The unholiest of unions is between humidity and scorching heat. The two together can wreak quite a bit of havoc to one’s look from flat, greasy and lifeless hair to a patchy sweat-stained outfit. Living in Singapore means that this could be a daily occurrence for you and be quite the style dampener. If moving to another country is not an option for you, then check out the following tips and tricks on how to beat the heat and look your best.
Humidity is not a good friend to hair. The major effect it has is that it “flattens” hair. Throw some good ol’ heat to the mix and you’d get a greasy goo-ey mess from the sweat and oil produced by your scalp.
Shampoo: The key is to start with a nice clean head of hair that you can get by using a shampoo that cleans, clarifies yet doesn’t strip your scalp of moisture such as Christophe Robin Hydrating Shampoo Bar with Aloe Vera, Hanz De Fuko Natural Shampoo or Fellow Barber Complete Shampoo.
HSD recommends: Fellow Barber Complete Shampoo cleans without stripping your hair and scalp of moisture. It also includes a conditioning element to keep hair soft and ready for styling. Best part is that it’s free from alcohol, parabens and the biggest no-no of them all, sulphates.
Prime: Create a good base for your hair before styling so it acts as your first barrier to humidity. Your best bet would be to use a texturising or sea-salt spray. What they do is to add “grip” to your hair strands, so they are better able to hold each other up, which in turns holds your style in place. The tip is to find one that does that well and dries quickly such as Oribe Texturizing Spray, Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray and Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray.
HSD recommends: Ouai Texturizing Hair Spray goes on finely and dries in a wink. It does carry a scent that’s floral, but it doesn’t linger so you don’t have to worry about smelling like a bouquet of roses all day long.
Style: After your hair is primed, use a wax or clay pomade that’s not oily and has enough hold while still being lightweight. The common mistake men make when using these products is to use too much. Remember, a little goes a long way. Also remember, you can always add more product if needed but it’s going to be another trip to the shower before you can remove product. Another application tip is to start from the back and move to the front, so you don’t weigh down hair at the front of your head with too much product. Some top-of-the-class brands that do the job well are Redken Brews Clay Pomade, Gatsy Hair Styling Clay Technical Design and Patricks m3 Matte Finish Strong Hold Pomade.
HSD recommends: Patricks M3 Matte Finish Strong Hold Pomade is lightweight with a matte finish and it washes off easily. All you need is a pea-sized amount and rub it into your hair, starting from the mid-length portion of your hair to the ends. Avoid the roots to prevent weighing down your hair.
Finish: After you’ve styled your hair, seal your look with hairspray. That helps keep it in place and adds another barrier against humidity. It’s important to choose one that emits a fine mist and dries in a short time. Some stellar products that do that well are TRESemmé TRES Two Ultra Fine Mist Hair Spray, Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Hairspray and Oribe Superfine Hair Spray.
HSD recommends: Oribe Superfine Hair Spray emits the finest of mist and dries almost immediately after application. It offers a flexible hold, so you won’t have that “crunchy” or sticky feeling in your hair. It also doesn’t leave a white residue when it dries.
Heat makes us sweat and when mixed with pollutants present in the atmosphere and finish off with bacteria thrown into the picture, it can clog up our pores and cause breakouts. It’s therefore important to make sure that your skincare products work to clean your face well yet provide the hydration it needs (Yes, hydration is important even in humid climates).
Cleanse: Get your basic skincare right and that is to properly cleanse your face. It’s best to get one that takes the gunk off of your face well without drying your face and leaving it feeling uncomfortably taut. Examples of products that do this well are C.O. BIGELOW Oily Skin Foaming Facial Wash, Dr. Jackson’s 07 Face Wash and REN Skincare Rosa Centifolia™ Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser.
HSD recommends: REN Skincare Rosa Centifolia™ Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser exfoliates your skin with beads made from Jojoba Wax. These microbeads melt after mild massaging – so no worries about any negative environmental impact there – and in the process removes excess dead skin and dirt, thus leaving your skin clean and smooth.
Hydrate: It’s important to choose a lightweight moisturiser that hydrates without leaving your skin feeling greasy. This step ideally shouldn’t be skipped unless your skin is truly hyper-oily. Your best bet would be to get one in a gel or lotion format which tends to be lighter in formulation such as C.O. Bigelow Extra Light Face Lotion, Clinique for Men Maximum Hydrator or DRGL Restore Gel Mask.
(DRGL Restore Gel Mask) – Photo credit: Sephora.SG
HSD recommends: DRGL Restore Gel Mask is super lightweight in texture and gets absorbed very quickly by the skin. It dries without the skin feeling tacky. It also helps to soothe tired and dull skin, plus it contains antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so what’s there not to love about it?
Sunscreen: Given the blazing sun, it’s a no-brainer to finish your skincare with sunscreen. Choose one that’s lightweight and non-comedogenic yet provides enough SPF protection. Check out our sunscreen article for products that would work best to your skin type. (link to It’s summer – shield your skin article)
After we’ve sorted out our hair and face, it’s important to pay attention to what we do from the neck down to help us look our best in the warm, sticky weather. While the most effective way to do that is to walk around in your underwear or birthday suit, it’s obviously not an option open to all of us who do not want to run afoul of the law.
Clothing: The best tip is to stick to quick-dry and highly breathable fabrics for your choice of clothing, such as linen or 100% cotton. An additional tip you can use to further increase comfort is to wear a quick-dry undershirt. A good one will also prevent embarrassing sweat stains. It will also keep you feeling cool and dry, despite the act of layering sounding counter-intuitive in warm, tropical weather.
HSD recommends: Uniqlo Airism Mesh V-neck Sleeveless Undershirt comes equipped with DRY technology to quickly wick away moisture – goodbye embarrassing sweaty wet spots, plus it also contains anti-odour and anti-microbial technology to protect against odour. What’s not to like about that at all? The best part is, they offer this in underwear too.
Anti-perspirant: Keep excessive sweating at bay so you reduce the risk of odour. Yes, BO, the two-letter acronym that drives fear in everyone who lives in a warm climate. Do that with an anti-perspirant that contains aluminium as it helps block sweat glands which in turn reduces the amount of sweat that surface from your underarms. This thus reduces the possibility for sweat to come in contact with surface bacteria which is when chemical black magic happens, and it evolves into a nasty odour. While there might be concerns that aluminium is linked to Alzheimer’s disease and breast cancer, both National Cancer Institute in the U.S. and Alzheimer’s Society of Canada has purported that there isn’t enough current scientific research to indicate a direct causal link.
HSD recommends: Nivea Anti-Perspirant Black & White (Power) Spray offers a 48-hour long protection against perspiration and also anti-stain technology to leave no visible yellow stains or white residue on your skin.
Fragrance: To cap your look, finish it with a fragrance that’s light and fresh – one that’s informally classified as a “soapy” fragrance. These work best in warm climates and keeps you smelling fresh and clean like you’ve just stepped out of a shower. Check out our summer scents article (link to Top 5 Summer Fragrances for Men) for product recommendations.