In winter, hair is not living its best life.
Between the wind blowing it into complicated knot systems, the tragic reality of hat hair, extra hot showers dehydrating your scalp and the bizarre fact that hair actually gets drier in winter (because of the heating and cold weather sucking the moisture dry), scoring a good hair day can be an illusive goal.
But, while most of these woes can be fixed with some seriously good product, there’s one kind of winter trauma that’s notoriously hard to come back from: rained-on hair.
We’ve all been there: The one day you left your umbrella at home because the sun was peeking out just a little and then the Armageddon of storms just casually rolled on in. And of course you happen to be walking through a treeless, cover-free zone at the time so there’s nothing to do except get drenched. Of course.
Well, it turns out there is actually a fix for that, and Richi Grisillo, owner of Acadèmie Salon knows all the tricks.
And while we can’t guarantee you’ll nab a starring role in the next Pantene commercial afterwards, these tips will get you through the day looking professional and presentable.
Why the hot mess?
First, let’s talk about the why. You know how rained-on hair somehow looks far worse than your regular post-shower mop?
Richi says that’s because of the concentrated humidity, which only gets worse when you run to get out of the rain. And while your hair does actually need moisture to stay soft and fresh, when it’s already dehydrated (see: winter heating) it seeks out the moisture to replenish itself… which leads to frizz. So now, to the game plan.
Get to a bathroom.
Don’t have an emergency hairdryer stashed under your desk? Just us, then? Well, something you are likely to have nearby is a bathroom, and bathrooms come with hand dryers which is almost as good.
If you managed to catch your hair before it reached drowned-rat status, you can usually save it with a quick spin under the dryer. Getting the moisture out as soon as possible will minimise the chance of frizz later in the day. No dryer? Try blotting (not rubbing!) as much moisture out with paper towel instead.
Save it with style.
If your hair is properly drenched, Richi says your best bet is to work with it and create a style that looks good wet.
“If you don’t have access to a brush use your fingers as a comb and rake through, trying to get it flowing in the same direction which will help reduce excess texture as your hair dries,” he says. As far as styles go, pull it back into a ballerina bun, braid it, or find a part, tuck it behind your ears and fasten at the back of your neck for legit wet-look pony.
Speaking of supposed hair disasters, apparently Meghan Markle had one when she left the house with a single grey hair. Mamamia debrief below. Post continues after audio.
Don’t touch it.
Once you’re done, resist the urge to touch or fix it further. The hair follicles are already open and porous, so putting your hands all over it will just move the water further into the strands, causing more swelling and potential frizz.
Be a girl scout.
It may be too late for amazing hair today, but there are some things you can do to prepare for next time (and no, we don’t just mean “carry an umbrella”).
Richi says, “anyone with medium to long hair should always carry a little MacGyver kit of a few bobby pins, a hair tie, a small brush and a small accessory in their handbag at all times. I even have clients who carry a mini can of hairspray with them which is genius because it helps to smooth the fly-aways while your hair is still drying.”
If your hair is curly, opt for a travel-sized curl or polish cream to help tame the beast and aid your styling efforts. Oh, and if you’re the forgetful type, you can even prep for the inevitable by using a frizz-preventing product pre-blow dry which will smooth and seal the cuticles, before finishing with a humidity-proof hairspray.
In the kit.
Here’s just a few products you can build into your handbag kit that’ll help save the day:
- A travel sized hair spray
- bobby pins
- Anti-humidity spray
- Frizz fighting cream
- A handbag sized hair brush
- Hair ties
Sarah Tarca is a beauty, travel and lifestyle writer.