Every article on how to keep your hair healthy has ‘give up hot styling’ as one of its major points. But what’s to do when you can? Do you really have to give up styling completely if you want to keep your locks healthy and strong?
The answer to this is a resolute ‘no’. It’s true that hot styling is damaging, but so is walking under the sun, washing your hair with chlorinated tap water, and tying it in a tight ponytail. The point is that many things damage your locks and it’s up to you to decide which of them you are willing to use (hot styling in this case) and learn how to minimize that damage.
You can keep your hair healthy while using flat irons, hairdryers, and the like regularly. You will only need to adjust your haircare routine and invest in some specialized products that will add extra protection.
Hair Care Tips to Undo Heat Damage from Hot Styling
1. Use a heat protection spray
Heat protection splays are available for any hair type and with a variety of ingredients that can facilitate styling or start repairing your hair right away. Using this product is a must if you use any kind of a hot styling tool be it flat iron or an electric hairbrush.
An important benefit of heat protectants is that they help slow down the fading of colored hair. Note that hair dyes fade much faster when you use hot styling because pigment molecules break down due to the temperature.
2. Tone colored hair instead of getting extra treatments
Coloring your locks is extremely common with over 67.7 million US residents using these treatments last year alone. The problem is that coloring dries and weakens your locks. Heat styling adds to the damage as well as fades the color. You can protect your locks and keep them beautiful by using specialized toning products.
Platinum and silvery blondes struggle the most because bleached hair darkens and becomes more yellow naturally, and heat speeds up the process. If you have hair like this, be sure to switch to a toning shampoo for blondes. It contains a purple pigment that neutralizes yellow and orange undertones.
3. Invest in protective styling tools
As the technology develops, so do the hot styling tools you can use. Today manufacturers strive to make these appliances as safe as possible. They use ceramics, ionization, and other materials and technologies to produce some impressive results.
Note that advanced ‘safe’ hot styling tools aren’t cheap. You should research the device in detail to make sure you are investing your money into a truly good product.
4. Lower the temperature
The simplest rule of protecting your hair from heat damage when styling is to keep the device’s temperature to a minimum. Under 200 degrees Fahrenheit will be best.
Doing this will increase the duration of styling. Therefore, it’s best to let your locks dry a bit first. Note that the thinner is your hair, the easier it will be for heat to damage.
5. Condition your locks regularly
Using a moisturizing conditioner (preferably a leave-in one) is a must when trying to prevent or minimize heat damage. If you bleach your locks, be sure to use a deep conditioning treatment every week.
Hot styling makes your hair dry and brittle, but moisturizing treatments strengthen it and make it more ‘flexible’ and smooth.
6. Forget about combing wet locks
One of the golden rules of haircare is to never comb your hair while it’s wet. That’s why you should wear protective headgear whenever you go to the pool or otherwise play in the water.
You should pat your locks dry carefully and let them dry completely with no interference. You can start untangling and styling them when the locks are dry so you minimize the damage.