Protecting Your Hair from Heat Damage: Best Practices and Heat Styling Tips


For all of the fashion-lovers in the house, there’s one thing we all want in common: to protect our hair from damage. Keeping up with the latest trends is great for switching up your look and having fun with your style, but achieving those looks often comes with a price: heat damage. Whether you’re trying out a new style with some loose curls or a sleek up-do, it’s important to keep your hair safe from the heat to maintain lusciousness and shine. Read on and we’ll go over the best practices and tips for heat styled hair.

1. How Heat Causes Damage to Hair

For ladies who like to sport sleek and glossy tresses, taking care of your hair is essential. Heat does a lot of damage to your hair and can cause many unwanted effects that can make it harder to style. Here’s .

  • Tresses lose their natural shine. Heat causes the protective cuticle layer on each strand of hair to open, which allows the essential oils to evaporate. As essential oils are responsible for the gloss and softness of your hair, heat can cause a noticeable drop in shine.
  • Hair becomes more prone to breakage. As protective oils are lost, the hair becomes more brittle and can break even with gentle brushing. If your hair already has split ends, heat damage will make them worse. Another consequence of the dried hair is that it has little elasticity, meaning it tangles and knots easily.
  • Heat can cause scalp irritation. Constant use of heat styling tools on the head can cause the scalp to become red and inflamed, resulting in a dry, itchy scalp.
  • It can ruin your hairstyle. As heat causes hair to become dry and brittle, it can result in it losing the style in which you have set it. Even if you manage to fix it back in place, using more heat will harm it further.

Heat styling can give you gorgeous locks, but it pays to be vigilant. Limiting heat damage is essential for maintaining your hair’s volume and shine. Invest in quality styling tools and use heat-protection products to reduce the effects of heat on your tresses.

The next time you reach for the blow-dryer, keep these concepts in mind. With the right steps, you can keep your hair healthy and damage-free.

2. Strategies to Protect Hair from Heat Damage

Use Heat Protectant Spray

A heat protectant spray or serum should be at the top of your hairdressing cabinet. It’s designed to form a protective coating on the hair that guards against the damaging effects of styling tools such as blow dryers and flat irons. A good protectant will limit the amount of cuticle damage and prevent breakage. Apply the product from mid-length to tips and let it absorb for several minutes before styling.

Lower the Heat

It’s a myth that you need to blast your hair with high heat to achieve the best results. In fact, lower temperatures will give superior results with less damage. If you use a hairdryer, try turning down its setting by about 10 degrees at a time until you hit your optimum temperature. With flat irons, aim for between 150-200 degrees Celsius. Anything higher runs the risk of causing lasting damage.

Switch Tools

If you’re using a blow dryer, make blow drying easier and gentler by switching to a diffuser. This attachment diffuses the heat of the hairdryer, helping to create beautiful curls with less heat damage. You may also want to consider using a hair dryer brush or a hooded dryer – a great pairing for protecting fragile strands.

Give Your Hair a Break

  • Try to limit heat styling to 2-3 days a week.
  • If your style involves flat ironing, wait until the last possible minute before you go out.
  • At home, let your hair air dry instead of blow drying it.
  • When possible, use techniques that don’t require heat such as braiding or curling with clip-in extensions.

Giving your hair a break from over-styling can go a long way to recovering your hair and keeping it healthy. Taking the time to cut back on the heat, switch tools and use a heat protectant product might just save your hair from further damage.

3. Heat Styling Tips for Healthy Hair

1. Turn Down the Heat

If you’re serious about protecting your hair from heat damage, the single most important step is to lower the temperature of your styling tools. Though it might feel counterintuitive, using a lower temperature to curl your locks or transversely-straighten your waves will yield better results with far less harm to your strands. If you’re in doubt, go lower!

2. Use Heat Protectors

Before picking up the blow dryer or flat iron, it’s vital to use a heat protecting spray or serum for your precious locks. Whether your tresses are a tad dry or a little greasy, there’s a spray for you. The key is to look for formulas designed to protect your hair from high temperatures, lock in moisture, and smooth frizz.

3. Prepare Your Hair Before Styling

To help maintain healthy hair, it’s essential to practice good maintenance even before styling. Before using a hot tool, cleanse and hydrate your locks to set yourself up for success. Try using a cleansing conditioner or co-wash to keep your hair from drying out during styling.

4. Focus on Heatless Styles When Possible

There are plenty of options for styling your hair without having to use damaging heat. From heatless curls to protective braid styles, there are still ways to maintain a healthy mane without subjecting it to a high temperature dryer or flat iron. Here are a few suggestions to try:

  • Twist-outs
  • Bantu knots
  • Flexirod sets
  • Chunky or French braids
  • Roller sets

4. Get the Most out of Heat Styling

1. Safe Preparation

Whether you have straight or curly hair, using a protection cream, such as an oil or a cream with sunscreen, can help you . This helps smooth out the cuticles and act as a barrier against the heat that would otherwise strip away natural oils, resulting in dull-looking, frizzy hair.

2. Proper Temperature Settings

When heat styling, make sure to use the proper temperature setting for your hair type and texture. For fine strands, the temperature setting should be around 175-200°C, while medium to thick hair will need around 210-250°C to properly set the style. If you use too high of a temperature, you risk damaging your hair and scalp.

3. Quality Styling Tools

It’s worth investing in high quality tools that are designed to reduce static and frizz. For example, ceramic tools, such as straighteners, contain negative ions that can penetrate the hair strand, locking in moisture and shine. Similarly, titanium tools generate far infrared heat, which is gentler on the hair as well as more efficient.

4. Proper Props

What you choose to style your hair with is just as important as the temperature settings and tools that you use. Consider using quality styling props, such as:

  • a comb or brush with widely-spaced teeth and a handle that’s comfortable to hold.
  • a blow-drying diffuser to disperse hot air and create volume.
  • high-quality clips to help clip and section your hair.

Unprofessional styling accessories, such as bobby pins or too-small combs can cause breakage, so avoid using them if you want to protect your hair.

Perhaps the most important tip of all is to remember that a little heat protection can go a long way in preserving your hair and keeping it healthy. As long as you’re attentive and careful about the way that you use heat on your hair, you can ensure that your locks stay strong and healthy with little to no heat damage. So take the tips discussed here to avoid heat damage, and you’ll be sure to keep your hair looking polished and gorgeous for years to come.

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