The hot and sticky time of year is just around the corner. We love the beach, hate the Northern cold, then question why we moved here when the temperature rises and the humidity sets in.

Everyone thinks the humidity is what causes our hair, among other things, to go out of control. This is only partly true. The hidden culprit is actually the salt that is in our air from the ocean.

There is truth to the terms “beach wave” or “beach frizz” for many of us. It’s usually not pretty.

Salt is wonderful for detoxing; not so much for the hair. Salt is very dehydrating, which means it reduces the moisture in the hair. This is the reason for frizz.

Each strand of hair has the outside cuticle layer. This layer is actually many layers that lie on top of one another from roots to end of the strand.

When the hair is hydrated and healthy, those layers sit tightly sealed on top of one another, reflecting light. This reflection causes the hair to “shine.”

Salt, chemicals, sun, lack of regular trims, cheap shampoo and daily abuse cause these layers to lift and not lie back down all the way. Hence frizz.

So how do we deal with living here in this climate that we love but our hair hates?

Start with getting regular trims to keep the cuticle layer from beginning to lift. The longer your hair is, the longer it has been on your head and exposed to daily abuse and salty air.

Do not brush while wet, especially when leaving the pool or beach. The salt also makes the hair to constrict, and brushing will stretch the hair causing the layers to lift more.

Use a moisture shampoo and conditioner from a salon. There is a difference in salon products vs. drug store brands. Less of something good is better than lots of something bad. Trust me. It will keep your color in longer and your hair healthy and shiny.

Spray leave-in conditioner on your hair before going in the water and while outside in the elements.

Unfortunately, our sweat is acidic, which will also strip hair of moisture and lift the color faster. A good moisture conditioner on the hair before going outside will help to prevent the salt in our sweat from going into the hair.

When at the gym, slick the hair back with conditioner. It will help to stop the frizz after showering.

Use a boars’ hair brush when drying vs. one with plastic bristles.

Last but definitely not least, be sure your hair is dry, dry, dry before styling. Any tiny bit of residual moisture in the hair will make all of your styling efforts ineffective.

I hope this helps save you time and the health of your hair.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.