Curly Care: Seasonal Changes, Dew Points, Humectants, and Emollients

Hi there curlies! It's been a long time since I've posted here, but I've decided to reserve my blog for videos that need a little extra explanation in text. Today I am going to write about what a curly should change in her hair routine when the seasons change, and how this is affected by dew point. Some important ingredient categories for seasonal changes are humectants and emollients.

In the summer, the sun, chlorine, and salt can make the hair very dry, so it's important to keep your hair moisturized. Deep conditioner and cover your hair up when you go out sun bathing. For more tips, here's an old video about taking care of your hair in the summer:

In the winter months our hair gets dry too, because the air around us gets dryer. I also think internal heating sucks moisture out of hair. So for curly hair moisture is important in the summer and the winter. Deep conditioner and using a leave in are extra important.

Now, let's break down the specific humidity levels you're going to see as the seasons change. After all, we don't just get low humidity (dry) and high humidity (wet), we get a huge range in between, depending on the area of the world where you live. The best measure of humidity that will correlate to how our hair reacts is called "dew point." This is the temperature at which water will condense and form dew (or fog). The higher the dew point, the more humid the air, and vice versa. You can find dew points on any weather website.

Dew point at the "current data" section of Wunderground

Some ingredients work well in different levels of humidity. 

Humectants like glycerin, sorbitol, propylene glycol, and panthenol work well with higher dew points above 30°F (-1° C), but can cause frizz for many curlies when the dew point goes over 60°F (16°C).  Film-forming natural humectants like honey, aloe, and agave are less likely to cause frizz in humid weather.

Glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol draw in moisture from the air, but also lose it quicky, which can cause the hair to be hard, brittle, and frizzy when the humidity is low (less than 30F).  This is because they are made up of small molecules and water easily escapes. When humidity is very high (greater than 60F), glycerin can draw water into the hair causing it to be puffy, bloated, and frizzy. Some hair types are not as sensitive to these humectants. Others find their hair frizzes far less often when they cut out glycerin in these humidity ranges.

On the other hand, the film-forming humectants (like honey, aloe, agave) AKA the natural humectants, form a film with thicker molecules over the hair, which makes it harder for water to pass through, and out, preventing frizz, and keeping the hair moisturized. 

Emollients include are moisturizing alcohols and natural oils; they can pretty much be used year round, but are most important to incorporate in your routine in the low dewpoints.

Here's a quick breakdown of the dew point ranges, and what ingredients to look for or avoid in your routine: 

 30° F (-1°C) and lower: dry
  • richer thicker conditioners, DTs
  • avoid humectants - especially glycerin
  • leave ins
  • light hold products
  • incorporate emollients
30°-40° F (-1° to 4°C): middle
  • trial and error
  • some tolerate humectants, some don't
  • incorporate emollients 
40°-60° F (4° to 16°C): somewhat humid
  • happy haven for most curlies
  • moisture and humectants should be used
  • incorporate emollients 
60° F (16° C ) and above: humid!
  • may skip leave in
  • hard hold products
  • avoid humectants - especially glycerin
  • incorporate emollients 

Also keep in mind that some curlies may have more sensitive hair than others. But in general if that glycerin loaded gel stops working for you, it's probably because the dew points are too low (or too high) and you need to switch to a glycerin free gel. Also if glycerin is pretty far down on the ingredients list (10+ items), it may not cause frizz, as opposed to it being in the top 5 or top 10 ingredients. Also the ingredients in your cleansers and rinse out conditioners are not all that important, especially if you are rinsing them out completely during your shower.

Some suggestions for products that work well in high humidity and are glycerin free:

  • Jessicurl Spiralicious Gel
  • Aussie Instant Freeze Gel
  • TreLuxe Reflex Serum
  • Innersense I Create Volume Lotion
  • Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in
  • CURLS Blueberry Bliss leave in

Low Glycerin Products (after first 10 ingredients):
  • As I Am Naturally leave in
  • Original Moxie Hold up Serum
Products with Form-Filming Humectants (used as post glycerin sealers in stylers):
  • Mop Top Curl Custard 
  • Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel

Wishing everyone a good hair day,

Sarah @:-)

See also/Sources:
Curly Chemist: Humidity, Humectants, and Hair

Dewpoint - Pittsburgh Curly 

The 411 on Dew Points & Humectants: Diane Mary

Film-forming Humectants: What are they? - Science-y Hair Blog

Glycerin and Humidity - Science-y Hair Blog

Curly Hairstyle: Formal/Prom 2-in-1 Knotted Style

Hey y'all! This is a hair style I came up with after needing something to wear to several formal events this semester. It will work for prom, school dances, weddings, or any other special events. You can wear it a couple different ways too, which is nice, especially if you run out of time when you're getting ready!

This style does take a bit of practice to get it down. If you are doing this for a special event, I recommend practicing it the night before so that you've got it down. Give yourself plenty of time and make sure you have the necessary equipment.

Products used:
Jane Carter Nourish n Shine (whole foods)
Bobby pins
Good day hair magic grips (Sally's beauty)
Fancy flower clip - unknown
Duckbill clips (Sally's beauty)

I hope everyone has a wonderful spring! Please let me know if you try out this style. :)

Wishing everyone good hairdays,
Sarah @:-)

Curly Hairstyle: Retro Rolled Updo

So the other weekend I went to a decades themed party. I had a lot of fun getting dressed up and doing my makeup, but my favorite thing was probably my hair style!


I cam up with a 40s/50s inspired updo with some pinned up curls and rolled sides into a bun. So I decided to record a tutorial for y'all in case you want to recreate the style.

This time around I had more neutral makeup and I added a gorgeous rose flower clip accessory from, an etsy boutique that sells handmade hair accessories.

So I think this style turned out super cute! Let me know what you think down below in the comments. I may do more retro inspired hair tutorials in the future.

- Sarah @:-)

Using Up the Product Junkie Stash

Hello curlies, my name is Sarah and I am a product Junkie.

This is a picture of my hair product stash! At college! (More at home.) There are far too many hair products! So I am resolved to start using them up, selling them, or giving them away to friends. That way I can not feel guilty about trying something new, and only buy products when I need them. I am going to come back to this blog post periodically and cross out used things. Hopefully I will be able to make a successful blog post in a little while saying I've decreased my stash!

So I encourage any product junkies out there to join me on my journey! Feel free to share pictures of your stash with me on twitter @waterlily716, or leave a comment on this blog post to join in. I am not going to purchase any new products, besides staple rinse out conditioners and gel, until the rest is gone! (If I haul new products, y'all need to call me out.) I will unfortunately have to add to this list if I receive products from companies.

I am actively working on the conditioners/oils/deep treatments on this list, but the stylers and shampoos are going to be hard to use up. I don't use shampoo everyday or even every week so I may be selling these or giving them to friends. I also am not good about branching out from my comfort zone as far as stylers go, but I think I need to so I can at least try them all and then sell them if I don't need them. Oh and by the way I will be selling any products I don't want on the swap board.  Anyways here is my way-too-long-in-a-really-bad-kinda-way list of hair products.   Wish me luck!

3/8/12 - This list below is now pretty updated. I later gave away a lot of products to a womens shelter. I still have a huge stash and I'm still working on getting rid of it!

AG Hair Cosmetics Smooth Argan Shampoo
Activate shampoo
Shea moisture thickening shampoo (2)
Organix moroccan argan oil shampoo - used as soap!
Giovanni tea tree triple treat shampoo
Kinky Curly come clean shampoo
Aubrey organics white camellia shampoo*
Devacurl no-poo (sample)
Herbal essences hello hydration shampoo (sample)*
Jessicurl hair cleansing cream (sample)

Bed Head TIGI Moisture Maniac CO
Beautiful Curls shea butter deep treatment*
Giovanni Smooth as Silk CO
Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
Curl Junkie Curl rehab DT
Jessicurl weekly DT
Paul Mitchell the detangler CO
Yes to carrots pampering CO
Giovanni tea tree triple treat CO
Natures gate chamomile and lemon CO
Herbal essences hello hydration CO (sample)*
Curly Hair Solutions Slip Detangler

Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper
Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave in
LA looks sport gel (travel size)
Herbal essences body envy gel (travel size)
Jane Carter Nourish n Shine melted out :( got grainy.. threw out
AG hair cosmetics re:coil curl activator
AG hair cosmetics curl trigger
AG hair cosmetics smooth straightening lotion*
Biosilk rock hard gelee
Pantene curl defining mousse
Shea moisture thickening moisture mist
Shea moisture curl & style milk
LA looks nutra curl gel
Curl junkie curl fuel spray
Garnier fructis pure clean gel
Moxie mane tame
Moxie sweet poof volumizing spray*
White rain hair spray
Aubrey organics nustyle hairpray
Hair rules curly whip*
Ampro olive oil gel
Ecostyler gel
Devacurl set it free samples (2)
Jessicurl rocking ringlets styling potion samples (2)
Jessicurl confident coils styling potion (sample)
Jessicurl gelebration spray (sample)
Mop-C curl refreshing spray

Happy Scalp Oil
Shea hot oil treatment
Aubrey organics Nustyle hair serum
Coconut oil

*Products that haven't been tried, even once.

Also here is a video I made awhile ago about using up unwanted hair products. Some neat stuff I found out about. :)

Curly Care: Dusting for Single Strand Knots

Hi curlies! I hope everyone had a good new year. I made this video to show y'all how I dust for single strand knots.  This is also known as "search and destroy." It's a good thing to do every few weeks or so for curly hair. The SSKs can make curls feel coarse and frizzy, so it's good to get rid of them. A lot will get cut off at a trim, but this way, you lose less length. My hair is still slowing inching towards my goal length of my waist (and then hopefully my hips). Good luck with all your hair goal lengths!

Sarah @:-)