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by: Better Not Younger
April 11, 2022
We've all been caught in a downpour with no raincoat or umbrella to protect our makeup and hair. We finally arrive at work or an event and we look like we showered with our clothes on! Let’s be honest, even a light misting of rain can set back our look by undoing all the hard work we put into styling it.
Aside from being super inconvenient—not to mention frustrating—we also have to wonder, what does rainwater actually do to our hair? After all, rainwater isn't filtered and treated the same way as our tap water, so there's potential for it to have unknown pollutants, especially in locations with more air pollution. But beyond being exposed to pollutants in rainwater, what else can rainwater do to our hair, especially aging hair?
Read on to learn more about the effects rainwater can have on your hair and how to rain-proof and refresh your style when you're caught in the rain!
For many hair types and textures, rainy days and frizzy hair go hand in hand. And in the case of aging hair, getting caught in the rain can be even more problematic as it tends to be more porous. This greater porosity means that our cuticles are rougher and slightly lifted—and they more easily drink up any moisture in the air! The water in the air causes hydrogen bonds to form on the proteins in our hair and this leads to rough, frizzy hair after it rains.
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Prep Your Tresses Properly
First and foremost, remember that dry hair gets frizzier faster. So before you even leave your house (scratch that—your shower!) make sure your hair is deeply conditioned. And since not all conditioners are created equally, using a conditioner or hair mask that smooths your cuticles is key. We recommend our Hair Redemption Restorative Butter Masque as your first line of defense against humidity and rain. For extra protection, add a hydrating leave-in spray designed to smooth frizz and seal cuticles. Our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray uses avocado oil and vitamin E to tame frizz and restore rough hair cuticles. Bonus: No Remorse provides heat protection using plant-based oils to coat and protect each strand, so you can heat style your locks with confidence!
The jury is still out on whether rainwater on our hair adds significant levels of pollutants to our tresses. But what we do know is this: High porosity hair has lifted cuticles, which means it more easily absorbs any liquids applied to it, including any pollutants in rainwater caused by pollution in the local environment.
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Shield Hair from Pollution
While carrying an umbrella is the most effective way to keep your hair from picking up potential pollutants in rainwater, your hair-care products can help, too. As with many hair-care concerns, protection starts in the shower. And this couldn’t be more true with our new Full Transparency Pure Revitalizing Shampoo and Full Transparency Shine Revitalizing Conditioner. Hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested, this pure and gentle fragrance-free shampoo and conditioner not only deeply clean without stripping to deliver gorgeous shine, strength and liveliness but contain a blend of plant-based conditioning compounds that form a flexible yet protective layer around hair strands to help reduce the adherence of environmental pollutants.
If you have fine, low porosity hair, you might find your hair slicked to your head after getting caught in the rain. This is because low porosity hair is less likely to absorb moisture, which expands the hair shaft and often leads to frizz, and individual fine hair strands are small in diameter, which makes them susceptible to being weighed down, whether by too much scalp oil, the wrong styling products or rainwater. (Not to mention that a really torrential downpour will likely wash away most of your volume-boosting styling products!)
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Reset Your Roots with a Volumizing Boost
Bring volume back to your hair with a hair thickener! We always recommend keeping a good styling spray in your bag for small refreshes during the day, anyway. Our award-winning Lift Me Up Hair Thickener is the perfect spray to revive flat, thin tresses drenched by the rain because it can be used on wet or dry hair! Lift Me Up uses hair and scalp nourishing ingredients like ceramide, biotin and niacinamide to wrap around hair strands so they appear instantly fuller, while supporting a healthy scalp and active follicles.
The moment a little humidity or rainwater hits your tresses, especially just straightened curly hair, it’s as if they forget you ever spent hours styling them into place! Back they go to their natural texture, letting all your heat styling hard work go down the drain!
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Embrace Your True Texture
If you have curly hair, skip the blowout and flat iron on rainy days and own your curls! On these days, you’ll want to have your License to Curl: Curl Revival Boost Spray by your side to keep frizz at bay and reactivate and refresh your curls when needed. Got straight strands? Any curls you add to hair are likely to collapse. Save your strands from the heat of your curling iron and let your natural texture shine.
The longer our scalp stays wet following a wash, the greater the opportunity for yeast to grow on our scalp. (This is why experts recommend not going to bed with wet hair!) And the same goes for rainwater on our hair. Yeast and bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments like our scalp. And yeast can cause an itchy scalp and dandruff.
A common misconception is that dandruff is just due to a dry scalp. But even though they might look similar with flakes on the scalp, these are two very different conditions. Dry scalp is exactly what it sounds like: a scalp with too little moisture that causes dry skin to flake off. Dandruff is the result of too much scalp oil, which causes a buildup of skin cells, which then flake off.
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Detoxify Your Scalp
We can't predict the weather, but we can definitely set our scalp up to be its healthiest and stay a step ahead of rain, humidity and dandruff. We love our New Dawn Activated Charcoal Scalp Cleanser as a deep, invigorating scalp cleanse. It contains activated charcoal to absorb excess oil and lactic acid to slough away dead skin cells, which can help prevent dandruff! If you’re already dealing with dandruff, try switching to morning showers. This prevents the possibility of going to bed with wet or damp hair, which gives dandruff-causing yeast more time to irritate your scalp. Plus, the menthyl lactate in New Dawn will give a cool, invigorating boost to start your day!
Well, water in general makes our hair weaker, regardless of the source of water—rainwater, tap water or even our favorite bottled brand. But this is just one more reason why getting rainwater on our hair, especially when it’s already fine and fragile, can be problematic. Wet hair is simply more susceptible to damage and breakage. After a rain shower, be sure to avoid the temptation to brush out your hair or any natural waves that appear—this will only put your delicate strands at risk for breakage and may even lead to a more wayward look.
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Take Cover with a Hat or Scarf
The only surefire way to prevent hair from getting wet is to keep it covered. Investing in a rain hat or silk scarf (while still using an umbrella) will get the job done nicely. And if you have medium to long tresses, gently pull them into a low ponytail or bun. A protective hairstyle will not only prevent longer strands from getting wet and slapping against your face should the wind pick up, but it will also significantly help cut down on frizzy hair in the rain, too!
When our cuticles lift and our smooth strands turn rough, as they do when they come into contact with water or humidity, the raised cuticles allow strands to connect with each other more easily. Especially if the wind has picked up, wet strands whipping around are even more likely to become all tangled up!
Rainy Day Hair Tip: Carry a Wide-Tooth Comb
When we're away from home and don't have our go-to hair-care arsenal to gently detangle, dry and re-style our hair, a minimalist approach will have to do. If your hair is in need of a little adjustment before you head into the office, opt for finger-combing or a wide-tooth comb that you can easily stash in your purse to address any rain-induced tangles.
Tell Us: How do you save your style after being caught in the rain? Share your favorite tips for protecting your hair in the comments below!
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