How to Weatherproof Your Hair

The forecast doesn’t only determine what we wear, but how our hair is going to act — which means our entire mood can depend on Mr. Weatherman.

But StyleList is staging an intervention on how to weatherproof your hair.

We’ve asked top experts how to use today’s advanced product technology and their best styling tips to make sure our hair looks fabulous, no matter what the five-day forecast.

So humidity and thunderstorms, step aside; we’re about to rock a good hair day.


Whether you live in New York, Seattle or Chicago, a rainy day can dampen even the best styling plans. San Diego salon owner Jet Rhys says to stay away from waxes and gels on drizzly days, as hair will immediately flatten and become sticky if it comes in contact with droplets or flurries of moisture. Instead, opt for a lightweight styling spray like Shu Uemura Art of Hair Depsea Water that leaves behind no residue or buildup.

An emergency hair kit could also come in handy. “Keep a little pouch in your purse with a mini brush, hair elastics and pins. If your hair gets wet, it will look chic if you pull it back,” suggests Rhys. A simple twisted chignon secured with an elastic and pinned to just above the nape of the neck is an elegant way to use stormy weather to your styling advantage. Try a deep side part to make it look even more intentional.

Dry Heat

When the thermometer tips over 90 degrees in desert cities like Las Vegas, “dry heat” takes on a whole new meaning. Celebrity stylist Oribe says the best way to counteract the damage such strong rays of sun wreak on strands is to choose moisturizing products like hair masks in the shower and styling cream before you step out into the heat.

You’ll also want to unplug that flatiron on scorching days. “Women tend to straighten their hair too much and force it into an unnatural style. Embrace your hair’s texture and wear it more natural on hot days,” advises Oribe.

To encourage the easiest hair texture — waves — run a product like Oribe Curl by Definition Crème through hair while it’s flipped upside down, and quickly work a blow-dryer over your hair without the tug of a brush. Throw hair back and spray with a soft-hold hairspray. “You’ll get full, natural, rough-looking texture,” says Oribe.


Not surprisingly, Rhys suggests not fighting hair’s most treacherous enemy. But it’s less about working with the texture of your hair, which will want to frizz no matter how you style it, than it is about arming your strands with all the tools it needs to not react with a pouf to high humidity.

Apply a light silicone product like Avon’s Anti-Frizz Lotus Shield serum to cocoon strands in a layer of protection that fills the dips and splits in hair that generate frizz. Because even the lightest silicone products can build up on the scalp, you’ll want to use a clarifying wash like Neutrogena’s Anti-Residue shampoo or an apple-cider vinegar rinse every once in a while to maintain a fresh feel.

Once your silicone serum is applied, distribute evenly with a wide-tooth comb, and then dry hair thoroughly until bone dry, using the cold-shot setting if most comfortable. Leaving no room for moisture is your best weapon against frizz, as are braided, coiled and pinned styles that keep strands sleek by trapping out humid air.


Kate Middleton windy hair weatherproof your hairQueen-to-Be Kate Middleton saves face on a windy day. Photo: AP Photo/Peter Morrison

Your morning styling routine can feel fruitless when you step out into high winds that tousle your locks right out of their style. “Products with memory are great so that when the wind stops blowing, you can run your hands through your hair, and the style will come back,” advises Oribe.

A workable gel like Oribe Gel Serum or Paul Mitchell’s Super Skinny Serum smoothes and conditions while providing hold. If applied before styling, the gentle hold will allow hair to move with the wind, but will return to its original shape when finger-combed back into place. The trick is to set your style with heat and wait a few minutes or run a dryer on the cool button to set before you step out the door.

If you have wispy face-framing layers or are growing bangs out, today’s the day to wear a headband, or else risk picking flyaways out of your lip gloss all day long. Cloth bands like these sleek styles by Goody are your best bet at keep strands smoothly pulled back; pair a thin strap with a bun for a balletic touch, or opt for a thick band with a teased crown for a retro feel.

Cold Freeze

Frosty air can zap the moisture out of your hair, resulting in pesky static that refuses to lie flat. But why do some suffer with static regularly, while others are hardly ever bothered by it? Rhys says the most common culprit is over-shampooing, which can strip natural oils from your hair, causing static electricity.

The best fix is to simply skip a day or two of washing, though if you can’t, spraying a leave-in conditioner all over hair to fortify the strand with moisture will also help. If you’re especially plagued by static, switch to a sulfate-free and non-foaming product like Wen by Chaz Dean’s Cleansing Conditioner when the weather is cold.

If static catches you midday, you can still stop it in its tracks. Simply spray your hairbrush with Static Guard and then run it through your hair, suggests Rhys. Keeping fabric softener sheets in your purse can come in handy too, as you can reuse the same sheet several times to run over hair to kill static.

Salty Beach Air

Salt and moisture hang in the air at the beach so heavily that it can deposit in your hair, leaving a gummy and often tangled mess that invites damaging breakage when you attempt to brush through later. For greatest manageability, raking a conditioner like Oribe Foundation Mist or Frizz-Ease Daily Nourish Spray through hair and then claw-clipping into an easy French twist will seal in moisture, nourish hair and protect it from the damaging rays of the sun.

You can even turn a day at the beach into an opportunity to indulge in a luxe spa-like treatment by brushing freshly washed strands in argan oil or your favorite deep conditioner before gently twisting up and away from your face. The warmth of the sun will help the treatment penetrate the cuticle, and you get to enjoy the deliciously scented benefits all day — not to mention supersoft second-day hair.