Do I Need a Humectant?
This entry was posted on February 8, 2008.
"I'm going on a trip to Miami and it's very hot and humid there. I love the sunshine, but whenever I go there I have very bad hair days. I never know what to put on my hair in that weather. Should I use a humectant or an anti-humectant? What is the difference?" - Betsy, via email
Hi Betsy! I have thick, curly hair and I definitely consider humidity my #1 arch enemy. It's one of the biggest contributors to bad hair days everywhere and it's very hard to avoid. Face it, you can't escape the weather. Even when you're inside the humidity will find you, but there are certain products to help you repel it.
On humid days, hair seems to quickly soak in the extra moisture from the air leaving you looking like the top contender in a frizzy hair contest. But what to do? You want to find a product that provides a barrier between your hair and the air's moisture. Curly or straight, you want an anti-humectant.
A good anti-humectant is a non-water based product (obviously you don't want more moisture) that will coat your hair strands and keep the moisture out. Think waxes, serums, silicones and shine products. Anything that provides a barrier between your hair and the environment. Top anti-humectants are:
BioSilk Silk Therapy, Terax Gloss Finishing Serum, Bumble and bumble Sumotech Pomade, Biolage Smoothing Serum, Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream (pictured).
A humectant product does just the opposite, it preserves moisture in the hair. If your hair is dry, parched and lacks hydration you want a product that will help increase the moisture content. You should be on the lookout for any water based products dedicated to hydrating and conditioning your hair. These products will help moisturize the hair strands:
L'anza Tamanu Cream Shampoo, Kerastase Nutritive Bain Satin 3 Shampoo, L'anza Kukui Nut Conditioner, Bumble and bumble Tonic Lotion.
Don't be surprised if you need both at the same time, especially if your hair is on the dry side. Try a hydrating shampoo and conditioner (humectants) to replace the moisture in your hair, and then follow with a smoothing balm and shine serum (anti-humectants) to style your strands and lock out the dreaded "H" word - humidity.