Summertime Fine: Humidity-Proof Your Curls and Coils


For many naturals, the summertime — with its high humidity, tropical vacations and water sports — signals the advent of protective style season. Who wants to contend with the effects of salt air or summer rain, when the goal is to be as carefree and look as effortless as possible? Point taken.

Curls and coils are already unpredictable. One product change can make or break your style regardless of the season. Add humidity to the equation and it’s like playing Russian Roulette every time you step outside. And in the era of social media posts, Zoom calls and unexpected Face-times, there are few who can afford to take such a gamble. No one wants their summer vacay photos ruined by hair that won’t cooperate.

The good news is that you have more control than you think. The most important weapon in your summer bag of hair tricks? Choose styling products that are glycerin-free. Glycerin is an extraordinary humectant, known for not only adding moisture but also for pulling additional moisture out of the air and putting it into your hair. In the moderately humid months, it is our dear friend and ally in the fight against winter dryness and spring blah. In the summer though? It becomes a frenemy like no other, taking you from volume to poof and from fluffy to frizzed out in a matter of moments.

When it comes to glycerin-free, Camille Rose Naturals has us covered this summer. I discovered the brand during my first curly summer back in 2017 and the love is real. Founded by Janelle Stephens in 2011, Camille Rose is known for high-quality, sweet-smelling ingredients that moisturize and nourish without any silicones, parabens and phthalates.

For high density and low porosity hair like mine, Camille Rose products are a godsend. Below are some of my style tips and the glycerine-free products that I use to achieve them through the heat, humidity, wind, sweat and ocean waves of summer.

Aloe Whipped Butter Gel.

Camille Rose’s Aloe Whipped Butter Gel, is a cream styler that acts like a gel. Slather on a moisturizing leave-in first (like Curl Love Moisture Milk or Honey Hydrate Leave-In) and then finish with this luxuriant, buttery gel for fluffy, voluminous body, exquisite curl definition and light to medium hold. And warning: you’ll be tempted to eat it but don’t — this gel literally smells like cake batter!

Curl Maker Gel.

If you favor long-lasting curls with less wash days in between, light to medium hold won’t cut it — especially after a humid summer stroll or a jog along the sandy beach. For greater longevity, try the Curl Maker gel on its own, or layer it on top of the Aloe Whipped Butter Gel or the Coconut Water Style Setter for stronger hold with your wash-n-go’s. Infused with marshmallow root extract, the Curl Maker has great slip and glides through your tresses with ease. Unlike other gels, it offers incredible definition but without the crunch that often leaves my curls brittle and untouchable. And the sweet citrus fragrance will transport you to a shady orange grove whenever you use it.

The Almond Jai Twisting Butter.

This “supremely soft styling butter” is one of Camille Rose’s most popular products and it’s easy to see why. In addition to having an insanely decadent aroma, this styler packs an incredible amount of moisture into every strand. I’m not really sure how Janelle Stephens does it, but you definitely should believe the hype about this one — particularly if you have extra dry and thirsty hair like mine. I use it to achieve soft, shiny braid-out waves, and whether I’m traveling or at home, they go the distance.

Whether you opt for these products by Camille Rose or another moisturizing, glycerin-free styler, your hair will be hydrated without appearing wilted or overly frizzed out. The damp air will leave your hair alone and cling to your skin instead — leaving it dewy and glowed up. And just like that, a little humidity won’t seem so bad.

So here’s to rooftop cocktails, concerts on the lawn, windy boat trips, campfires on the beach — and all that this glorious summer season may bring!

For all things culture and travel, follow @culturebykaren on Instagram and Twitter. Special thanks to Camille Rose Naturals for providing products for this article.



Karen F. ~ travel & culture writer

Freelance culture writer with bylines in Essence, HuffPost, The Root & Blavity. Entertainment lawyer, so culture rules everything around me (C.R.E.A.M.).