Clients are complaining about their hair either being flat, no matter how much they use mousse and blow dry away from their head, or that no matter what they do it just gets bigger and fuzzier. Welcome to Southern humidity.

The No. 1 reason your hair will get flatter or bigger, depending on the hair type, is that it isn’t completely dry. A good majority of women begin styling their hair too soon after washing, thinking that it will “stay” better, and they quit styling when it feels dry. 

This is the main reason I hear people say “I spend so much time on my hair and 15 minutes after I’m done it looks like I didn’t do anything.”

Styling your hair when it’s wet will not make it stay better. Stopping your styling when your hair feels dry is the biggest mistake.

The hair holds moisture you can’t feel, and our salty air adds to this swelling of the cuticle of the hair. This happens especially after drying with the blow dryer, because our head is also perspiring a little. Therefore, that last bit of moisture you don’t feel makes all of your styling efforts useless.

Here’s the remedy: Do not use a brush or try to style your hair when it’s damp or wet. If you want volume, put mousse on your roots only. Not all over your hair – only on your roots, especially on the top and sides parallel to your cheeks and eyes. This is where you want fullness. 

Then blow and blow. No brush. Just blow your hair in all directions, opposite the way it wants to go. Blow away from the head. Lift and push your hair in all directions with your hand. This will set your roots up and away, giving you more fullness and volume. 

Keep doing this until it feels dry (this is key). It is still not totally dry – you just can’t feel that hidden moisture that will make or break your hair style. 

At this point, when you take your brush – bristle is best – and again blow, while styling your hair. This last step will set the style and get the hidden moisture out of the hair. 

Your style will stay a hundred percent better and will take less time to do. Now remember, it will stay longer and better, but nothing is going to stay if you’re golfing or on the beach. 

The final step should be an oil- or laminate-based product, used very sparingly, to put a barrier on the hair to prevent the salty, moist air from penetrating the strands and wreaking havoc on the style. 

A little teasing to make it stay longer or dry shampoo will also help with the longevity. This last step is not necessary, but adds a bit more security.

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