Curly Care: Seasonal Changes, Dew points, Humectants, and Emollients

Hi there curlies! It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I've decided to reserve my blog for videos that need a little extra explanation in text. Today I am going to write about what a curly should change in her hair routine when the seasons change, and how this is affected by dew point. Some important ingredient categories for seasonal changes are humectants and emollients.

In the summer, the sun, chlorine, and salt can make the hair very dry, so it's important to keep your hair moisturized. Deep conditioner and cover your hair up when you go out sun bathing. For more tips, here's an old video about taking care of your hair in the summer:

In the winter months our hair gets dry too, because the air around us gets dryer. I also think internal heating sucks moisture out of hair. So for curly hair moisture is important in the summer and the winter. Deep conditioner and using a leave in are extra important.

Now, let's break down the specific humidity levels you're going to see as the seasons change. After all, we don't just get low humidity (dry) and high humidity (wet), we get a huge range in between, depending on the area of the world where you live. The best measure of humidity that will correlate to how our hair reacts is called "dew point." This is the temperature at which water will condense and form dew (or fog). The higher the dew point, the more humid the air, and vice versa. You can find dew points on any weather website.

Dew point at the "current data" section of Wunderground

Some ingredients work well in different levels of humidity. 

Humectants like honey, aloe vera, glycerin, and panthenol work well with higher dew points (30°F, or -1° C,  and above), but can cause frizz for many curlies when the dew point goes over 60°F (16°C). 

Emollients include are moisturizing alcohols and natural oils; they can pretty much be used year round, but are most important to incorporate in your routine in the low dewpoints.

Here's a quick breakdown of the dew point ranges, and what ingredients to look for or avoid in your routine: 

 30° F (-1°C) and lower: dry
  • richer thicker conditioners, DTs
  • humectants bad
  • leave ins
  • light hold products
  • lots of emollients
30°-40° F (-1° to 4°C): middle
  • trial and error
  • some tolerate humectants, some don't
  • emollients 
40°-60° F (4° to 16°C): somewhat humid
  • happy haven for most curlies
  • moisture and humectants should be used
  • emollients 
60° F (16° C ) and above: humid!
  • may skip leave in
  • hard hold products
  • humectants iffy
  • emollients 

Also keep in mind that some curlies may have more sensitive hair than others. But in general if that glycerin loaded gel stops working for you, it's probably because the dew points are too low (or too high) and you need to switch to a glycerin free gel. Also if glycerin is pretty far down on the ingredients list (10+ items), it may not cause frizz, as opposed to it being in the top 5 or top 10 ingredients. Also the ingredients in your cleansers and rinse out conditioners are not all that important, especially if you are rinsing them out completely during your shower.

Some suggestions for products that work well in high humdity:

Glycerin free gels: Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Gel

Glycerin free leave ins: As I Am Naturally leave in, Kinky Curly Knot Today

Wishing everyone a good hair day,

Sarah @:-)