidity and lasts through three washes”. 

Best Frizzy Hair Products: Dream Coat Extra Strength

2) Extra Strength Dream Coat 

For those who have extremely dry, dehydrated and porous hair, or those who have extremely curly/coily hair, this powerful formula is your must-have miracle-worker to fight the effects of humidity.  It has all the “humidity-blocking” power of Dream Coat Supernatural Spray but is supercharged with extra moisturizing properties (to fill hair’s inner moisture void) plus super-strong, cuticle-clamping polymers to keep hair silky, smooth and frizz-resistant in the highest humidity. Finally! Smooth, humidity-proof style that lasts up to 3-4 shampoos.

Best Frizzy Hair Products: Dream Coat curly

3) Color Wow Dream Coat for Curly Hair

Dream Coat for Curly is an all-in-one curl styling spray that creates a lightweight yet protective barrier against humidity that won’t weigh curls down. This non-greasy moisturizing spray features a special polymer blend that helps curls hold their shape even when exposed to moisture-filled air; this makes it perfect for humid climates!


For on-the-spot frizz fixes when your style starts to go wild from humidity:

Best Frizzy Hair Products: One Minute Transformation Frizz Cream

4) Color Wow One Minute Transformation

This non-greasy cream is the key to an instant frizz fix,  on-the-go. This is not a conditioner you put on wet hair in the shower – you actually apply a bit of this styling cream to dry hair and brush through.  It’s like the world’s fastest shortcut to a blowout look! In just one minute, you silky smooth style that’s free from flyaways and frizz - no matter how humid it gets outside!

Best Frizzy Hair Products: Pop & Lock Frizz Serum

5) Color Wow Pop & Lock Glossing Serum

This serum/oil hybrid smooths frizz, temporarily seals split ends and makes your color pop! Plus, its weightless formula won't leave your locks greasy or weighed down - perfect for achieving gorgeous glossy locks without sacrificing volume!



How can I keep my hair straight all day in humidity: 

Keeping hair moisturized and healthy is the first step to keeping hair straight in humidity. But using either Dream Coat Supernatural Spray (on straight or curly frizz-prone hair) or Extra Strength Dream Coat (on dry, dehydrated hair or curly/coily hair)  is the ultimate key to unlocking straight, long-lasting, humidity-resistant hair. 

Is humidity good for my hair? 

High levels of humidity can cause frizz and make hair appear more voluminous, which can be a good thing for those with fine or flat hair. However, for those with naturally curly or coarse hair, high humidity can cause the hair to become unruly and difficult to manage. Additionally, high humidity can lead to excess sweating and greasy hair. So while some people may appreciate the added volume and texture that humidity can bring to their hair, others may find it to be more of a challenge. It's important to understand your hair type and how it reacts to different levels of humidity, and to use appropriate hair care products to manage your hair in any weather condition.

 How often should you wash frizzy hair? 

In general, it's recommended to wash frizzy hair every 2-3 days to avoid stripping it of its natural oils, which can make it even more prone to frizz. However, how often you should wash your hair depends on your hair type, scalp condition, and lifestyle, so it's important to listen to your hair and adjust your washing frequency as needed.




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