If you look up “common causes” of hair damage online, you might rightfully assume that heat styling is responsible for every single hair problem of every person ever. Your hair is brittle? Heat styling! Your hair is splitting at the ends and generally looks dull? Heat styling! Your hair is falling off and doesn’t recover regardless of how many expensive products you apply? Your flat iron or hairdryer (or both) are certainly to blame!
But if this is true, why are people still using those tools? If they are so damaging and dangerous, surely the wish to keep our hair safe and healthy would have prevailed by now, right?
It definitely would have. Therefore, the truth is that heat styling isn’t the devil it’s painted as. And if you wamight nt to have healthy and shiny hair, you need to dig deeper than your styling habits.
But bear in mind that heat styling isn’t an innocent victim either. Many people use the tools incorrectly and really do damage their hair severely while doing it.
What Really Happens While You Heat Style Your Hair?
To put it simply, heat styling burns your hair. Literally. This is the physical process that’s happening when you are using a hot tool on your hair. The heat evaporates the moisture. When there’s none left, it gets to burning everything else, which might lead to tragic consequences.
That said, heat styling tools don’t really put your hair on fire. One can also argue that sunlight burns your hair as well because it also makes the moisture evaporate and then triggers excessive oxidation. That process is, essentially, self-destruction of the hair itself. Therefore, napping out in the sunshine on a hot day can be just as bad ad using a flat iron or drying your hair after every wash.
How Dangerous Is Heat Styling, Really?
Because it can cause burns, heat styling can be dangerous. However, with the advanced equipment available today, you’ll need to be really careless to do any real damage. Take a look at the versatile electrical hair styling tools. Today they have ionization, ceramic surfaces, controlled temperature settings, and auto-off features that help reduce and prevent heat damage in different ways.
Technology evolves rapidly and even studies today show that a good hairdryer used right is less damaging than simply letting your locks air-dry.
Therefore, all things considered, heat drying now should be dangerous only if:
• You ignore the manufacturer’s instructions and start using the tool incorrectly, like flat ironing wet hair.
• You set the temperature too high and apply the heat for too long.
• Your hair is dry/damaged/unhealthy for whatever reason and this type of styling aggravates the existing damage.
• You are using faulty or very old electric styling tools.
How to Make Heat Styling Safe
You can easily prevent or minimize damage from the heat by following some very basic and reasonable guidelines.
• Keep the temperature at a low or moderate setting unless in extreme emergencies. And if you do use max temperature, do it for no more than a minute.
• Apply heat-protection spray on weakened, thin, or coloured hair that can be damaged easily.
• Make sure your hair is as healthy and well-hydrated as possible. This will be natural heat protection, so if the sprays make your tresses oily, you can skip them. However, you can’t skip weekly deep-conditioning masks that help keep your tresses healthy and strong.
• Invest in the best hair styling tools and products you can afford.
Most importantly, do not forget that while heat is definitely a factor, it’s rarely the only cause of hair damage. Therefore, you need to find out what exactly is responsible for weakness, dryness, or brittleness of your locks.
Most likely, the reason would be a mix of nutrition, styling habits, and haircare. Note that in many cases the products you use for styling are much more damaging than the tools. Using an excess of some gel or mousse would clog the pores of the scalp can cause irritation and inflammation. This will damage the hair and make you more susceptible to heat damage.
Therefore, if you want to be safe and impress everyone with your fantastic tresses, you need to review your haircare routine in its entirety. And remember to eat a balanced diet and take extra supplements with vitamins and minerals if necessary.