We’ve all had this happen: we step off the airplane in some exotic (or not so exotic) destination and the air is so hot and thick it’s like falling facedown into a swamp. We run for a mirror and, just as we feared, all those beautiful, bouncy waves are sadder than a flat balloon.
The holidays might not seem like a hazardous time for hair but, because so many of us make a dash for warmer climates we do, indeed, dive headfirst into curl melting weather. We can prepare for some of these risky situations.
- Don’t rely on free hotel shampoos and conditioners. A lot of these have sulfates that can pull color from your hair. That’s a huge bummer if you just spent a fortune getting your hair done. Not all of these hotel freebies are cheap, and they can be fun to try, but if you get great results from products in your shower at home, take them with you in small containers to clear airport security.
- Headed to Florida? I love Florida. It’s so warm and beautiful but the humidity can wreak havoc on hair, less so in winter, but it’s still challenging. Don’t use shampoos, conditioners or other products that put oils in your hair. That will only add to the problem, making your locks even more limp and flat. Instead, look for humidity resistant products.
- If you naturally have curls, your locks probably get kinky in humid climates. You can counter some of this with max-hold gels and hair mousse. Again, look for products specially formulated to do battle with humidity.
- How about Las Vegas? Also hot, but typically very dry, conditions that can leave you hair ‘staticky’ and frizzy, and also brittle and vulnerable to breaking. If you spend Christmas Day jumping in and out of a pool, that will leach even more nutrients. So, here you want to go with those nourishing conditioners to revitalize your locks before heading out to a show or lucky night at the blackjack table.
- Skiing in Vail or Aspen? This is cold and snowy but, ironically, high in the Rockies that also means that it can be very dry, and you’re typically wearing hats and helmets. Use those nourishing conditioners, carry a compact brush for cocoa breaks in the lodge.
- Don’t forget to take care of your skin, especially your scalp, which can get very dry and itchy in some of these climates. If that happens, consider a nourishing oil or conditioner specifically for your scalp, and a hat to protect you from dangerous sunburn.
- Remember to have fun. Be flexible. Some of what you encounter, you’ll simply need to accept. Roll with it. Don’t insist on huge wavy locks on a balmy beach. You need a helmet if you’re skiing so go ahead and pull your hair into a ponytail.
When you get back to the routine calm and tranquility of home life (yeah, right), treat your hair to a clarifying shampoo to remove all the hard water deposits, greasy sweat build-up … whatever! You can find these clarifying shampoos on the shelf or you can make one with some baking soda and water by mixing it into a thick liquid. Let it sit in your hair for a few minutes, gently massage, then rinse and follow with your favorite conditioner or rejuvenating oil treatment. Really clean hair is a wonderful thing.