The expert’s guide to rainproofing your hair

As the inspirational quote you’ve probably seen all over the internet goes, ‘life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain’.

Which is all well and good, until you spend mere seconds stuck under a surprise rain shower, and emerge looking like you’ve just taken a dip in the pool, rather than a casual stroll to the shops or office.

Rain can cause all sorts of issues with your locks, from dropped styles to uncontrollable frizz and knots that just won’t shift – but damp and drizzle doesn’t always have to ruin your day.

Getty Images

We asked Jessica Patching, founder of Marla Hair, how to deal with the biggest wet weather woes – and it turns out that just a few small updates to your routine can make all the difference.

How can I prep my hair when I know it’s going to rain?

It happens to us all – you check the forecast ahead of an important day, and see the dreaded droplets hovering on the screen. ‘If you know it’s going to rain you will need to take extra steps in prepping your hair to avoid it going frizzy or dropping,’ Jessica says. ‘Before drying your hair use a volumising or holding spray – I like Alterna Caviar Miracle Multiplying Volume Mist (£21.20) for lift, or Session Spray by Kevin Murphy (£22) for hold.’

Up dos will always last better, so this will be your safest option. When you’ve set your look in place, Jessica recommends using a firm hold hairspray like L’Oreal Paris’ iconic Elnett (£3.99) to really lock down those strands.

My style instantly drops when it’s damp

This is another case of preparation where possible – ‘use a holding spray or blow dry lotion to give your hair the best possible chance of keeping in place,’ Jessica advises. ‘If you are waving or curling your hair then going in with a slightly smaller tong will make a difference.’

‘Once you have styled your hair use a humidity spray; Living Proof’s No Frizz Humidity Shield (£22) is a great one. A firm hold hairspray is also important for finishing. Avoid brushing it once it’s done and keep a mini hairspray in your bag to tame any subsequent slips on the go.’

Rain makes my hair frizz

‘The rain is a pain for making your hair frizz,’ Jessica admits. ‘Using a product that smooths the cuticle is really beneficial to avoid as much frizz as possible.’ A light serum, such as Schwarzkopf Professional OSiS+ Magic Anti-Frizz Shine Serum (£13.50), is your best bet – ‘to apply, place a small amount in your hands and work from mid lengths to tip. Avoid working too close to the roots as it could go a little oily.’

‘If you have frizz at the roots, using a styling balm or hairspray works wonders – Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil (£35) is a great all-rounder,’ she adds. ‘Once applied, smooth out with the back of a comb or a clean make-up brush.’

I just got caught in a downpour – help!

‘If you’ve been totally soaked in the rain it’s best to dry it off as quick as possible to avoid the frizzy, fluffy look,’ Jessica says. ‘Sometimes in these circumstances a hairdryer isn’t always close by, but the hand dryer in a bathroom can do the job in a pinch. Avoid brushing your hair too much as you will create more frizz.’

Getty Images

‘If you have been drenched to the point of no return, sometimes you just have to accept it – go with a sleek new up do and rock the wet look!’

My hair gets really knotty in bad weather

‘To help with tangles and knots in bad weather use a leave-in conditioning spray before drying – Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Color Freeze Spray Conditioner (£11.95), for instance, is fab for coloured hair,’ Jessica suggests. ‘Once dried use a light oil on the very ends to help avoid any knotting. A soft bristle brush or a Tangle Teezer (£11) will be the best go-to brush.’

‘We always recommend our clients not to brush their hair when it’s soaking wet, especially with extensions in,’ she warns – a tip that’s important to note not only after washing, but also when the rain has hit you hard. ‘Hair has a different elasticity when wet and is more fragile so it can become very tangled easily. When the hair is really wet its best to use a wide tooth comb at first, and then once partially dry use a Tangle Teezer to brush through.’

I need an up do that’s totally rainproof

If you have naturally smooth hair, Jessica reckons that that your ideal up do would be a sleek bun or chignon. ‘Keeping the hair pulled back tight and low with all the hair tucked away is perfect for a rainproof number,’ she notes.

Getty Images

‘For someone with more texture to their hair a messy high pony tail could also work. Keeping it high and loose sets off a lovely style but damage will be limited if you’re caught in any wet weather.’