The humidity has really taken a toll on my happiness this summer. I'm not just talking about my mental happiness; my hair happiness was suffering major summer blues until I found the best hairstyles for humidity. Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air, which is why our bods feel sticky and disgusting on days with 60 percent humidity (I'm talking to all you New Yorkers, out there!). Nearly all hair types suffer when this type of weather hits. Since there is moisture in the air, you would think that would mean your hair is staying hydrated, right? In reality your hair is frizzing, sticking, and most likely suffering from dryness because of the sun's strong rays.
Now, most of us try to at least leave the house like we are bathed humans with a shred of dignity. Yet, just 20 minutes in the humidity can leave our all our hair hard work in shambles. Fortunately, there are some hairstyles that can save our hair appearance while actually keeping the humidity and sun from causing additional damage. I'm always on the hunt for easy, fun protective styles that will keep my hair on fleek sans damage, so I enlisted Kirsten Stuke from Sally Hershberger Salon in NYC to help me come up with five hairstyles for different textures that will help your strands thrive in the humidity. Spoiler: Twists and braids are your friends.
1. The Twist Out
For all hair types, but especially kinky, coily hair, the twist out is the ultimate move for a humid day. It will make sure that all your strands are protected from losing moisture, plus it will keep your hair from shrinking into a tangled mess. This style is great for all hair lengths; I recommend those with longer hair go smaller with their twists to retain more moisture.
To get the look, part your deep conditioned hair with a rat-tail comb and then twist your hair in sections. After my twists are done, I like to use castor oil with lavender essential oil to smooth out future frizziness between my twists. This will make your style last longer. If your hair is long enough, pull your twists into a ponytail.
2. The Two Strand Crown Braid
The crown braid is made for all hair types and, just like denim, everyone looks good in it. This style does work best on medium to long hair, unless you are seriously talented at crafting cornrows. I like to part my freshly conditioned and detangled hair on the side, then start a two strand twist close to my face, around my head. Then, I repeat the next section and twist the ends together. This style keeps your ends and hair strands protected.
3. The Top Knot
New York city streets are flooded with women with tight buns on top of their head this summer. And why not? It's a super easy, effective way to get that hair out of the humidity and still look fly while doing it. Scoop up your hair and twist it in a circular motion continuously until your hair is all together. Then, use bobby pins or a cute scrunchy (yes, scrunchies are cool again) to keep it tight. As a bonus, the topknot is a great way to add a little texture to super straight hair, especially if you start with wet strands and let them down once they're dry.
4. The Single Dutch Braid
According to hair stylist, Kirsten Stuke, achieving the Dutch braid is a fairly simple task. "Always braid the pieces under each other. With a French braid you are braiding the strands over one another. [For a Dutch braid], start with three small strands and gradually add slices of hair from either side as you braid. The key to placement is remembering that wherever you hold your hands or fingers while braiding is where the braid will be, so keep your hands centered!"
5. The Three Strand Crown Braid
A two-strand crown braid is easy for kinky, thick hair, but finer textures may have a problem holding only two strands together. If that's the case, Kirsten has a great three-strand crown braid that can give the same effect of protection and class. "I started a Dutch braid or corn row on the top left and just braided all the way around adding pieces and then bobby pinned it over where I started." Pretty simple for such an elegant braid!
6. The Knot Out
This was my fave style when my hair was super short. The knot out is an easy wash-n-go style for transitioning hair or just short kinks. Make sure your hair is deep conditioned and detangled, then section your hair into eight parts (you can decide how big and how many knots you want). Next, with your index finger, twist each section of hair around your finger (you may notice this works best in smaller sections). Viola! You've got cute sexy knots that the humidity can't even fuss with.
7. The Braid 'N' Go
This look from Kirsten can be achieved regardless of your braid skills. Section your hair into three sections, and perform the type of braid you are most comfortable with on each section. Whether you choose a two-strand twist, a French braid, cornrows, or the Dutch braid, you'll get a similar effect. Stop your braid(s) where you want your hair to spill out and use bobby pins to keep your braids intact. Use an ouchless hair elastic to scoop up the loose hair into a messy bun or just let it flow down your back. No matter which variation you choose, you're pretty much guaranteed to stay frizz free all day!
Images: Kristin Collins Jackson, Rosanne Salvatore/Bustle; Courtesy of Kirsten Stuke; Courtesy of Shareefah Mapp