We’ve all heard the warnings against using hot tools. You know it causes damage, yet you continue to blow dry, flatiron, and curl. Maybe the results are too gorgeous to forego in exchange for a more casual look. Or maybe you can’t fully grasp the long-term damage using hot tools actually causes.
Either way, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know if you simply can’t give up the heat.
How Does Heat Damage Hair?
To understand how heat styling damages hair, you need a basic knowledge of hair anatomy. Your hair contains cuticles, which protect its cortex and act as a defense against dryness. Hot tools can fry these cuticles and leave the cortex parched.
As a result of fried cuticles, the cortex attempts to compensate by absorbing moisture from the air. Unfortunately for you, this causes what we refer to as “frizz.” As if that isn’t bad enough, continuing to overstyle already-damaged hair with extreme heat leads to brittleness and breakage.
How Hot Is Too Hot?
The amount of heat your hair can safely handle depends largely on its texture. Thicker hair, for example, withstands higher heats than fine hair.
So what’s the magic number? Most normal hair is OK to style at 350 degrees. You’ll want to decrease that number by 10 degrees if your hair is fine, and increase it by 10 degrees if your hair is thick or coarse. Keep in mind, though, that these temps may vary based on how often your hair is color treated or processed.
The absolute highest heat setting anyone should use is 400 degrees, and that’s rare.
Can Hair Be Protected During Styling?
You’ve gotten the bad news that hot tools damage your hair. But there’s a bit of good news, too. You can minimize damage while using these tools by making a few minor adjustments, such as:
Never brush your hair wet; instead, use a wide-tooth comb and put the product in before you comb your hair out. In addition to the tips mentioned above, talk to your stylist about ways to protect and repair your hair. Our experts at The Salon by Lora Brown can help you achieve the look you want with the least amount of damage possible. Contact us today to learn more.
Lora Brown is a master stylist and the owner of The Salon by Lora Brown. She has worked in the salon industry for 30 years.