How to

11 January 2017

Protecting Against the Damaging Heat of Hair Tools

When it comes to taking care of oneself in winter, there’s much more to it than simply bundling up. Exposed skin must be protected from the wind, and looking after hair is another matter entirely. Assuming you’ve covered all your bases, making sure that everything is well-moisturized, we can talk about how to maintain hair health even after styling with heat tools. Failing to properly prepare hair for a styling session can lead to damage.

Sopping Wet is a No-Go

Make sure you’ve at least attempted to dry hair off before using a blow-dryer.  Applying high heat to overly-wet hair can cause serious damage as hair is at its most delicate when wet. Be sure to at least towel dry your hair. If you have time, allow it to air dry naturally before blow-drying. Short on time? Set the blow-dryer to low settings for heat and intensity, drying as much as you can before cranking up the settings. Personally, I abstain from using high heat unless I have no time to spare. Using low to no heat is much better for your hair health. 

Don’t Do Daily Styling

Styling hair with heat tools every day can wreak havoc on your hair health. Anytime heat is used to style hair it is exposed to damage, so try to space out your usage. As general guidelines, blow-dry hair no more than three times a week and use a flat iron or curling iron twice a week at the most.

Invest in Quality

As I’ve found to be the case with mattresses, shoes, and clothing, you get what you pay for. Having professional-quality heat styling tools will guarantee that your hair is being styled efficiently and with as little damage as possible. A good tool can last for years and years. When it comes to flat irons, the higher quality pieces will have plates made of ceramic or tourmaline (good at conducting heat) whereas cheaper pieces have plates made of glass or metal (bad at conducting heat).

Product Protection

Before doing any kind of heat styling, apply a protectant to hair. For flat or curling irons, use a heat protection spray. For blow-dryers, use an oil to reduce frizz and keep hair healthy and shiny.

Treat Yourself

Even after all the preparation and protection in the world, the damage inflicted by heat styling tools is undeniable. To combat this it’s necessary to treat hair to a weekly treatment in the form of a hair mask or leave-in conditioner. Doing so replenishes hair with moisture. 

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).