View Full Version : Does a humidifier make a difference in hair?

November 30th, 2008, 12:54 PM
I have been using one in my bedroom for a few nights. It is helping the dryness in my sinuses. I wonder if it will help my hair too if I do it regularly. Anyone do this when the weather is dry?

November 30th, 2008, 01:27 PM
I usually use one for at least part of the winter. I definitely notice my hair is less static-y when I do. That must mean it's less dry. :)

November 30th, 2008, 01:30 PM
I would die without mine in the winter! it definitely helps my skin so it probably helps hair too!

November 30th, 2008, 01:31 PM
Generally speaking: water vapor causes the hair shaft to swell, lifting the cuticle, causing frizz.

November 30th, 2008, 05:01 PM
I didn't have to moistorize my hair as much when I had mine. I don't have it with me now unfortunantly.

November 30th, 2008, 05:25 PM
I couldn't imagine life without my humidifier in the winter. Seriously my skin gets all cracky and my hair just turns dull and crunchy. I keep one on in my bedroom at night and get it super humid ( 40% or so(meant 40 not 70...slip of finger typing ughh But thats high for northeast standards in the winter time...my house can get down to 6% with woodstove going all the time). I wake up with soft moisturized skin and my hair is soo happy. I do turn them off while I am at work during the day to prevent mold etc. I keep my bedroom door open during the day and I come home turn on humidifiers and start my night stuff ( cooking, kid's homework etc). too much moisture and no drying out time can invite mold. We mainly heat with wood and only use oil at night after the woodstove has died down so that dries it out very well. I can't breathe the dry air from the woodstove it dehydrates me very fast. weird huh? But I must have A/C in the humid hot months in the summer...go figure LOL

November 30th, 2008, 05:27 PM
I heatstyle my hair and like it to last the week so I'd probably get pretty annoyed with a humidifier lol.

November 30th, 2008, 05:28 PM
I use a humidifier and I don't notice really any difference either way. My throat and nose don't seem to be as dry but my hair and skin don't seem any better or worse.

I agree with Spidermom humidity does tend to cause frizz so I don't see why that would change during the winter...

November 30th, 2008, 05:30 PM
Generally speaking: water vapor causes the hair shaft to swell, lifting the cuticle, causing frizz.

I'm wondering if this could be mitigated by running the humidifier on a lower setting. And perhaps in a really dry room water vapor wouldn't have so much power as to cause frizz.
Also, compared to the dryness caused by central heating, perhaps a bit of frizz is not so bad?
It also varies from one person to the next, for me, misting and water vapor have always been good. I've been thinking of getting a humidifier for my library room, the heated air is giving me the itchies and the throatache.

November 30th, 2008, 05:35 PM
What a great thread!

It didn't occur to me that better humidity control might affect my hair.

I will begin monitoring that, as we begin to raise the humidstat setting for wintertime.

Hoping for a happy medium.

Love and Hugs!
WD :)

heidi w.
November 30th, 2008, 05:43 PM
I anticipate different responses on this point based on geographic location and local weather (and of course hair type and hair care techniques.)

I learned this technique from a most wonderful and generous woman: Lady Grace. Stunning hair not to mention just a great person all around.

I use this humidifier in my bedroom every night in winter because the air is so dry and needs some moisture. I run it all night long on a low setting. I use only distilled water -- not hard water, not bottled drinking water, not softened water. Also, my humidifier runs a warm, wet air - not cold.

I think that for even curlier folks this may not be such a bad idea in the winter, when air is quite dry, particularly in snow country. This may not be as needed in climates that still possess plenty of water in the ambient air, such as California, USA, or more warm climates.

For example, I had no need of such a device when I lived in the Bay Area of California (from Oakland to San Jose to Berkeley to above San Francisco, Sausolito area, and also in the Central Valley, Modesto area.) HOWEVER, I now live in Northern Illinois where temperatures drop a lot, there's snow, and definitely significantly drier air.

This helps my nostrils, my skin and my hair. Prior to setting this up this winter, my hair had just begun to have some issues with fly away indicating dryness all about, and some few sparks of static. I oiled my length only with my usual Coconut Oil and run the humidifier.

ETA: I still have to use a heavier moisturizer in winter, and of course, I do oil my hair still.

I have used a humidifier the past few winters here now, and it makes enough of a difference.

I am aware that curly haired folks may have the swelling and frizzing that is mentioned in this thread. But keep in mind, for many curly folks, the hair begins to behave this way when the ambient air has TOO MUCH moisture, too much humidity, in particular. The difference here is the fact that it's winter and thus the air has NO moisture, or extremely low, so one needs to put in a little bit to help make a difference. Saturation is not necessary.

Therefore, in some locations, where there may well be plenty of HUMIDITY in the air, a humidifier may not be necessary and may indeed cause havoc because then adding more humidity saturates the air, effectively.

There are thermometers that measure humidity. Also, online weather reports for a given area often enough include the humidity measurement.

I hope this helps,
heidi w.

PS Take care to not overly insert water in a given room because in some instances, if you really overdo it, you can affect the walls and pictures and things like that.

November 30th, 2008, 06:36 PM
I've been running a cool mist humidifier for my sinuses. I can't say I've noticed that my hair has gotten frizzier at all. I was worried about that, because in the summer my hair can be very frizzy, but so far it hasn't happened. :)

November 30th, 2008, 06:54 PM
Oh my humidifier is definitely not enough to make it "feel" humid. It just feels..well better. I can tell that it is a little more comfortable. Humidity doesn't really make my hair frizz too much anyway, just helps the curls. BUT I am not talking TOO MUCH humidity, just enough when it is dry to help normalize the air. Right now we have had rain all day so I won't run it tonight. I am thinking I might get an indoor humidity guage to help. I definitely don't need this in the summer here! I am sure it would matter what area you live in. Interesting to hear all the different opinions.

November 30th, 2008, 07:25 PM
I live in a very wet climate so swelling of the hair shaft and frizziness is a given.

November 30th, 2008, 07:26 PM
With a humidifier running, I get less statics. I don't get any extra frizzies...

November 30th, 2008, 08:51 PM
I'm planning on buying one. We have all wood heat and it makes it DESERT DRY in here :(

November 30th, 2008, 10:56 PM
For me, it makes a difference, definitely. I have very dry skin and scalp and hair, and I couldn't get along without humidifiers in the house in winter.

December 1st, 2008, 02:02 AM
In the winter it gets very cold and dry here as well. As the others have said, a humidifier can help to keep moisture in your hair. It's almost a must for dry climate dwellers. :p

December 27th, 2008, 04:41 AM
Not that they always give great advice, but Seventeen magazine recently recommended getting a humidifier if you have dry hair and skin in the winter. It makes a lot of sense. The indoor air is pretty bad for your skin, throat, etc. so it would probably have the same effect on your hair. I think I'm going to be getting one soon.

December 27th, 2008, 06:08 AM
I love my humidifier. I tend to get a lot of dry throat/sinus problems in winter due to the dry air and it helps with that. I have two. One does warm mist and the other is more like a vaporizer (it's old my mom had me use it as a kid) and it actually mists cool water into the air. I use the warm mist one in the winter... makes most sense. There are a lot of positive things about humidifiers mentioned here. One thing I don't think was mentioned is how cost efficient they are. Humidifiers help to retain the heat in the air, so you'll need to run your heaters less. The only negative I can think of is molding issues if you overuse them. Also, they do require care and cleaning as moist warm places are prime habitat for mold.