Does Climate Impact Good Hair Days?
A new study has confirmed what Houstonians have long complained about — that the local climate makes it difficult to have a good hair day. A beauty website listed Houston, Texas, my neighbor to the South, as having the worst city for good hair days.
(Image from KMS Haircare - All Rights Reserved).
Why? The website claimed the bad hair day rap is based on Houston's annual humidity levels, pollution, rainfall, wind speeds, water hardness, demographics and the number of beauty salons per capita.
Why Houston per se? The website was quoted as saying "the biggest city in Texas does big damage to hair. Houston is hot, humid and has some of the hardest water. Frizz will be your BFF here."
Also in the bad hair day city list was Corpus Christi, which is very close to Houston, Olympia, Washington, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Nevada, Phoenix, Arizona, Pensacola, Florida and Fresno, California.
Valid In Principle, But Not In Practice
I have lived in Texas for over 25 years moving here from a very humid St. Louis, Missouri. I have spent time in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Corpus Christi and other Texas cities. While I agree in principle that Houston, Texas might offer hair challenges for some of their inhabitents, I don't think Houston's hair challenges are any different then the challenges found in every single city in the United States.
Why? After studying hair non-stop since the late 1980s I have found that people who really want to have great hair will have it. Regardless of where they live, the number of hair salons available to them, the hardness or softness of their water and other conditions people will always find a way to achieve ongoing good hair days.
Personally I believe that the people in Houston, Corpus, Austin and Dallas have some of the most gorgeous hair I have seen. I know when I moved to Dallas from St. Louis I was blown away, and not by the wind, by the stunning blondes and beautifully coiffed women and men I saw everywhere. It was eye popping.
What To Do If You Live In A City Deemed A Bad Hair Day Location?
When I moved to Dallas which is much drier than St. Louis, the first thing I did was check out the water. It was definitely a bit harder than what I was used to. Instead of letting it impact my hair negatively, I went out and purchased a shower attachment to filter my water. I really didn't notice a difference after that.
There are many things you can do if you live in a city deemed "bad" for "good hair days". Consider the options below before you despair and chop off all your tresses.
1. Evaluate The Water.
Is it too hard or too soft for your hair? If so, consider a filter for the faucet where you wash your hair. Another option is to use inexpensive distilled water. If you go with the distilled water option use a large clean bowl to collect the water from your final clear rinse so that you can re-use the water for more than one rinse.
2. Adjust Your Shampoo Schedule Appropriately
Another reason hair becomes frizzy is due to overcleansing with drying shampoo or related products. Even if you live in a city deemed "hair unfriendly" you can still beat the system. When hair exhibits more pronounced frizziness back off the frequency of washes. Hair doesn't need to be washed every day. That's a myth.
If your roots or fringe area gets oily in-between shampoo cycles use a fabulous dry hair shampoo. Or if you prefer you can make your own dry shampoo with corn starch.
Do NOT use baby powder which can include ingredients which should not be inhaled.
3. Re-evaluate your hair products.
If your hair tends to become very dry or frizzy you may wish to switch to a more moisturizing formula. You may also experiment with diluted shampoo formulas which allow you to get enough shampoo to grab dirt and grime, but avoid drying out your delicate tresses.
A good diluted formula that I have used for years is 1/8 teaspoon of shampoo combined with a quart of lukewarm water in a clean bottle. Shake to form a suds. Get hair properly wet and then drizzle the formula along the roots. Gently pat the suds throughout the middle and ends of your hair. The suds should slowly run down your strands pulling out dirt and grime but not precious moisture. Only one diluted shampoo sudsing is necessary.
4. Utilize Proper Conditioning Products To Provide Barrier Against Challenging Climates
Depending on your local climate consider utilizing leave-in conditioners with sun screen which will keep hair soft, frizz free and less prone to tangling in wind. Of course you have to link the use of any type of hair conditioners to your hair type (thin, medium, thick), texture (straight, curly, wavy, kinky) and current condition (normal, damaged, extremely damaged).
5. Styling Products Are Miracle Workers
If you live in a windy city (Dallas can get quite windy) then select a hairstyle which works with not against the wind. Some naturally tousled styles can get a lift from a full breeze.
Or if you prefer, always have a handful of great looking hair clips, headbands or barrettes in your handbag to hold your hair back. It's easy to clip hair up before going out and then unclipping when you arrive at your destination.
6. Plan Your Hair Needs - Keep An Eye On The Weather Forecast
My iPhone has an app that tells me the current weather and provides a forecast. I have always looked at the weather to figure out how to dress and whether to carry an umbrella. Why not do the same for your hair? If you see a rainy day coming, coiff your hair in a cute twist, chignon or pony.
If your hair does tend to frizz easily and you have covered all the hair options mentioned above, load up on a defrisant on days the frizz factor may soar. Phytodefrisant is considered one of the best defrisant products on the market. If you prefer, you can layer Phytodefrisant with your normal leave-in conditioner, styling mousse or styling cream.
While some locations may prove more challenging for hair, ultimately if you want to have gorgeous hair every day of the week you are in charge. Follow some of the options listed above and bust free of any bad hair day curses.
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