Haircare for Hot or Humid Conditions


Our hair becomes a mystery when it is subjected to different climate conditions. By Sofea Famian.

We all want the hair that we see on television ads. We want the smooth, silky and shiny hair to run our fingers through. What most people do not realise is that the woman in the commercial has products in her hair. Plus, her hair has been professionally blow-dried. A million stylists worked to make her hair look, well, smooth, silky and shiny. What’s more, she also has tons of lights angled to maximise the shine of her hair follicles. Perhaps, realising what goes on behind the making of hair commercials is the first step towards gaining a more realistic goal for your own hair.

There are three major categories in the thickness of hair: fine, medium and thick. The two basic categories of texture are straight or curly. In the curly category, there are subcategories: frizzy, kinky, wavy and rings. The thickness and the texture of hair determine how it will react when exposed to the dry heat or wet humidity of a hot climate.


Remember the two-in-one shampoo-and-conditioner hair products of the 90s? Sorry, but nothing yet can cleanse away and add oils to your hair at the same time. The cleansers just couldn’t differentiate between ‘bad’ oils (grime and goop) and ‘good’ oils (olive extract and shea butter). We ended up with all sorts of extra stuff on our hair than when we started! Thankfully, the beauty industry has developed hair products with more tailored functions in recent years.

No matter what their hair texture is, those living in a very hot and dry climate need to moisturise their hair. Otherwise, just like your skin, your hair will dry out and become coarse and brittle. Use moisturising shampoo and conditioner on top of a monthly or fortnightly dose of leave-in conditioner or hair mask. Use products that address your specific hair thickness – if yours is fine, straight hair, use only a leave-in conditioner very sparingly at hair ends because it will weigh down already-flat hair.


Those living in hot and humid areas should deal with the humidity very differently. Hair absorbs the moisture in the air in humid environments. That’s what causes your hair to be frizzy, curl up, fly away or even turn all Afro on you. Those with straight hair fare slightly better – their hair will look flatter than normal. A medium-heat blow-dry usually does the trick.

Humidity means that you don’t need more moisture for your hair. You may still need to continue working on the shine of your hair with a light application of hair serum, but as far as conditioners are concerned, a light one will do. If you use styling tools and heat on your hair regularly – but of course, with all that frizzy action going on in the tropics – just be sure to protect your hair with hair serum, especially at the ends. To deal with the frizz, go for anti-curly or anti-frizz products, available in spray, cream and mousse forms.

Hot climates that are either dry or humid can wreak havoc on your hair and dent your self-confidence, especially if you have moved from a place with one type of climate to a new region with the opposite. After all, unlike the locals, you haven’t had a lifetime to understand how your hair works there.

It is therefore very important that you understand how hair responds to very hot and dry, or very hot and humid, conditions.

Remember, no matter what styling problems you have with your hair, at least you are blessed with a crowning glory.

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