Is this you?
Feeling frustrated and hopeless after you’ve spent what seems like hours to straighten or curl your hair, to arrive at a dinner or meeting AND you can almost feel your hair being attacked by your silent enemy.. HUMIDITY! Yes, this is what caused your straightened locks to frizz up and laboriously constructed curls to drop limp.
Let us uncover and explain the structure of your hair scientifically, what humidity actually is, how it affects our hair and how to tackle it.
When the air is humid, high levels of hydrogen are present. (Remember, water is two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen). Humidity in the air causes a change in the way these protein bundles in the hair bind together. When hydrogen bonds form between the proteins and water molecules in your hair, it will become curly and, potentially, frizzy.
The chemical makeup of human hair is extremely sensitive to airborne hydrogen. A cross-section of an individual hair reveals many layers. The middle layer of the hair comprises of coiled bundles of keratin proteins. These bundles are held together by chemical bonds, created either by neighboring sulfur atoms or hydrogen atoms.
The permanent bonds of sulfur atoms aren't affected by humidity; they help give hair its strength. The hydrogen atom bonds give hair its temporary shape. Every time wet hair dries, the hydrogen atoms reform their bonds with hydrogen atoms on neighboring strands of keratin protein, and these bonds hold until the hair is wet again.
So when you blow dry your hair straight or curly, you start with wet hair, breaking the hydrogen bonds using heat, and when it dries, new bonds will form in the new shape the hair is in and it will stay in that shape until it gets wet again. Hydrogen bonds are also responsible for the bedhead you wake up with after falling asleep with wet hair.
Similar to this, humidity is moisture in the air: it breaks the hydrogen bonds, causes the hair to swell a little bit, and that means the hair becomes wavy or frizzy when it dries in its new shape. Hair that is overly dry from chemically based hair treatments is particularly susceptible (keeping hair well moisturized can help you avoid frizz).
That was a bit…techy, I know. What you need to remember is this - There are two types of bonds: very strong disulfide bonds (which are only broken and reformed by permanent curling and straightening treatments) and weaker hydrogen bonds, which are broken by water.
When it comes to styling your hair in a humid climate, our honest advice is that "no styling product" will manage to completely solve the problem. Your hair won't hold a curl or keep a straight shape in a humid climate.
In England there is on average 133 days in a year that are either raining or snowing. The humidity levels are 69-92% (anything above 50% is quite humid).
So, what hope do you have? Well, as we advise our clients daily, keratin treatment is the perfect solution for tackling humidity, adding shine and softness to your hair… I know I can just go on and on…but don’t just take my word for it. Simply do it!
Our keratin smoothing products
Please contact us for advice or more information on our products and online courses.