It’s the icky, sticky time of year already! All of my clients are complaining about their hair being flat, no matter how much they use mousse and blow dry away from their head, or either no matter what they do their hair just gets bigger and fuzzier.

Welcome to the Southern humidity.

The only type of hair that behaves in this climate is naturally curly hair. With minimal product and leaving it alone, curly hair will be effortless and look great all day.

For the other 95% of us, here are some tips and tricks to make your style last longer without staying in the air conditioning all day. That is the only foolproof solution, unfortunately. Just remember you are not alone.

The number one reason your hair will get flatter or bigger, depending on the hair type, is that it isn’t completely dry. A good majority of the female population begin styling their hair too soon, thinking that it will stay better, and quit styling when it feels dry.

It might feel dry, but it probably isn’t. Styling your hair from when it’s still wet will not make it stay better. Stopping when it “feels” dry is the biggest mistake.

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

Remedy No. 1: 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, especially on the top and sides parallel to your cheeks and eyes. This is where you want fullness.

Then blow, blow, blow. No brush. Just blow your hair in all directions opposite the way it wants to go. Blow away from the head, lifting and pushing 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. It is NOT totally dry – you just can’t feel that hidden moisture that will make or break your style.

At this point, use your brush – bristle is best – and again blow and style your hair.

This last step will set the style and get the hidden moisture out of the hair. Your style will stay 100% better and will take less time to do. (Keep in mind 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 also helps with the longevity.

If your hair is naturally wavy, curly or just gets that halo of frizz, the same theory above applies, except you don’t need mousse. You need smoothing cream of any sort on the length of your hair while damp. This will help the strands stay smooth.

Then blow and blow, but mostly down, to coax the hair to stay closer to your head. It still needs to feel dry before taking your flat brush and smooth style it.

I hope these tips make your life easier and you happier with your hair even in this yuck. I will be happy to instruct you how to style your hair to give you the most flattering, longer lasting style without much effort and product. There is no sense in having a style you can’t duplicate.

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