Sweaty McSweaterson
July 22, 2014 7:14 PM   Subscribe

It is hot and I sweat. No, I POUR sweat from my head and it is quite embarrassing in public. Are there ways to deal with excessive head sweating aside from hiding in my house splayed in front of the my lone fan?

It comes and goes in some magical order only it knows. I can be fine one minute and the next my hair is soaked. I have sweated out hair dye in six hours (clown purple!). It messes up any hair style I have had so when summer comes I basically shave most of it off and try to rock the dyke genderqueer look but it isn't always appropriate and dammit I would like to be able to have long hair at least one year. Add in it pouring down my face and making me feel dirty and oily and I start to loathe the sun.

Are there ways to prevent this? Mitigate it? Help me look vaguely put together instead of a beached sunburnt whale dripping from the ocean?

Hats seem to make it worse and enhance my comically large head (which you can't notice but if I put on a hat is all you notice).

Am I doomed to just be that sweaty person at every occasion? Do I invest in a spray bottle with a fan attached like my elderly aunt?
posted by kanata to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (23 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
While not recommended for the face and head (likely because it stings like a mother on some people including me), this stuff is made of miracles and many people (again including me) use it for unusually heavy face sweat.
posted by cecic at 7:18 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've known people to carry a small washcloth or handkerchief for the purpose of wiping sweat off their brow. Perhaps this would work?
posted by sockermom at 7:40 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Icepack, frozen towel/washcloth, etc on the back of the neck. I also wipe my face down with a cloth in ice water because I turn bright red.

If I can get the back of my neck cooled in time, I can avoid the sweats entirely. If I wait too long, I usually have to put an ice pack on the top of my head as well.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:55 PM on July 22, 2014

Ughhh, I feel your pain. I'm a sweaty person in general, but the worst of it is from my head and neck. I live in a hot, desert climate (it's nearly 7 am as I type and it's 36º outside, or 41º with the humidity) and I have been growing out my hair from shaved head to shoulder length, so I've really had to deal with this recently.

While I haven't found any ways to fully prevent the feeling of overheating from my head, a few things do help:

- moving a little more slowly - if I rush to my car and try to walk quickly everywhere and feel rushed or frantic, I sweat a lot more than if I feel relaxed and I'm able to take my time. Walking a little more slowly through a sweltering parking garage actually keeps me cooler than walking quickly to get inside where it's cool.

- keeping a tissue or cloth on hand to wipe my brow and neck - keeping the back of my neck dry makes me feel so much better (I think partly because feeling sweaty makes me feel stressed out or icky, which just makes me sweat even more).

- taking a break to cool down - this isn't always possible if you're out and about, but if you can, stop somewhere and run cool water over your wrists, pat down your face and neck, and take a few deep breaths. If you can feel a little cooler (water on wrists) and a little calmer (the deep breaths), you might cool down a little. That seems to help me when I am feeling overheated.

Good luck. I will be watching this thread for tips too!
posted by gursky at 7:57 PM on July 22, 2014

Move somewhere cooler? Jk

So this all goes to shit at approximately ~92degrees, but here's what helps for me: keeping hair away from face/neck (I brush my hair back and put it up, even just walking to the train) and keeping my temp as equalized as possible (walk slow to my destination, or wait before getting on the train if it's windy outside, etc.), wiping sweat off with a napkin or similar, washing face as needed (not a huge deal as I don't wear makeup but I know that won't work for everyone).

Just FWIW I think this is probably something you notice less on other people.. unless its like 70 fahrenheit and you're dripping sweat, I'm sure almost everyone around you is sweating. Either way best of luck!
posted by shownomercy at 8:03 PM on July 22, 2014

apparently this stuff can be used on the scalp

posted by Salvatorparadise at 8:31 PM on July 22, 2014

For scalp - Apply Certain Dri solution evenly to the scalp. Let the alcohol evaporate, leaving a thin film on the skin. Wear a plastic shower cap to keep the medicine from being rubbed off during sleep.
Wash the treated area the next morning thoroughly with soap or shampoo to remove excess medicine and prevent skin irritation. Towel dry the skin or scalp.
Do not use other deodorants or antiperspirants while using Certain Dri solution.
Repeat use of Certain Dri solution for 2 or 3 nights until the desired lack of sweating is achieved. After that, usually once or twice a week should maintain the desired effect.
Avoid contact with your eyes. If contact occurs, wash eyes thoroughly with water.
If you miss a dose of Certain Dri solution and you are using it regularly, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule.
posted by Salvatorparadise at 8:32 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

Well, this might be way too excessive, but I have heard that Botox stops sweating.
posted by three_red_balloons at 8:45 PM on July 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hats seem to make it worse

Have you tried a straw hat of some sort? It's the only kind of hat (including "cooling" hats) that doesn't make me sweat.

Also, have you discussed this with a doctor? Lots of medications can make you sweat, and there are medical approaches (from topical stuff to, yes, botox!) that might help you stop sweating as much. Of course, it could also be a symptom of something else.

But if you haven't already, try a straw hat. I live at the beach and everyone who works outdoors seems to wear some kind of hat made of straw.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:43 PM on July 22, 2014

I don't mean to plant worries in your head, and I'm not a medical type or anything, but sweating out hair dye over six hours seems like a lot of sweating... I dunno, have you had your thyroid checked, or a full checkup lately?
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:06 PM on July 22, 2014 [2 favorites]

How about nice headscarves you can tie around your head? I think this is how DFW coped with his sweatiness, except you could probably get nicer headscarves than him.
posted by Acheman at 12:58 AM on July 23, 2014

Headband made out of some sort of wicking material? Try cutting one from the arm of shirt made of one of those types of material if don't want to worry about finding a place to buy one or sewing.
posted by yohko at 5:06 AM on July 23, 2014

I am always hot and summer is basically an excuse for my body to dehydrate itself several times over each day (or so it feels). I bring along an insulated, ice-filled water bottle that I pretty much sip from all day long (refilling as-needed), a dollar store folding fan can be helpful, ponytails (for me) keep hair up and off the face, cool cloths applied whenever possible (including wadded-up wet paper towel in the bathroom after I run cold water over my wrists). Also, I hear you on the hair dye. Oh, I hear you. Most of the lovely colours don't react well to salty sweat.

I also sweat more when I'm nervous - or, ironically, when I'm hyper-aware of the fact that I am sweating like a fountain. So, often I need to say to myself, "It's summer, I'm sweaty, and there's nothing I can do about it. Most people won't even notice." And then take a lot of deep breaths, relax as much as possible, and move on with the day. Repeat while chugging ice water..
posted by VioletU at 6:12 AM on July 23, 2014

Know your body's Quick-Cooling Spots

"The reason this remedy works is because your wrist and neck both contain pulse points—essentially, areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Because they are so close, however, you can also cool off your blood and body temperature by getting the area in contact with cool water."
posted by Grlnxtdr at 6:13 AM on July 23, 2014

As you are a female-type person, you can wear what is effectively a sweatband, but have it be a pretty-colored scarf that holds your (not shaved but short-ish) hair back. Most people with long hair spend a large portion of the summer with that hair slicked back and tied up in a ponytail or bun, anyway, so you're really not missing out on much.
posted by aimedwander at 6:16 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm never without a mug of icewater to had for exactly this reason.
posted by colin_l at 7:29 AM on July 23, 2014

If you want long hair, putting it up may help; besides keeping your neck cool, I don't think people tend to notice if it looks damp. Also, wearing absorbent headbands in this sort of position on your head make keep some sweat off your face and make your damp hair less obvious. I have a high forehead and will even wear them a little lower on my face. (Can wear them with hair tied up too.)
posted by metasarah at 7:44 AM on July 23, 2014

I will be watching this thread closely because I suffer the same problem. Unfortunately for me, the excessive sweating is a side effect of my anti-depressants, and I'm not willing to go off them to make it stop. Currently I just carry a cloth with me, but it's hardly ideal.
posted by aclevername at 7:45 AM on July 23, 2014

It's probably not your style but I wear a baseball cap in the summer. Doesn't stop the sweating but it all gets absorbed. The hat gets gross and has to be washed and replaced frequently. It's what I do.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:03 AM on July 23, 2014

Have you checked with your MD? Is medication an option? Sweat Help
posted by dlwr300 at 9:39 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

If prevention doesn't work: use paper towels to blot the sweat; take cool baths with a cup of baking soda.
posted by Carol Anne at 9:53 AM on July 23, 2014

I like to wet a bandanna, roll/fold it into the shape I want, then freeze it. This goes around my neck before I go outside.

-It will melt all over your clothing, so maybe be aware of that. WORTH IT THOUGH.

-You can refresh it by running it under cool water whenever you're in the bathroom.

-You can use it to wipe sweat off your face.
posted by Juliet Banana at 10:59 AM on July 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I lived in Taiwan I used to apply Gold Bond Extra Strength powder to the back of my neck, body, etc. daily after a morning shower.

It didn't keep me from sweating (I sweat a TON), but it really helps cool you off instantly. I think if I'd had one of those travel bottles it would've done a lot more good to help me cool down on the go. The big bottle I had with me just seemed too big and messy to carry around all day.

I'm a sweaty person, so my tricks to keeping dry have just become habit: walk slowly, stick to the shade, take advantage of a/c whenever possible, tie my hair up when I'll be out and about in the sun, etc. But just remembering Gold Bond exists has made me purchase another bottle, and I'm already looking forward to that cool, cool tingle..............
posted by Curiosity Delay at 12:05 PM on July 23, 2014

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