Expat hair in a tropical humid climate is another beast compared to the one you knew back home in your temperate zone. Living in countries like Singapore where I reside the humidity level sits at a high 90 degrees all year round and the biggest problem women often face with their locks is the dreaded hair frizz.
Knowing why your hair becomes frizzy and the best way to help control this is important when there is so much moisture in the air. Yes I know humidity can be great for your skin and keeping those wrinkles at bay. But unfortunately it is not very helpful when it comes to your hair.
Therefore hair care in the tropics takes on a whole different level for expats. Realizing this and making adjustments early can save you from months and months of hair frustration. Everyone tends to be habit driven and so it is only natural that you will start by using the same hair regime as you have always used but it could be time for that change.
Expat Hair Why It Suffers From Frizz.
The middle section of your hair is made up of keratin proteins that are banded tightly together in two different ways.
Now these bonds are permanent and are responsible for the strength of each of your individual hairs and are not affected by humidity.
Hydrogen bonds are weaker and temporary they will break and new ones form every time your hair gets wet/damp and dries again.
Because hair is porous it will suck up the excess water in the air and the more porous your hair the more water it will suck in.
When this happens more hydrogen bonds are formed between the keratin strands that are contained by the bonds.
The hair will then swell and this in turn disrupts the cuticle resulting in the appearance of frizz.
Expat Hair Sucks Up Moisture.
Your hair will generally suck up more moisture than most Asian hair types.
Firstly being due to the fact that western hair has fewer layers of protective cuticles on the hair.
Secondly lightening your hair with a chemical process can sometimes make your hair dry. This in turn makes it far more susceptible to the humidity.
Moisturizer Your Hairs Defensive Weapon.
Expat hair needs to be treated to moisture and lots of it. That is why frizz wipes can be a great addition to your hand bag.
When you lived in a dryer climate I am sure that you would work on moisturizing your skin well now you have to work the same way on your hair.
By making sure your hair is well moisturized you will find that environmental changes like humidity will defiantly have less of an impact on your locks.
In salon hydrating treatments may not always be in your budget but they do tend to be more effective. This is due to their higher concentration of ingredients. So it is worthwhile treating your hair to one every few months try something like L’Oréal’s Pro Fiber treatment.
For your weekly home moisturizer a hair mask is great when applied correctly or look at using organic coconut oil which has become very popular lately.
7 Steps To Correct Application Of Your Hair Mask.
Step 1. Wash and blot the excess water from your hair.
Sep 2. Section off the top part of your hair from temple to temple.
Step 3. Take small sections of your underneath hair and spread the hair mask evenly throughout each section using your fingers.
Step 4. Massage the product into the hair from root to tip using your fingers. Make sure that you concentrate on the ends of the hair as these tend to dry out easily.
Step 5. Let down the top section and work the same way. If you have distributed and massaged the product well into your hair there is no need to comb through. Just let the hair absorb what it needs.
Step 6. To optimize the effect of the hair mask cover your head with a warm towel for at least 10 minutes. If your hair is very dry think 20 minutes.
Step 7. Gently rinse off the hair mask and condition your hair.
You will also find tips on various ways of dealing with your frizzy hair in taming hair frizz your ultimate guide which can be very helpful when living in a tropical climate.
Olaplex Is Not A Conditioning Treatment.
During your chemical treatment at the hair salon your hair stylist may have used one of these products Olaplex or Cureplex on your hair and then given you a small bottle to apply on your hair at home. This is to help repair the disulphide bonds of your hair which a chemical action effects. They are not the same as hair masks and treatments.
Products such as Olaplex or Cureplex and others of a similar breed are not conditioning treatments they are bond repairers.
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