What Makes Hair Go Curly When it Rains?

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If you have long hair, you probably don’t need to look up a weather report to get an idea of how much humidity’s in the air: You can simply grab a fistful of hair. Straight hair goes wavy and if you have curly hair, humidity turns it curlier or even frizzy. Why? Because human hair is extremely sensitive to humidity, specifically the chemical element Hydrogen.

The majority of your hair is made up of long keratin proteins. These keratin proteins are chemically bonded together in two different ways.

The first, a disulfide bond, is permanent—it’s responsible for the hair’s strength—and isn’t affected by the level of humidity in the air.

The second is a hydrogen bond, which is much weaker and temporary, with hydrogen bonds breaking and new ones forming each time your hair gets wet and dries again. (This is the reason why, if your hair dries in one shape, it tends to hold that shape until it’s wet again).

On a humid day the air has a much higher number of water molecules (and therefore Hydrogen – the H in H2O) than dry air. When hair is exposed to this humid air it forms many more hydrogen bonds. When these bonds are formed between the keratin proteins in a strand of hair, it causes the hair to fold back on itself at the molecular level. When more hydrogen bonds are formed than usual, it causes naturally wavy or curly hair to become curlier or frizzier – Now you know!

Tired of frizz? We love KEVIN.MURPHY’s Smooth again wash, rinse, and treatment to eliminate frizz, leaving you with smoother, silkier more touchable hair.

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Caring For Naturally Curly Hair

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image via kevinmurphy.com.au

“Managing” is a word that gets thrown around a lot when talking about naturally curly hair.  Women with natural curls often believe that their hair needs to be flat ironed, weighed down, chemically relaxed, covered up, or tied back to look good.

If you’re ready to step away from the flat irons and give your hair a rest, here’s how to celebrate your natural curls.

 

Styling Naturally Curly Hair
Styling curly hair can be a challenge as everyones hair is different. The general consensus is that the less we disturb the hair the better it is; just use a product to control the frizz and define the curls. Air drying, if possible, is ideal as it allows your curls to form without disturbance.

Pro tip:

Using a hairnet is a great help when air drying or sleeping, as it prevents the hair from frizzing up.

Using Styling Products on Curly Hair

It is important to get every strand of hair when applying styling products to curly hair. If you miss a section, it will really show up. The nape and temple tend to be forgotten areas, but that is where frizz comes out first (since that’s where we sweat most). To distribute product evenly, apply it in sections, then comb through.

Applying product when your hair is wet will also help you to easily distribute the product and tends to make the hair behave better.

When applying product to dry hair, apply products using your hands –  a brush or a tight comb will encourage frizziness and unruly texture.

Detangling Curly Hair

Detangling curly hair can be difficult as it can cause frizziness. Using a comb in the shower while you condition or treat your hair is the best way to detangle while avoiding frizz. Be gentle, and don’t comb at all when the hair is dry or drying.

Cutting Curly Hair

The way curly hair is cut is a big factor in how curls behave. For example, cutting with the curl will give a softer cleaner look, and cutting against the curl will give a more textured feel.

If you want defined, frizz-free curls with a lot of volume, remove weight by thinning the hair and following the natural curl formation. Avoid traditional layers because it will encourage frizz.

Washing Curly Hair
How often you choose to wash your hair depends on how you like your hair to feel and how your hair reacts to being washed.

If it is fine, wash more often as the curl will need to be reactivated. For thick, curly hair, it’s generally better to wash no more than twice a week.