Hair-Care Tips

‘I’m a Dermatologist, and This Is Why I Recommend Using a Humidifier for Hair Health’

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Getty Images / Westend61
Winter is coming, and as the air gets dryer, so does your hair. You may already know that now is the time to double down on deep conditioners and add a bit more oil to your strands, but what you may not realize is that using a humidifier for hair health will provide the extra boost of hydration that your strands are begging for during the colder months.

"Hair is extremely sensitive to humidity levels. Water in the air affects the hair’s hydrogen bonds which help connect keratin fibers and contribute to its shape," says Marie Mignon, vice president of research and development at Prose, a hair-care brand that prioritizes hair health. In high humidity environments (like the ones many of us experience during New York City Summers), hair absorbs moisture from the air, which causes swelling and frizz. On the flip side, dry air will suck moisture out of your hair, leaving your strands dull, brittle, and more prone to static.

You may notice this happening more than usual as the moisture levels in the air start to drop. "Environments with less-than-optimal humidity levels cause our har to dry out and become brittle and more prone to breaking," says Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon in New York City. Not only is dry hair tough to work with, but it's also weaker, explains Dr. Engleman. "This is the time of year when we tend to see hair at its driest and most brittle, and where it is more likely to break," she says. If your hair is rough, dry to the touch, or difficult to manage, it's your cue that you may want to add a humidifier into your nightly hair-care routine.

"Sleeping with a humidifier helps balance out the humidity in your home, keeping it at an ideal level for maintaining your hair’s moisture and health without causing frizz. It also helps keep your hair looking and feeling soft, shiny, and strong," says Dr. Engleman. And yes—this even applies if you have frizz-prone hair. The goal of using a humidifier isn't to replicate July's 80 percent humidity in your bedroom. Instead, it can help you maintain an optimal 30 to 50 percent humidity to keep your hair defined and sleek.

In order to help your hair maintain optimal hydration, she suggests flipping on the Canopy Humidifier ($150) before you go to sleep. What makes this particular humidifier so hair-friendly is the fact that it releases evaporative moisture into the environment, which means that it's mistless and there are no big drops of water to make your strands expand. Plus, Canopy has partnered with Prose to launch an aromatherapy kit with three of Prose's beloved cool-weather scents, making the air both feel better and smell better while it gives your hair some much-needed hydration.

The Canopy humidifier is available in all white, or white with an accent color of pink, blue, or green. It comes with three scent pucks that you place on the humidifier, allowing it to double as a diffuser. This set comes with three different Prose-crafted fragrances: Arcadia, a limited-edition aroma of lemon, basil, and cedar; Perle, a blend of gardenia, sandalwood, and musk; and Botanica, a mix of lavender, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

Fresh scents and hair-health benefits aside, we love the Canopy humidifier because it has embedded UV LED lights that prevent mold and bacteria from growing. Plus, many of the parts are dishwasher safe, making it super easy to keep clean. Shop the humidifier above to give your hair the hydration it needs all winter long.

For more tips on how to hack your hair-care routine for optimal hair health, check out the video below. 

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