This week, I finally began to understand the importance of knowing how dew points, humidity, and product ingredients all play a role in determining my hair’s appearance on a given day. I understood humidity and ingredients, but dew points? They made no sense to me.

Enter this week: It’s been in the 90s, with lots of humidity, and nearly every day this week, I had to leave my home office and commute to various locations and a conference. I thought I was ready—the first day wasn’t so bad because the humidity was relatively low, and though I had a smidge of frizz, my hair turned out almost how I wanted it. I was lulled into thinking my normal routine would serve me.

Day two brought cotton candy to me! “Cotton candy?” you ask. Yes, cotton candy … on my head. Now, I don’t really care about the whole 1-4 hair typing system in terms of what products to use; I’ve learned that has little to do with anything. However, I think my hair is mostly 4b with a few 4a patches. Rather than curls, I have waves. I’m trying to be grateful for what God gave me, but, man, I love those 4a and 3c curls! Oh well. So, anyway, instead of my (ahem) 4b wondrous waves, I got the cotton candy puff, which I admit wasn’t terrible because of my hair cut, but it still wasn’t what I wanted.

I checked the weather forecast, and the dew point was 70; then I reviewed the ingredients on the BioInfusion conditioner I use as a leave-in (with some shea oil when I do wash-and-gos) and sure enough: There’s glycerin in there! Finally, it clicks that glycerin is a big no-no for me when the dew points are high. Finally.

If you need help understanding how porosity, texture, humdity, and dew points dictate what products you should use and when, here’s some help:

For the record:

  • my hair texture is coarse, so I avoid protein most of the time;
  • my hair is porous (or perhaps very dry), so I need to use products that will close my hair’s cuticle;
  • this time of year, I need to avoid humectants; and,
  • the product junkie in me is elated that I had to purchase two new products that don’t have protein or humecants—Sprial Solution’s Deeply Decadent Moisturizing Treatment and Curl Junkie’s BeautiCurls Leave-in Hair Conditioner—for this lovely summer season.

If you’ve been in the wild, like I’ve been, read about porosity and texture at Live Curly Live Free, and forget about making product choices based on your curl type rather than your hair type’s specific needs.