Post-July and pre-Labor Day: we’re deep into summer, grab a seat. But don’t sit for too long because you know how that goes… 90 degree heat plus humidity as comfortable as a wet sweater leads to boob sweat, and then thigh sweat, and then yes, dear old friend, butt sweat. So are you up now? Great. Just be careful as you get walking since thigh chafe has a funny way of showing up these days. And then look down at those toes of yours—10 piggly wigglies, how cute! But underneath? Quelle horreur! City dirt glued to the bottom of your feet, right where they meet your sandals. You can deo to oblivion, cool down with your portable fan, anti-chafe your legs and wipe away the horrors that lurk on your feet. But please, of all the summer beauty woes you’d like to address I’m telling you now: give in to humidity hair.
Humidity! I understand its bad rap. She’s an uncomfortable bitch you’ve got to live with. And for a long time I hated what it did to my hair more than anything else. The hair that I spent hours straightening in the bathroom, as I wore a whisper of clothing so as to not immediately undo my hard work, only to watch it poof out like a Chia Pet on Miracle Grow the moment I stepped past my front door’s threshold. My poor husband, who likes his showers alarmingly hot and steamy, would get read the riot act if he dared to soap up after I’d already done my hair. “You’re married to a Black woman with Black hair!” Our bathroom walls would echo if they could talk. “Cut these hot showers out!”
Even when I’d wear my hair curly, I’d fight humidity frizz like I had something to prove. The content of my curl creams was more silicone-laden than a Beverly Hills doctor’s office. I had de-frizz hair sheets—like dryer sheets, but for your head. And the anti-frizz sprays! So many. While some of these things really did work at warding off the inevitable humidity poof for a while, what I’ve learned through all these years is something I never expected at all. I like my humidity hair.
I like what humidity does to my hair so much that I’m upset I didn’t come to this conclusion long before. The humidity delivers what no product or machine can do. Those tiny water molecules plump my curls, and give it levity and weightless bounce. The flyaways are charming! Why did I want to give this all up? I have a friend who was lightyears ahead of me on this one. She’s a singer, and she’d warm her vocal chords in her bathroom while the shower ran hot. As the steam helped her hit all the right notes, she noticed that her curls would spring into action as well. And then more recently a friend was raving about her new humidifier purchase. “Is it doing wonders for your skin?” I asked. “Maybe, but my curls have never looked more alive!”
These days my curl routine has never been simpler. After a co-wash or shampoo and conditioner session, I dry off with a microfiber towel. And then I add a touch of curl cream, and that’s it. If I’m lucky and humidity strikes on wash day, I know my curls will dry with an extra bounce. And on less humid days I manufacture my own weather with a humidifier of my own. I’ve spent God knows how much on anti-frizz this, anti-frizz that, but please take this advice above all else: stop fighting and give in. You’ll like what you see.
Photo via ITG