First Alert Weather in Depth: Having a bad hair day? Blame it on the high dew point!

First Alert Weather In Depth: What’s the dew point — and what does it mean for your hair?

First Alert Weather In Depth: What's the dew point -- and what does it mean for your hair?

The News 10NBC First Alert meteorologists have all different ways of measuring the weather. It may seem complicated at times, but the atmosphere is complicated. For example, there is wind speed and direction or visibility and temperature. Just as important is the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. To meet that need we have relative humidity, which measures the rate of evaporation, but a more accurate measurement is the dew point.  This is the temperature the air would have to be cooled to reach saturation. What the value means is that the higher the dew point, the greater amount of moisture in the atmosphere.

A fun comparison is to look at how moisture can have an impact on your hairstyle and specifically how manageable you hair is on a given day. When there is a dew point in the range of 60 to 70 degrees (or more), that is when your hair can turn curly or frizzy. However, more recently the dew point has lowered with the range in the 45 to 55 degrees range.  This is the point when the atmosphere is squeezing out that moisture and your hair is just a little more manageable.

How do you measure this change in the atmosphere?  Believe it or not, moisture levels can be calibrated and observed by building your own hair hygrometer. A device can be built with some simple materials such as a piece of cardboard to mark off moisture levels, tape, construction paper (to make an arrow), thumbtack and long strand of hair.

Once you have your materials, attach the long strand of hair to the top of the cardboard with tape.  Let the hair hang down and attach it to the cutout of the arrow.  Then attach the arrow with a thumbtack to the cardboard (see video). This is your hair hygrometer. When it is muggy outside the hair absorbs the water and the strand of hair will grow in length. And when the air is very dry it will make the hair shorter and the arrow moves to a different position.

I guess it is true what they say about a “bad” hair day, but I have to admit it is something that I personally have not a lot of experience with.