Remember the episode of Friends where Monica went to Barbados with the group and her hair just went boom, due to the island’s humidity?
Unfortunately, as we spend more time working from home, it seems like our hair might be going the way of Monica’s. It seems to be gaining a life of its own, and it’s not because we haven’t been to the hair salon. So what gives?
So why is that so bad for our hair?
It has to do with moisture and heat. The air around us holds moisture. And how much moisture it holds depends on how hot it is: warm air holds more moisture; cooler, colder air doesn’t contain as much. So that’s what makes Singapore so humid.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Hair craves moisture and will gravitate towards it. Just like skin, it needs it to be healthy. The problem is that any moisture your hair absorbs from the air, sits only on the outer layer. This makes the strands swell and become heavier, resulting in frizz.
If you have fine hair, the moisture it absorbs will weigh it down, causing a loss of volume and shape. On thicker hair, moisture causes strands to expand, resulting in out-of-control frizz and flyaways.
And now that you’re working at home and no longer in air-conditioned comfort, chances are, your hair is subjected to the full effect of Singapore’s weather. Plus, you’re probably letting it air-dry too, now that you no longer need to head into the office.
The good news is you won’t need to get braids like Friends’ Monica did to deal with the frizziness. We’ve got 7 ways to help tame flyaways and keep your hair looking neat.
1. Use a conditioner
If you haven't been using one, it's time to do so. When shampooing, the hair cuticles open up, allowing more moisture to enter. The hair strands then expand, causing frizz.
Using a conditioner helps close the hair cuticles, which in turn reduces frizz and flyaways.
2. A final cold rinsePHOTO: Watsons
It doesn't have to be freezing cold, just slightly cooler than room temperature water as you end your shower. This helps seal the cuticles and give hair extra shine.
Try: Mise-en-scene Perfect Serum Rinse, $12.90
The daily conditioner contains seven oils - argan, coconut, jojoba, marula, camellia, apricot and olive - that help nourish hair, treat split ends, smoothen, moisturise and detangle.
Available from Watsons (www.watsons.com.sg)
3. Mask itPHOTO: Sephora
Give hair a boost with a once-a-week hair mask, which makes for an intensive treatment to tame locks and keep them sleek and smooth. Plus, it's also a great pampering treat.
Try: Coco & Eve Like A Virgin Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque and Tangle Tamer Set, $65
Supercharged active ingredients like raw virgin coconut and fig, plus shea butter, argan oil and linseed, help nourish and repair hair, as well as prevent split ends. Hair is soft, healthy and manageable after.
Available from Sephora (www.sephora.sg)
4. Dab and squeeze, don't rub and dryPHOTO: Sephora
The way you dry your hair can make it frizz up - or not. If you usually just rub your entire head roughly with a towel, stop - this sort of aggressive drying results in more frizz and tangles.
What to do instead: separate your hair into sections and gently squeeze each section to remove as much water as possible. Swap your terry cloth towel for a microfibre one, which is gentler on hair and absorbs more water, drying it faster.
Try: Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Towel, $46
This super-absorbent lightweight towel uses a unique woven texture that wicks away water, cutting hair-drying time by up to 50 per cent. Plus, it's gentle on wet hair, minimising breakage and frizz.
Available at Sephora (www.sephora.sg)
5. Comb, don't brush
This is important if you're planning to let your hair dry naturally. Regardless of your hair texture (straight or curly) or type (dry, coarse or fine), use a wide-toothed comb to detangle locks. The wider spaces pass through hair easily without adding friction or pulling on hair.
Try: Aerin Beauty Large Comb, US$42.31 (S$60)
You'll be able to easily detangle knots with this comb, especially if you have longer hair. Comb hair while it's still damp, starting at the ends and working your way to the crown.
Available at Net-A-Porter (www.net-a-porter.com)
6. Use a leave-in anti-frizz treatmentPHOTO: Watsons
Using this on damp hair (while avoiding the roots) will keep it sleek and smooth after it's dry, which then helps reduce flyaways. A leave-in treatment also forms a protective barrier around each strand to block out frizz-causing humidity.
Very important: once you've applied a leave-in treatment, stop touching your hair. Have you realised how many of us unconsciously twirl our hair when we think or talk?
Or constantly brush it away from our faces as we work? That's another reason why hair frizzes up so much.
If you have curls, twist sections of your hair after working in the serum and let hair dry naturally. If you need extra definition after hair dries, apply a styling product to your palms and lightly run your hands through your hair.
Try: Lucido-L Argan Oil Essence, $16.90
The hydrating essence can be used on all hair types. It contains argan oil to tame dry and unruly tresses while controlling frizz. Its lightweight milky texture also won't weigh hair down.
7. Don't neglect the endsPHOTO: Watsons
The hair ends are just as important in keeping hair neat, as the tips are more prone to dryness and breakage (split ends!). And when this happens, hair loses its shape and definition and gets frizzy.
So as a habit, use a serum or hair oil to help nourish and hydrate.
Try: Moist Diane Miracle You Damage Repair Hair Serum, $20.90
It nourishes hair, keeping it smooth from root to tip. The formula contains borealine, a plant-based antioxidant, which helps protect hair against UV damage. Used over time, hair becomes smoother.
Available at Watsons (www.watsons.com.sg)