Curling irons, hair straighteners, and blow dryers are essential to creating most hairstyles and are difficult to replace in one’s hairstyling routine. However, these tools can dehydrate hair and cause major damage in the long run. Fortunately, there are some preventive measures you can take to ensure your hair is protected when you need to heat style. Read on to learn more.
Choose the Right Temperature Setting
Most heat styling tools have adjustable temperature settings. Some have a wide range, while others run from high to low. Make sure to choose the right temperature to accomplish the look you are going for and avoid causing excessive heat exposure. You should also consider your hair type. For example, if your hair has been color-treated or is thin and fine, use a low setting. The more damaged your hair already is, the more often you should try to avoid high temperatures.
Curl or Straighten When Your Hair is Dry
One of the most damaging things you can do to your hair is attempt to style it when wet. When your strands are wet, they are at their weakest and most susceptible to breakage. According to expert Miko Branch, “The water essentially boils, leaving hair fried, damaged, and dull. It can take many treatments to restore hair to its normal elasticity, so heat styling wet hair is something you should definitely not do.” Allow your hair to dry completely or make sure to blow dry it thoroughly before styling. If your hair is soaking wet right after a shower, wait until it is damp to use your blow dryer.
Use Heat Protection
One of the most crucial parts of keeping your hair safe from heat damage is using heat protection. Heat protectants are available in many forms, including spritzes, sprays, and balms. They are easy to apply and won’t leave your hair feeling weighted-down or oily. The product creates a protective barrier on your strands that seals in moisture. It also evens out and slows the heat conduction from your styling tool.
If you regularly heat style, try to be gentler on your hair overall. Avoid using rubber bands or elastics, as these can rip at the hair and cause breakage. Use a wide-toothed comb and detangling spray, and wait until your hair is damp to comb it. When towel drying, squeeze your hair gently instead of rubbing.
Condition and Moisturize
Heat tools are drying by nature. If you regularly use them, you should include a hair mask, deep conditioner, shampoo and conditioner for damaged hair, and other restorative products in your regular hair care routine. Heat causes damage, and damage hair is lacking in moisture, so it is important to replenish that moisture as much as you can. If you know you want to use heat tools, start off with a deep conditioner. Add some leave-in conditioner all across the full hair strands, and use a hair oil and/or serum to lock in the moisture. According to stylist Jae Manuel Cardenas, “Serums and oils help to keep the hair strong, shiny, and sealed, especially the ends which are always at risk of splitting or breaking.”
Invest in Quality Tools
Cheap heat styling tools often are made from materials that do not conduct heat as efficiently as others. For example, tools made from ceramics and/or tourmaline get hotter faster, meaning you will not need to go over the same air over and over or hold it on the barrel or between the plates as long. The less heat exposure, the better, so invest in tools from quality brands if you are going to heat style your hair relatively frequently.
Avoid Everyday Use
While heat styling is damaging, it can certainly be done from time to time without causing severe hair issues. However, doing it too much can quickly lead to breakage, frizz, and dryness. Try to skip the heat tools as much as possible. If you are unhappy with the look and feel of your natural hair, work with a hair restoration specialist to discuss your goals and find out what options might be available to you. For example, you might want to add some extensions that are similar to your natural texture for a more full, voluminous look achieved without the use of heat tools.
Heat styling is an easy way to create a number of hairstyles at home. However, heat is one of the worst things for hair health, so the tools must be used properly and carefully. Use the right products, and never apply heat to wet hair unless it is from a blow dryer. Don’t overdo it, and try to use low heat settings as often as possible.
Contact Eldorado for Hair Restoration Services
If your hair has already become damaged due to heat exposure and/or you are experiencing serious breakage or hair loss, contact Eldorado. We can help you find a solution that builds confidence and restores happiness with your appearance. Call 410-650-8086, or fill out our quick contact form, and a representative will reach out to you as soon as possible.