I used to be a hairstylist - many moons ago. So it kind of figures that I am fussy about my hair. Like a dentist, it is one of the professions where you can't do your own work so I am very picky about where I go for cuts and color and when I find a good stylist, I stick with them. Since I was 19 I have had three hairstylists; Christopher, of Christopher and Claud Hair design - the salon I apprenticed at - cut my hair from the time I started working for him in 1977 until 1985 or so when I decided that traveling to Vancouver (where he moved his shop from Surrey - where I worked, to downtown Vancouver) was too much for a mom of 3 small kids. So I found George in Langley, where I lived. He had his own salon, Amadeus, for the first few years then he sold it and joined the huge new Spa Utopia and I followed him there. I stayed with him until 2009 when my son started dating a hairstylist and when it became apparent that she was most likely going to be a permanent part of our family, I thought I should start to go to her as a gesture of acceptance. Turns out she is a FANTASTIC hairstylist. Dare I say the best I've ever had? I think I dare. So I have been very happy for the past few years with how my hair looks. Recently, my son was offered a fabulous job in Calgary and so they are moving there later this year. Now what will I do?
Anyhow, this all to say - I am very fussy about my hair!!
So when I go to the Caribbean, I have a terrible time with my hair. I have fine hair with a bit (and I do mean a BIT) of a kink in it (can't really call it a curl). When I am in the humidity of the tropics, it goes instantly limp and sticks flat to my head. Add to that the constant breeze in the islands and it looks TERRIBLE!!! (Wind is the other enemy of fine haired people). When I was headed to the BVI for a month, I asked my (now) daughter in law if she could give me a loose perm so that I'd have some curl and body to work with and, when I went swimming, I wouldn't have to worry about getting my hair wet and losing whatever I had managed to do with it that morning. She said that, due to the highlights in my hair, a perm would just burn it and cause breakage, which I pretty much knew she would say but I was hoping perms had advanced some since I was a stylist. So the whole time I was there, I looked terrible. I mean really terrible. And I have the pictures to prove it. (I should add that, as makeup slides off your face about 10 minutes after it is applied when in the tropics, I am wearing little to no makeup in these photos which definitely adds to the 'terrible' factor).
I am posting this picture so you can see what I look like at home and also because the feed for this blog always posts the first picture and I sure don't want it to be one of the following!!
This one taken not an hour after having a shower and doing my hair!!
Walking around in the suffocating heat of Road Town for a day resulted in this lovely look.
This was probably the hottest day I have ever experienced and I was so overheated I thought I might pass out... my hair certainly did!
Here I tied back some of my hair at each side to try to 'poof' it out a bit. Didn't work as well as I'd hoped.
I honestly look so bad and so different than I do here at home that an island fellow I met and spent the last day of my trip with had no idea who I was when I friended him on FaceBook just two days after getting home. And when I told him who I was he replied, "WOW!! You look TOTALLY different." Yeah, I know. Thanks.
I did a search online to see if there were any tips or information on this problem out there in internet land and it turned up a few tips that I will try on my next trip:
1. Use shampoo and conditioner for FINE hair. This will add less weight to the hair.
2. Mid-day, use a dry shampoo (I love the one from Tresemme that adds volume). This will immediately absorb oils from heat and sweat and put some life back into your strands. Just spray at your roots, flip your head over and shake. Then brush your hair well. It will be good as new! (I don't know why I never thought of this). When I would blow-dry my hair in the morning, I could feel the heat of the day coupled with the heat from the blowdryer causing my scalp to sweat, wetting down the roots I had just worked on to get some lift so this one is a MUST for me to try.
3. Use an anti-humidity hairspray (again, I recently discovered that Tresemme makes one and it's amazing in the humidity of Vancouver's rain forest so perhaps it will work as well in the tropics).
So these are great for keeping styled hair looking 'great' all day. (We will see how it works on my next trip). But what about after a swim? Am I still going to look like a drowned rat as my hair dries flat and stringy with a bit of a kink? It's not long enough for a pony tail.
I'd love to hear what you other fine-haired readers do for this. And I don't want to hear from people with naturally curly hair complaining about how their hair frizzes out in the tropics, I really don't. You have no idea how lucky you are. I'd give anything for frizz. I have yet to see someone with naturally curly hair look dreadful on the beach. It just doesn't happen. Any curl... ANY... is better than flat greasy looking hair.
***UPDATE: Took a trip to Grenada and the Grenadines for 3 weeks, 10 days of that on a sailboat and all three of the above tips really worked, especially the dry shampoo! YAY Pict's are on the posts about the trip which start HERE. I mean, still not like at home but WAY better than the month in the BVI. And an island fellow who I met on the beach one day (looking terrible with my hair pulled back in clips) was a taxi driver and picked me up later that same day to take me for dinner and when he saw me come out of my hotel room - well, lets just say his jaw hit the floor. I look SO different when my hair looks good and I have a bit of makeup on!