Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Fated to Frizz

Q. Why does some hair frizz when it’s humid?

A. Counterintuitively, your hair may be too dry when it meets humid air, suggested Dr. Andrew Avarbock, a dermatologist at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. 

“Hair is composed primarily of lipids, water and a protein called keratin, important for hair strength and structure,” Dr. Avarbock said. “Alterations in these components affect the quality of hair. People with dry hair are the ones who mainly experience the frizz in humid weather. When it’s humid outside, dry or porous hair soaks up the excess water in the air, which alters interactions between keratin proteins.” 

The outcome is swelling of the hair and breaks in its outer layer, called the cuticle, he said, resulting in the appearance of frizz. 

“If hair is well moisturized, then environmental changes, such as in humidity, will have less impact on it,” Dr. Avarbock said. 

Some kinds of hair are more prone to becoming frizzy, he said, including hair damaged by overheating, chemicals for coloring and permanent waves or vigorous brushing. Overuse of shampoos and alcohol-based gels and sprays also promotes drying. 

Hair products that moisturize the hair, like conditioners, can help prevent frizz, as can more gentle treatment over all. Both hair and skin “need moisturizer to maintain water content for an optimal appearance,” Dr. Avarbock said. C. CLAIBORNE RAY


Hair News Network

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