Catch the Perfect Waves: Tips for Controlling Curls in the Heat and Humidity

For those with curly hair, summer elements such as heat, humidity, and chlorine can wreak havoc on strands. But, with the right preparation, hair can be managed so that curls stay coiled and you can finally say farewell to frizz. Following these few simple tips, you’ll learn to embrace your curls not just in the summer, but all year round.

Hydrate Your Hair
Curls are thirsty for moisture to fight dryness, so a leave-in conditioner such as Phyto 7 or 9 will help protect hair by restoring its natural defense and maintaining moisture levels. Avoid products that are alcohol-based, which can dry out hair and lead to breakage and frizz.
Use the Right Tools
Don’t use a brush; opt for a comb to help minimize breakage. While in the shower, comb in your conditioner to evenly distribute moisture and promote strong hair. If blow drying hair straight, use a natural bristle brush to help smooth frizz.  

Protect Your Strand
It’s important to protect your hair from heat, whether that’s the sun or styling tools. Always apply a UV protection product such as Redken Color Extend Sun Solar Screen when stepping out in the sun. Also, before jumping in the pool, make sure your hair is prepared.  Apply a leave-in conditioner so hair won’t absorb chlorine.
Style Tricks
Let your hair air dry; it’s good for your energy bill and prevents damage and dryness that can be caused by heat appliances. If you must apply heat, use a diffuser and scrunch curls with your hands as you are drying. Twist hair individually while blow drying to enhance the curl. To avoid breakage, be sure to let hair dry before pulling up into a ponytail.
Choose the Right Products
Choose products that enhance your curls rather than fight them, particularly those that minimize volume and are humidity resistant. Curls should be soft, rather than crunchy, so keep the amount of product (gels, mousses, and hairsprays) to a minimum. Excessive product will weigh hair down.
If all else fails, hair professionals can apply in-salon treatments, such as the Keratin treatment, to help control curls and eliminate frizz.
Megan Atkinson is a curly hair specialist at Bella Bethesda Salon, located in downtown Bethesda, MD just outside Washington D.C. Every August, the salon celebrates Curly Hair Month and offers complimentary curly hair consultations which include personalized styling tips and product recommendations for controlling curls. For more information about Bella Bethesda Salon, visit

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