How to Deal With Sweat in Your Hair During a Hot, Humid Summer

Photo by Milan Markovic via iStock.

If you’re a woman who regularly blow dries your hair, then you know the feeling. You’ve just spent more time than you’d care to showering, moussing, blow drying, curling, spraying, and styling your hair. Then you walk outside.

With temps in the 90s and humidity so thick you could butter your toast with it, you come down with what I call scalp sweat. You can call it what you like, but you know what I’m talking about: that halo of sweat that dampens your hairline, clings to your temples, and collects in a nice musty puddle on the back of your neck. By the time you’ve made it into the office, you’re wondering, Why did I even shower today?

While some women might resort to getting Botox injections in their scalp (yes, it’s a thing), there are other crafty ways you can deal with sweaty hair. To find out what the professionals recommend, we reached out to hair and makeup artist Victoria Stiles, who not only has made up celebs and politicians like Bernie Sanders, she’s also a Spartan racer, so she knows a thing or two about intense sweating.

To start, Stiles says you need to get your hands on a bottled of Dry ($20 at, which she says she’s been using “religiously” during this heat wave. “[Dry] is actually for use under thick masks and wigs for special effect makeup to prevent sweating underneath uncomfortable prosthetic pieces,” says Stiles. “This product can be sprayed and combed through dry hair prior to styling and applied to face prior to makeup. It is a catch-all for all things sweat prevention when it comes to both hair and makeup.”

Next, don’t wear your hair down over your neck, where it can trap the heat in and seal up those neck juices like a good steak. Instead, Stiles recommends a “secured” hairstyle. “One of my go-to’s is to pull hair back in a ponytail, braid the ponytail, twist into a bun, and secure with bobby pins,” she says.

Finally, if and when your hair does get sweaty, don’t whip out your hair dryer or try to use the hand dryer in your office bathroom. “Drying sweaty hair takes nothing but patience,” says Stiles. “Taking a blow dryer to it will only make you more sweaty. Best bet is to take a cold compress and put on the back of the neck to cool down and let the sweat dry naturally.”

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.