Click play to listen to Humid Air and Frizzy Hair—Plus Other Health Impacts of Humidity.
It’s probably happened to you: spending time and energy to create a hairstyle that quickly unravels once you step into the high humidity of summer. So why does high humidity cause straightened hair to become frizzy and curled styles to droop? Humid air adds moisture to your hair, similar to running a wet comb or brush through it. As the moisture is added and removed (by the sun and heat), the drying process causes your hair to change shape and revert back to a natural, unstyled look—often frizzy or curly.
Other Health Impacts of Humidity
While frizzy hair is an obvious sign of humidity’s impact, what are some other ways that humidity impacts the body and our health?
Low humidity is associated with increased risk of respiratory infections. In part, this is because our mucus membranes work best at fighting germs and viruses when they’re properly hydrated. Additionally, viruses thrive in dry conditions.
Allergy symptoms can increase when low humidity dries out sinuses. On the other end, high humidity can aggravate allergies because it creates a suitable environment for the growth of mold, dust mites, and other common allergens. This is why it’s important to maintain an indoor relative humidity level between 40–60%.
High humidity can prevent sweat from evaporating, making it more difficult for the body to cool down in high summer temperatures. Keep an eye on the heat index this summer, which combines temperature and humidity levels to give a more accurate picture of how outdoor conditions will affect the body.
Dry, itchy skin can worsen when the humidity is low. And when humidity is high, some people can experience skin irritations like acne breakouts or develop heat rash. The key is to stay hydrated and balance indoor humidity levels.
According to the Sleep Foundation, “high humidity can increase wakefulness and reduce the amount of time you spend” in the stages of sleep associated with bodily recovery and memory consolidation.
Control the Health Impacts of Humidity with AprilAire
While you can’t control how humid it is outdoors, balancing your indoor humidity levels throughout the year is simple with AprilAire whole-house humidification and dehumidification systems. Balanced humidity plays an essential role in creating a healthy environment for you and your family.