Let’s be real, just about everyone will experience damage of some sort when it comes to their hair in their lifetime and the excessive use of hot tools is not only one of the many ways you can damage your hair over time, but also one of the most damaging ways.
It’s the constant that everyone is trying to prevent and it’s basically a given that you will experience at some point in your life. But, there are multiple different ways you can help prevent damage from happening.
This one is a given but it’s also a must! No matter if you have heat protection in your shampoo and conditioner, in your hairspray, dry shampoo, it comes in a cream or you spray it on wet, dry etc. you should be using heat protection on your hair.
Using heat on your hair without thermal protection is not going to automatically damage it after one use, but it will with repeated use over time.
But here’s the thing, heat protection isn’t going to erase and completely prevent the effects of repeated thermal use, nothing will, but it will significantly help reduce the effects of it. Especially if you have color treated hair and/or frequently color your hair. Your hair is already experiencing damage and is more susceptible to making it worse.
In my personal experience, using shampoo and conditioner with thermal protection has immensely helped my hair. That way I don’t have to think about applying the heat protectant and my hair is covered after every wash. I also use dry shampoo which has a heat protectant in it as well for extra added protection.
Starting at the Root
This tip isn’t a common one but it does make a huge difference. It is one of the main concepts I teach in my ‘How to Curl’ classes and that is starting at the root of your hair and working your way downwards. The root of your hair is the closest part to your head and whether you’re curling or straightening, you want to start here.
You want to start at your root because you want your ends in the iron for as little time as possible. These are our most damaged part of our hair so we want to run the iron through them quickly.
When using hot tools, it is not necessary to hold your hair in the iron for long periods of time. This is just going to aid to the damage. If you feel you need to hold your hair on the iron for lengthy periods of time, try grabbing smaller sections. The less hair to heat up the less time needed on the iron.
Minimizing Repeated Use
This tip may also be a given but I mean this in two different ways; minimize the amount of times you use heat in a week and minimize the amount of passes you make on your hair strands.
I’ll be the first to admit I love a good blowout and that I want my hair to be perfectly curled everyday so this tip is hard for even me. But, it is important to try and not use heat when it isn’t necessary. When you curl, straighten or even give yourself a blowout, try and ride that style out for as many days as you can. Use dry shampoo and only touch up areas necessary.
If you have nothing going on and can let your hair be natural and air dry, do it. Like I said this one is hard for me because I feel so much better when my hair is nicely styled. But, for the days you’re lounging at home let it air dry and throw it in a scrunchie.
It is also important not to repeatedly go over the hair strand more times than you need to. I noticed my mom doing this a ton when I was growing up and you better believe I corrected it once I became a hairstylist. You do not need multiple passes on one section of hair with a straightener. The more you go over and over the section, the more damage to come.
Not too high
One of my favorite sayings is when I hear stylists say 450 degrees is for cookies and not hair. Making sure your hot tool isn’t on the highest heat setting is crucial for your hair health. Not to mention, it’s just not necessary. I would say 400 degrees is an absolute max temp, try staying under 400 if you can.
It is important to remember that you shouldn’t be afraid of using hot tools and styling your hair nicely. As I stated prior, being a hairstylist I do it multiple times a week. Instead just be conscious of your practices and always try and protect your hair when you can!
I hope this blog post encourages you to implement these practices into your daily routines and aids to your hair health! Also, if you’re looking for more information on how to style your hair, I would love to chat with you about a one on one class teaching you how to do so.