We won't terrorize you with the many soul-shivering sights we've witnessed aboard public transportation. But since four of our editors are based in New York (riding the subway daily), and our three L.A.-based editors used to work in either New York or San Francisco (hello, Bart and Caltrain friends!), the struggle isn't lost on us. Especially, mind you, when it comes to our strands. Oh, and if it's summertime? You can pretty much forget it. Unless, of course, you have a plethora of tips and tricks up your sleeves.
And luckily, we do.
Since surviving a humid subway ride (or any sweat-inducing commute for that matter) is pretty much a sport—and a strategic one at that—I decided to consult my fellow editors to glean all the very best tips and tricks for making it to their final destination each morning in one well-coiffed piece. Ahead, seven super-smart hacks for reviving your strands after a sweaty commute. Keep scrolling!
1. A Dent-Less High Ponytail
Though she's now based in L.A., our hair-blessed wellness editor Victoria knows a thing or two about humid commute conditions. And after four years in NYC, she has some helpful tips when it comes to reviving (and preserving) susceptible strands post–subway ride. Her favorite savior: the one and only Invisibobble. "It's the perfect thing for being able to put your hair up in a ponytail without having to worry about a dent," she explains.
2. Maintenance Is Key
As a follow-up measure, Lindsey (who is based in New York) tells me she keeps a bottle of dry shampoo by her side at all times. "I would say keep this dry shampoo mist from R+Co handy so you can spritz away at your desk to help maintain your style throughout the day. The design is more concentrated, so you won't choke-out your co-workers like other heavier spray versions."
3. A Low Braid
The reverse of Victoria, Faith went from working and living in L.A. to being 100% New York–based about two years ago. Since then, she's gathered a host of tips to make it through a steamy subway ride in one piece, while still arriving flawless to the office. (I know because we use a webcam in our meetings.)
"I swear by a braid," she tells me immediately. "Go for a low, loose braid, secure it with one of Slip's new thinner scrunchies so it won't dent, then take it out, shake, and spritz with some dry shampoo once you get to your desk."
4. The Olaplex Bun
Okay, so no, I've never hopped aboard a New York subway, but I did spend a spring semester studying abroad in Europe (many a Metro and Tube trips), and I also spent one year of my life commuting twice a day in and out of San Francisco via trains and buses. So, yes, I know a thing or two about a sweaty commute situation, and my fine, flyaway-prone strands are NOT fans. That being said, one of my favorite hacks is the one and only "Olaplex bun (it's also a go-to of senior editor Hallie).
Simply rinse your hair in the morning (don't shampoo and condition—that will come later!), thoroughly comb through the brand's No. 3 take-home formula, slick back or center-part your hair, and wrap your ends into a polished low bun. Multitasking at it's finest. You'll prevent collateral styling damage humidity can incur while simultaneously making strands healthier and more resilient.
5. Embracing Natural Texture
"Because New York's humidity naturally gives me more volume, I like to embrace it and let my hair air-dry during the commute. It gives me extra-big frizz and statement curls that I love," Hallie shares. "But to prep for the subway beforehand, I swear by this luxe oil from Shu Uemura for nourishment and protection."
6. The Classic Slick-Back
You don’t truly understand humidity until you’ve ridden on a subway during the peak of summer. Let’s just say the aftermath isn’t always glamorous. We suggest waiting until after you’ve arrived at your destination to apply smoothing cream. All you need is a dime-size amount; it’ll instantly help tame flyaways that pop up during your commute. Or smooth this addicting cream onto wet (or dry!) strands pre–subway ride for a sleek and classic slick-back. Really, this cream's styling options are endless.
7. The Scrunchie Bun
Similar to Victoria, Amanda also used to live and work in New York. "Put your hair in a really loose bun with a big silk scrunchie," she insists. As of late, we've been loving this obsession-worthy (and a tad gigantic) scrunchie form Shhh Silk. It's made from 100% mulberry silk and machine washable. (You know, just in case some sweat meanders its way toward the crown of your hair.)