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How to Tame 4 Common Types of Hair in the Awful Washington Humidity

Four local hair experts weigh in on preparing your tresses for every possible scenario.

With the best of summertime (pedicures, a sunkissed glow, sitting poolside every weekend) also comes the worst (the infamous Washington humidity). And it affects everyone differently! Here, a handful of local hair experts come to the rescue with ah-mazing products, treatment recommendations, and even a few at-home tips and tricks. Frizzy curls, greasy roots—whatever your problem, we’ve got the info you need to fix it.

The Issue: You just finished straightening your curly/wavy hair, you step outside, and poof! Literally. Once the heat hits your locks, they instantly become wavy again.

The Solution: Opt for a leave-in conditioner, says salon owner and hairstylist Luigi Parasmo. He recommends Kerastase Ciment Thermique ($39) or Elixir Ultime ($54) before blowdrying hair. If your mane is unruly on a regular basis, consider splurging on a long-term hair treatment such as a Keratin Complex by Coppola ($550 at Luigi Parasmo Salon). This smoothing system penetrates deep into the cuticle, eliminating up to 95 percent of frizz and curl, leaving hair silky and smooth and lasting between three and five months. “This promotes much healthier hair and will eliminate the need to wash it, which means less heat is applied to the hair,” causing less damage, Parasmo says.

The Issue: You’d like to wear your curly hair naturally, but the ends get frizzy and lose their gloss within 15 minutes of stepping outside.

The Solution: “Curly hair plus Washington’s notorious humidity can be a recipe for frustration if you don’t know the right way to manage it,” says Brian Oliver of IPSA for Hair by Nectar. First, check your towel. Since “terrycloth towels can be too coarse and promote frizz as a result,” Oliver recommends Devacurl’s Deva Towel ($12). “It’s a great, super-soft towel that absorbs water without the friction that creates the frizz,” he says. Follow up with Hair Rules Curly Whip ($18 for an eight-ounce container), which “defines curls without that crunchy feeling.”

The Issue: The amount of grease on your roots matches the amount of sunscreen you apply on a daily basis. Not a good look.

The Solution: Kalizya Hutchinson, senior hairstylist at Nival Salon & Spa, encourages those with oily roots to stick to natural styling products. She loves Phytocedrat Sebo-Regulating Shampoo, Oily Scalp ($24)—“It helps rebuild the damage done to hair as well as protect the scalp’s Ph levels.” On a budget? Do a rinse of apple cider vinegar in the shower after you shampoo.

The Issue: Your dry ends could basically be mistaken for straw. Advice on how to nourish and moisturize your hair, stat.

Solution: Treating your tresses to a hair mask (try Moroccan oil’s Intense Hydrating Mask, $28) will hydrate and repair damaged hair, says Violet Salon hair artist Peggy Ioakim. Apply to the ends and leave on for about 20 minutes and rinse. If you frequent the beach or pool, Ioakim recommends the following: “Get a water bottle and add your favorite conditioner with a little water. Spray on your hair between dipping in the pool or ocean.”

Kara Manos writes about all things beauty in the District on her blog, Politics of Pretty.

  • Renata

    Hi Kara, Great post. I just got back from the Premier Orlando show and discovered Peter Coppola's new line called Keratin Concept, which is formaldehyde and aldehyde free. I don't believe Peter Coppola has been associated with Keratin Complex for many years. I used Keratin Complex in my salon but stopped using it due to the dangerous chemicals..

  • I guess I should try these things. My hair gets really unmanagable frizzy when I go out. I've been trying (and have tried) loads of hair treatment but none has worked to my satisfaction. From what the writer says, these tips work (and I really hope they do). I shall try these and get back with my feedback. Thanks anyways.

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