+ Ask The Edit, + Hairstyles

Ask Belle: Combating Humidity

Hi Belle

I have thick, long, wavy hair (layered, 2″-4″ past my shoulders) that normally holds a curl well. Usually I throw in some hot rollers for fancy events and am good to go. However, in the humidity we’ve had recently it just falls flat around my face and frizzes. I have a bunch of weddings this summer and am at a loss. My hair is too thick and heavy for most up-do tutorials I have found. Do you have any suggestions of  up-dos for long, thick hair or strategies for combating DC’s volume-killing humidity?

Thanks!! Laura

Like most D.C. women, I dread  and loathe the summer humidity.  It’s tough on my skin and it’s tough on my hair.  My locks will barely hold a curl during August and they often fall flat in my face, all frizzy and lifeless.  It’s terrible.  
During the first five years that I lived here, I could count the number of good hair days that I’d had on my fingers.  Then, a friend turned me onto Living Proof, a shampoo line that promises no frizz.  But after trying John Frieda and a half-dozen other failed frizz-fighting products, I was shocked to find one that worked.

During the humid months, I switch to Living Proof’s  anti-frizz shampoo and conditioner ($29 for the Discovery Kit).  It really combats frizz, and helps me preserve a sleeker look.  In the not-so-humid months, I use their Full product line to give my hair gentle cleansing and body (also $29 for the Discovery Kit).

As for other styling tricks, I like to use a maximum hold mousse. Rene Furterer makes the best one, but it’s $23, so I usually just use the Pantene Triple Action Mousse which is under-$5.

As for hairspray, I like to apply it both before I put in my hot rollers and after.  This gives the curl a little more oomph, so at least the ends will stay curled under even if I lose the volume.  Living Proof makes a wonderful humidity blocking hairspray ($24) but for many women, Elnet works just as well ($15).

If all else fails, I grab a card of bobby pins and go for an updo. (Check out my updo tutorials.) It can be frustrating having repeat bad hair days and repeat updo days, but I try to remember that it’s just four months of the year, and September will be here soon.  Ish.  



  1. Cee says:

    I'm sorry but I think the Living Proof line is a rip-off and doesn't work. I tried several products in their line, with no results. The only thing that works for me is a keratin treatment. Amazing, and worth the cash, in my opinion!

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. R says:

    I also have super thick hair. The only thing that really combats/controls is Josie Maran's argan oil serum. For me and my serious head of hair, it was life changing. Seriously. (https://josiemarancosmetics.com/shop/hair/argan-oil-hair-serum)

    June 4, 2012/Reply
  3. AD says:

    Belle – you used to mention Nexxus Versastyler often. Have you fallen away from using that?

    June 4, 2012/Reply
  4. lisa says:

    I have the exact same type of hair and when I tried Living Proof Wave-Making, I was really disappointed. If I used enough to get rid of the frizz, my hair was stiff and crunchy. If I used less, there was still frizz. I ended up returning it to Nordstrom. I've had good success with using Moroccan Oil and mousse on my hair when it's damp. It really cuts the frizz and brings out my natural curls.

    June 4, 2012/Reply
  5. Laura B says:

    The girls over at The Beauty Department post some excellent tutorials. Lauren Conrad has very thick hair and does some very cute updos. Here are a couple links to some updos I've found on Pinterest:



    Or for nice braids, depending on your outfit:




    I hope these links help!


    June 4, 2012/Reply
  6. cara says:

    What kind of hot rollers do you use? I have the chi (1 1/2 in) large ones and there are only 6 of them- which is not enough to do my whole head. The other brands ALSO do not have enough of the large ones to do my whole head and come with a ton of tiny ones. I don't want to have to plug in 2 sets of hot rollers but need about 8-9 of them- any help? anyone? anyone?

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  7. Laura says:

    Thanks for all the advice!

    Cara, I have this set: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?sku=11888542&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cse&rkg_attid=413900296&zmam=77312802&zmas=1&zmac=1&zmap=11888542

    In a perfect world, I'd want a set that was all super jumbo, but haven't found one yet

    I have to split my hair into 2 sections because all of these rollers at once are only enough for 2/3 of my hair. If I am in a rush/feeling lazy, I will only do the top 2/3 of my head, and leave the bottom part naturally wavy

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  8. Belle says:

    I buy all jumbo sets on eBay, they're conair. I buy them for maybe $10 and then store them. I've been using the same ones since I was 15, and I see no need to change now.

    June 5, 2012/Reply
  9. Jill says:

    I have a question about keratin treatments — what exactly are they? (I know they're expensive). What kind of hair does it work best on? How long does it last?

    June 6, 2012/Reply