Heated styling tools such as blow dryers, straighteners, and curling irons allow for the creation of drop-dead gorgeous hairstyles. Unfortunately, these same tools can result in heat-damaged hair. Incorrectly using heated styling tools can strip hair strands of their moisture, damage the outside protective layer (aka cuticle), and damage the keratin proteins. This can result in patches of thinning and balding due to heat damaged hair becoming dry, brittle, and breaking off. The good news is that there are ways to prevent heat damage when drying and styling your hair!
Minimize Heat Use
While it may be tempting to crank up the heat on flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers, it is recommended that you use the lowest heat setting possible to achieve the look you are going for. For instance, it doesn't take as much heat when styling thinner, finer hair as it does thicker hair. You should also limit the amount of time you keep your hair in contact with styling irons and blow dryers. Keratin protein is the component that gives your hair strength, and excessive heat will damage these proteins resulting in fragile strands of hair.
There is a general consensus around the professional hair care community that you should not use styling tools above 410 degrees Fahrenheit for any more than 10 seconds on a single section of hair.
Avoid Multiple Passes
It may be tempting to run your straightener or curling iron over the same section of hair repeatedly just to make sure you have the style just right. If your styling tool is set correctly, you should only need one pass. Multiple passes can lead to damage to hair strands, causing them to become brittle and break.
Spray Your Hair with a Heat Protectant
Apply a heat protectant to your hair before you use heat to style your hair. Heat protectants work by slowing the rate of heat conduction from the styling device to your hair. It is important to note that protectants are not 100% effective if excessive heat is used so it is still important to still exercise caution when using heated styling tools on your hair. These products help protect your hair, keep it healthy, and lock-in hair. Think of heat-protectants as sunscreen for your hair.
Avoid Heat on Wet Hair
There are products such as straighteners that allow you to style your hair straight out of the shower. This sounds extremely convenient but is not recommended. Wet or even damp hair is much more fragile than dry hair. If you style wet hair, you are essentially frying your hair because the moisture in your hair is converted to steam during the drying process and can damage hair strands. It is recommended to dry hair completely before styling.
Treat Your Hair!
Regularly replenishing the moisture to your gorgeous head of hair will help combat the effects of heat styling and keep your hair healthy. Hydrating hair masks and protein treatments are two ways to give your strands of hair a much-needed spa day.
When It Is More Than Heat Damage?
Misuse of heat products when drying or styling your hair can lead to temporary hair loss and thinning. However, if you suspect your hair loss is due to something more, it is time to seek the help of North Carolina's leading hair loss professionals. The expert hair restoration specialists at LH hair will conduct a thorough analysis of your hair and scalp as well as past medical history to determine the root cause of your hair loss. We will walk you through all of your hair restoration options so that you can pick the right one for your lifestyle and budget. Nip hair loss in the bud by scheduling your FREE confidential consultation today!