I don’t know about you, but I was not blessed with model-perfect hair. It’s not straight, it’s not curly, it doesn’t respond well to humidity, and it looks absolutely disgusting if I don’t wash it every. single. day.
I used to spend hours trying to make my hair look perfect, and after a lot of time, practice, patience, hair products, tears, and sweat, I have FINALLY mastered the air of not only straightening my hair, but making it last on hot and humid summer days.
And since it takes half the time for me to get boring straight hair than it does to get sexy curly hair, I decided to share all 10 of my tips to teach you how to get humid-resistant straight hair before the muggy weather hits.
1. START IN THE SHOWER
Unless you were born with pin-straight hair, straightening your locks requires a lot of heat from blow dryers and flat irons, which can be really damaging, so make sure to treat your hair to a good shampoo and conditioner. Some will argue you should use salon shampoos and conditioners as they have fewer sulfates and more vitamins, oils, and minerals to keep your hair healthy, but there are heaps of decent drugstore alternatives out there that are just as fabulous (in my opinion). My favorite is the Pantene Pro-V Smooth & Sleek Shampoo & Conditioner, but you can find lots of other options for your hair type and budget in this list of the 19 best drugstore shampoos over on totalbeauty.com.
2. INVEST IN A GOOD STRAIGHTENING BALM
While I am not one to splurge on shampoos and conditioners, I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to straightening balms and smoothing creams as I find they make a world of difference when it comes to protecting my hair from heat damage and keeping it straight on hot, humid days. I’ve splurged on loads of different products over the years, and my favorites are Agave Healing Oil Treatment and PHYTO PHYTODÉFRISANT Botanical Straightening Balm, but when my wallet just can’t justify the expense, I also have a lot of luck with L’Oreal Studio Line Hot Straight Heat-Activated Straightening Cream.
3. REMOVE AS MUCH MOISTURE AS POSSIBLE
My hairdresser once told me the secret to straight hair is making sure it is COMPLETELY dry before you step out into hot, humid, and/or rainy weather, so before I start to style my hair, I make sure it’s 80% dry. For a long time, this meant I would dry my hair upside down, but I eventually realized this was adding unwanted volume to my hair, so now I keep my body right-side-up and run my blow dryer over my locks while simultaneously using my fingers as a comb.
4. STYLE IN SECTIONS
I don’t think I really need to elaborate on this step as it’s pretty obvious and self-explanatory, but I do want to point out that if you have thick and/or curly hair, you will have more luck with the straightening process if you divide your hair into more sections. It may take you more time to dry and style, but the end result is definitely worth the extra effort!
5. USE THE RIGHT BRUSH
When pin-straight, sleek hair was in style, I always opted for a paddle brush over a rounded brush as it helped ensure the ends of my hair didn’t curl under, but now that messy, wind-blown hair is all the rage, I’m all about rounded brushes again. And unlike most people, I find Boar Bristle Hair Brushes to be really hard to use, so I opt for the Spornette Ion Fusion Aerated Rounding Brush 3 in. instead. Not only does it cut down on my drying time, but it also does a really good job in eliminated unwanted frizz!
6. DRY AND STRAIGHTEN AT THE SAME TIME
For years, my straightening technique consisted of drying my hair in sections until it was completely dry, and then clipping it all back on top of my head so I could straighten it in sections with my flat iron. The end result was always a good one, but I often found the clips would leave “dents” all over my hair, which always increased my styling time. So one day I tried to dry AND straighten each section of hair at the same time, and I was amazed at how much faster the whole process was.
7. DON’T SCRIMP ON YOUR FLAT IRON
I am not overly picky when it comes to blow dryers as I find professional brands aren’t THAT much better than top-of-the-line drugstore ones, but I’ve learned from experience that you should never, EVER, scrimp when it comes to buying a flat iron. I’ve been using the BaBylissPro™ Nano Titanium™ 1-1/4%22 Titanium-Plated Straightening Iron for about 2 years now with no complaints, but this list of Top 10 Flat Irons over on Folica has some other great options as well.
8. PROTECT, PROTECT, PROTECT!
Before taking a flat iron to your hair, you MUST apply a heat protecting spray. And I don’t mean you should just spray it all over your head and call it a day. Nope. You have to apply it to every single layer of hair that is going to come into contact with your flat iron so you don’t damage your locks. I like Nexxus® Pro-Mend Heat Protection Styling Spray, but on days when my husband is threatening to take my Visa away from me if I buy one more beauty product, I’m happy to use TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray.
9. GIVE YOUR TEMPLES SOME TLC
To avoid having the hairs around my face curl whenever I sweat, I always apply a tiny bit of water to my temples after I’m finished blow drying and straightening the rest of my hair, and then I blow dry the hair in those sections away from my face using a small, round brush. I have no idea why, but this makes a huge difference in keeping those unwanted fly-away curls from sprouting along my hairline when it’s hot and humid outside.
10. SEAL THE DEAL
Once you’re happy with your look, lock it in with some anti-humidity hair spray. I’m currently crushing on Serge Normant Meta Luxe Hair Spray, but check out this awesome list of anti-humidity hairsprays over on Good Housekeeping for more options.
11. BONUS TIP
On those days when it’s REALLY hot and muggy outside, I have learned that the best thing, for my hair anyway, is to hold off on the hairspray and loosely clip half of my hair up with a small Goody Claw Clip until I reach my final destination. This helps keep my hair from taking on a life of its own while I’m out in the elements, and once I remove the clip, run my fingers through my hair, and spray a little bit of anti-humidity spray on my locks, you’d think I had naturally-straight, model-perfect hair.
(Even though you and I both know that’s not true!)