It’s that time of year when we swap out warm temperatures, sunglasses and t-shirts in favour of coats, umbrellas and drizzly, cold weather.
Brits are experiencing their fair share of bad weather right now, with flood warnings issued daily.
Adapting to this weather can be a minefield, and it seems styling and caring for your hair can be, too, if the hack-sharing platform TikTok is anything to go by, with over a million views collectively for hashtags such as #rainhair, #rainydayhairstyle and #rainhairstyle.
Here, Hair Expert Alice Dawkins of Milk + Blush reveals the best haircare advice to get you through this storm season.
Wash it and Dry It ASAP
While it’s best to wear a coat with a hood or have an umbrella to hand at this time of year, that’s not always guaranteed, and sometimes you end up in the middle of an unexpected downpour and, inevitably, with wet hair.
In the short term, the rain will open hair cuticles, letting in excess water and humidity, leaving hair looking limp and lifeless or, if your hair is particularly porous – frizzy.
Meanwhile, in the long term, rainwater contains pollutants and minerals that, if allowed to settle on the hair or scalp for too long, can affect its pH levels and affect its ability to retain moisture, causing it to become dry, dull, and lifeless, plus likely to get tangled or break.
Additionally, leaving hair damp for too long can lift hair cuticles, clog hair follicles and create a moist surface for dirt and oil to build up, resulting in scalp irritation or even dandruff.
So, wash and dry your hair as soon as possible or if you’re out, try rinse it with clean, warm water to eliminate rainwater from settling.
If you wear hair extensions, remove clip-ins immediately to avoid damaging the clips or mixing with wet hair, and for both temporary and permanent options, always let them dry naturally.
Invest In Appropriate Products and Tools
Get equipped with the right tools to tackle potential issues from getting caught in the rain.
The key is to treat it delicately, starting with a sulphate-free shampoo as the most non-invasive way to cleanse your hair and rid it of any pollutants, followed by an intense moisturising conditioner to rehydrate it.
Drying your locks with a microfibre towel is also a good option here, as its finer fibres will help to absorb excess water without too much abrasion.
Plus, purchasing a wide-tooth comb will help tackle tangles, and haircare products like serums, oils, or a dry shampoo can be ideal to protect hair before and after rainfall.
Choose Headwear Wisely
Reaching for the nearest piece of headwear will help to protect your scalp and locks from rain, but be mindful of hats, hoods or accessories that can be damaging.
For example, those that are too tight or made from abrasive fibres might cause friction on your locks or reduce airflow to the scalp, which can cause hair loss.
Opt for an accessory which keeps your hair dry that is loose fitting and made from breathable materials like cotton.
And always guarantee anything you put on your hair or extensions is clean to avoid any dirt or oil buildup that could cause greasy hair or further scalp issues.
Your hair doesn’t always need to be down to look cute. Sometimes a hair-up day is just as stylish – especially if rain is forecast.
The best styles for a super easy and chic look are the slicked-back ponytail, bun or braids. Pulling your hair back off your face will ensure it doesn’t get blown around by the wind while grouping it minimises the scalp’s exposure to potential pollutants. If you have short hair, investing in a clip-in ponytail is a great way to expand your hairstyle choices on rainy days.
For an extra layer of protection, add products before styling hair to ensure it stays neat, shiny and healthy no matter the weather.