The Heat Is On: Controlling Humidity’s Physical Effects
How to keep your cool on super-soggy days!
-Vicki Santillano, Divine Caroline
I haven’t felt like myself all day today, and I think the weather’s to blame. It’s uncharacteristically muggy, which somehow makes my brain as frazzled as my hair. What is it about a humid day—i.e., a day with a high level of water vapor in the air–that has such an effect on us? I did some research and found out exactly what happens to us on humid days, why it happens and what we can do about it.
*Humidity makes curly hair frizzy and straight hair limp.
*That’s because of the temporary effect humidity has on hair’s hydrogen bonds, which give hair a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to style (i.e. making straight hair curly and vice versa). So you’re left with either mega-frizzy hair or super-limp locks.
*It wears us out.
*Why? Our sweat’s got nowhere to go. On hot, low-humidity days, we cool off as the sweat evaporates from our skin. But on muggy days, the air’s so waterlogged that it can’t absorb moisture as quickly, if at all. So the sweat stays on our skin, overheating the body even more.
*And that’s not just physically uncomfortable –it can be dangerous. A recent study found that working in an abnormally humid factory caused workers severe mental stress, in contrast with the moderate stress levels of workers in a factory of average humidity.