Humid air causes hydrogen bonds to form between water molecules and the proteins in your hair, triggering curls and frizz.

If you have long hair, you probably don’t need to look up a weather report to get an idea of how much humidity’s in the air: You can simply grab a fistful of hair and see how it feels. Human hair is extremely sensitive to humidity—so much that some hygrometers (devices that indicate humidity) use a hair as the measuring mechanism, because it changes in length based on the amount of moisture in the air.

Straight hair goes wavy. If you have curly hair, humidity turns it frizzy or even curlier. Taming the frizz has become a mega industry, with different hair smoothing serums promising to “transform” and nourish hair “without weighing hair down.” But just why does humidity have this strange effect on human hair?

Hair Cross Section

Hair’s chemical structure, as it turns out, makes it unusually susceptible to changes in the amount of hydrogen present in the air, which is directly linked to humidity. Most of a hair’s bulk is made up of bundles of long keratin proteins, represented as the middle layer of black dots tightly packed together in the cross-section at right.

These keratin proteins can be chemically bonded together in two different ways. Molecules on neighboring keratin strands can form a disulfide bond, in which two sulfur atoms are covalently bonded together. This type of bond is permanent—it’s responsible for the hair’s strength—and isn’t affected by the level of humidity in the air.

But the other type of connection that can form between adjacent keratin proteins, a hydrogen bond, is much weaker and temporary, with hydrogen bonds breaking and new ones forming each time your hair gets wet and dries again. (This is the reason why, if your hair dries in one shape, it tends to remain in roughly that same shape over time.)

Hydrogen bonds occur when molecules on neighboring keratin strands each form a weak attraction with the same water molecule, thereby indirectly bonding the two keratin proteins together. Because humid air has much higher numbers of water molecules than dry air, a given strand of hair can form much higher numbers of hydrogen bonds on a humid day. When many such bonds are formed between the keratin proteins in a strand of hair, it causes the hair to fold back on itself at the molecular level at a greater rate.

On the macro level, this means that naturally curly hair as a whole becomes curlier or frizzier due to humidity. As an analogy, imagine the metal coil of a spring. If you straighten and dry your hair, it’ll be like the metal spring, completely straightened out into a rod. But if it’s a humid day, and your hair is prone to curling, water molecules will steadily be absorbed and incorporated into hydrogen bonds, inevitably pulling the metal rod back into a coiled shape.

Click here to find out on how to help prevent Puffy Hair in Humid Weather

Frequently Asked Questions about Hair Coloring (FAQ)

Hair Coloring FAQ #1- Will coloring make my hair fall out?

Hair Coloring FAQ #1 – The answer is an “NO.” There is no scientific evidence that hair coloring causes extra hair loss.

A bad color job, however, can cause hair breakage, which may be confused with extra hair loss.

Will coloring make my hair thinner?

The answer again is No. So many women (and men for that matter) with thinned hair and blame it on the color. It’s only when they started coloring that I have noticed my hair is thinner. This is coincidental; many women start coloring when their hair is turning gray, or when the color is not as vibrant.

They are often at the age, unfortunately, when the hair can begin to thin for other reasons, but they blame it on the coloring. Or, they start coloring their hair at a young age and notice the hair is thinner when they are in their 30s and 40s, again blaming coloring. But it would have thinned anyway.

Coloring my hair makes it dry; what can I do?

Coloring can dry the hair — permanent color and bleach in particular.

While semi-permanent color doesn’t dry it out as much as permanent, repeated use can cause dry ends. Always use a moisture-balancing or moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. And a deep, moisturizing hair mask once or twice a week depending on the dryness. Always apply a leave-in conditioning cream (non-greasy) before blow-drying. And remember not to over-dry or over-brush.

Daily shampooing and conditioning will not dry your hair providing you choose the correct products.hair coloring faq

What should I look for in a hair color product?

Choose your color from the packet or swatch on display. Colors may change according to fashion, but the basic chemistry of coloring agents has not changed much over the years.

They all have similar ingredients, so there’s no point reading the label.

However, the best person to advise you is your hairdresser, and the best place to have hair color done is in a salon.

Should I choose permanent or semi-permanent color?

In the long term, permanent hair color is best, which may surprise you when you take into account the extra peroxide and ammonia it might contain. The reason is that permanent color should only be applied to the new hair growth at the roots, briefly overlapping with the previously dyed hair.

Semi-permanent color, on the other hand, is applied to the whole head each time, because of the more rapid fading.

Is it safe to have my hair colored during pregnancy?

Yes. All women want to look their best when they’re pregnant, and what better way to boost morale than to have your hair the way you want? We do recommend low-ammonia, paraben-free, and if you have access to a no-ammonia would be better.

Can hair colorants cause cancer?

There are recurring scares about hair coloring causing bladder cancer. The first was about 25 years ago and the latest in 2002. There were some studies that indicated a link, but none could be substantiated on humans.

Evidence that hair coloring is safe has been demonstrated in two major studies by the American Cancer Society and Harvard University.

Is using a hair color likely to give me a rash?

There is a possibility, but not if you go about it correctly. All hair dye packaging recommends carrying out a skin patch test before using a colorant.

Apply the color to an area the size of a quarter, behind an ear or inner elbow. If, after 24 hours, there is no irritation, discomfort or redness, it is safe to color without risk of a rash or reaction.

When you read about people suffering severe allergic reactions, it is most likely that the patch-test warnings have been ignored in these cases.

Can hair coloring give me a dry and itchy scalp?

Many women have existing flaky and itchy scalp conditions and blame their hair color. In my answer to question one, I mentioned an eight-month study I conducted to establish that hair coloring does not cause thinning or hair loss.

Coloring should definitely be avoided on scratched or very irritated skin conditions.

I don’t want to use peroxide or ammonia. What else can I use to color my hair?

The obvious coloring agents to use in this case would be vegetable colors such as henna or chamomile. These have many disadvantages, though. The colors they produce are not natural-looking and they fade very quickly, leading to more frequent applications, unnatural colors and, ultimately, drier, brittle hair.

Also, in a similar way to semi-permanent colors, there is a continual overlap in application, leading to an unnatural appearance — particularly on the ends.

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Additional Information Hair Coloring FAQ(s)

To obtain natural-looking hair color, peroxide and ammonia are in need, as without these ingredients your color will not take as well,look as good, or last as long. There are specific reasons for their inclusion that involve complicated hair and ingredient chemistry.

Provided you take sufficient care before, during and after the dying process, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have the best of all worlds: beautiful, long-lasting color and well-conditioned hair.

Visit us for a free Hair Consultation

We offer free hair consultation. You may drop by any time before 7:00 pm. We are open seven days week. Also, you can send a private message to our facebook or instagram account. Please note that all quotes provided to you are for estimation purposes only. We still need to assess your hair in person before the work is guaranteed. You will be provided with the actual cost upfront by your stylist so that you can decide from thereon.

Need additional information?

You can contact us or visit any of our branches in Manila for a free hair consultation. Please call us if you would like to schedule an appointment:

Landline: 8852-1788
Globe: 09662783141
Smart: 09391432448

Or, you can send us a message from our facebook page at facebook.com/DotZeroHairStudioByMars.

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