Shouts out to @EbonyCPrincess, founder of Longing 4 Length, for posting this helpful winter hair care tip on Instagram! As Natruly Courtney continues to grow, I take heed from other hair bloggers who not only entertain, but inform their readers as well.
When I saw Ebony’s #L4LHairTipTuesday post about using humidifiers to combat dry indoor heat during winter, I immediately wanted to know more. I asked her a few specifics so that readers who (like me) are unfamiliar with humidifiers or using them for this purpose could learn more and adjust their hair care routines accordingly.
As soon as I pressed “Send” I hopped on Google search to do some research. Just as I said in my comment, I’ve been using a cool mist humidifier for several weeks to combat dry, stuffy noises. Now I wanted to find out about its benefits, if any, in protecting and maintaining moisturized hair. Below I explain my findings in this week’s Tress Talk Thursday.
Q: How can humidifiers be used to combat dry winter hair? Should hair be covered or uncovered (using a silk/satin pillowcase) to reap full benefits?
A: In order to understand how humidifiers affect hair, you should first understand what a humidifier is and what it does.
From MayoClinic.org:“Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor or steam to increase moisture levels in the air (humidity). There are several types:
- Central humidifiers are built into home heating and air conditioning systems and are designed to humidify the whole house.
- Ultrasonic humidifiers produce a cool mist with ultrasonic vibration.
- Impeller humidifiers produce a cool mist with a rotating disk.
- Evaporators use a fan to blow air through a wet wick, filter or belt.
- Steam vaporizers use electricity to create steam that cools before leaving the machine. Avoid this type of humidifier if you have children; hot water inside this type of humidifier may cause burns if spilled.”
A quick walk down an aisle in Walmart will render you a basic understanding of the types of humidifiers, offering a small selection of warm mist (steam vaporizers) and cool mist ones.
When choosing which type may be best for you, consider the following:
Warm mist humidifiers heat up the water inside, then release hot steam into the air. This is favorable for cold rooms, but the moist, warm air can encourage the growth of mold and other bacteria. People with allergies and asthma may find this problematic. Those who breathe well in saunas will inhale a little happier. Warm mist humidifiers can also cause burns (I’ve seen sparks fly), so be sure to keep them away from small children.
Cool mist humidifiers can cool down the overall temperature of a room. However, they don’t emit vapors that could burn the skin and are less prone to overgrowth of bacteria.
Whichever you choose should be based on your individual or family needs. No answers I found listed either as the better or more efficient option for helping hair retain moisture.
Similarly, wearing or not wearing a head cover seems totally up to you. My warning is to steer clear of poorly woven, cheap quality fabrics and threads. Silk is better suited than say, nylon, and adjustable headbands tend to stay better and give fewer snags than purely elastic ones.
I can’t really say that wearing a satin bonnet and running a cool mist humidifier has helped my hair, but I can’t say that it hasn’t either. This sounds like an awesome premise for a little experiment.