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How To Avoid Heat Damage To Your Hair
Pretty much everyone uses heat on their hair in one way, shape or form so it’s pretty safe to assume that most of us have some form of damage to our hair from heat.
What if I told you that using Heat on your hair is actually a good thing for your hair…
Would you believe me?
Probably Not, right…
It’s true, using heat on your hair can absolutely be a good thing and it is very useful for our hair especially with styling it and heat does create benefits for our hair.
When heat is overused or not used properly is when you will begin to see the signs of heat damage to your hair.
As a professional hairdresser for over 21 years now trust me when I say that our hair can withstand a lot but just like our skin and our bodies we need to protect our hair and care for our hair.
It’s important to understand what your hair is actually about and how you should be taking care of it so that your hair is always in the best form.
In order to understand how much damage we may be doing to our hair with the heat, we need to first look at what Heat is actually doing to our hair.
Ok, let’s get into this.
Heat On The Hair
Hair is composed of Keratin proteins, hydrogen bonds, and our body’s natural oils and some other stuff too but these ingredients are the ones that work together to decide your hair’s natural shape, texture, and color.
When you begin to heat up your hair with a blow dryer, hot water or any other hot tool, you are adjusting the actual structure of the hair itself which allows us to be able to curl or straighten our hair.
The hair strand itself is held together by hydrogen bonds, heat or water will change the hair’s molecular structure for a bit until the hairs’ original hydrogen bonds snap back in place- that’s the science part.
All it means is that heating up the hair makes the hair pliable and cooperative, heat on the hair allows the hair to change its shape, the elasticity of the hair, and how much shine the hair will deliver.
All of these are benefits to the hair but when the heat is overused on hair and mixed with bad hair habits is when Heat becomes the villain.
Here’s the thing our hair can withstand a temperature up to 450F which is a lot and at extreme temperatures is when hair begins to break, singe, and turn to shit.
Heat alone won’t be the only factor in the damage that may be done to your hair, there are lots and lots of contributing factors to damaged hair such as bleach, hair color, hair ties, bobby pins, wigs, hair extensions, leaving your hair air dry too much, or even simply tucking our hair behind our ears a lot.
The Temperature of Your Water Matters
Let’s start with the shower and how hot we wash our hair.
When you are in the shower is where it begins with your hair’s damage and exposure to heat, I know first hand how Hot all of you take your showers and wash your hair- I’m a hairdresser, I’m constantly asked for the water to be Hotter!
Hot water feels great on our scalp but its where the excessive exposure to heat starts to damage our hair.
I know it feels so good to take a nice hot shower, especially in the early AM when you’re already cold and tired but honestly, it is really not good for you to take such hot showers.
You should wash your hair in warm to lukewarm water and rinse your hair with cool to cold water to help the cuticle from becoming frizzy.
When you wash your hair in Hot-Hot water you are taking away all the must needed oils from your hair that adds moisture and hydration to our scalp and hairs ends.
Not only can hot water cause dehydration but it can cause a dry and flaky scalp, brittle hair, breakage, pain and redness to the skin, itchiness, and frizz.
So, make sure you wash your hair and body in warm water and rinse your hair with cool to cold water so that you seal the moisture in and keeps your scalp hydrated and flake-free.
Protect Your Hair
You can do a ton of stuff to your hair so long as you protect it.
Hair is dominantly made up of a bunch of different proteins called Keratins.
These Keratins nestle themselves in the cuticles where they comfortably act as a flexible body armor that protects the hair strands.
Now even though our hair naturally protects itself you still need to apply products to coat the hair strands to guard the hair against any heat, brushing the hair wet or dry and hot tools.
Depending on your hair and how you will be styling it will determine what type of products you should be using.
When you get out of the shower and you have finished squeeze drying your hair, you want to take your thermal heat protectant product and apply this to your hair, concentrating on the mid-shaft to the ends of your hair.
Do this before you comb or brush your hair.
Once you have applied your heat protectant you can now comb out your wet hair with a wide-tooth comb or a Wet brush.
Once your hair is completely dried you want to add a different product to your hair to protect it either from additional heat from another hot tool or just to protect your hair from everyday elements such as oil serums or shine sprays.
When using another hot tool on your hair like a flat iron or curling iron you will want to protect your hair with a thermal spray or even a shine spray so that there is a protective barrier on the hair from the heat.
When your hair is dried completely you can seal the hair off with either gloss drops for the ends of the hair or a shine spray.
Matrix Biolage Sugar Shine Illuminating Spray —(Smells REALLY Good)
Know Your Hair Tools
Nowadays with so much access to all sorts of professional tools and products, it’s super important to pay attention to your tools heating elements and what its made out of.
You want your tools to have an adjustable temperature gauge so that you can increase or decrease to fit your hairs texture.
Heat is not one size fits all, it needs to be adjusted to suit the hair’s texture and weight.
Fine and silky hair won’t need as high of heat as coarse or heavier hair so this is why it’s important to be able to adjust heat temperatures.
Too high of heat and you will singe and burn your hair not hot enough and your hair won’t smooth out.
The underutilized Cool Button, it’s a huge part of the blow dry but not everyone uses it because its an extra step and easy to forget about but it’s a must on our hair.
When you have finished blow drying a section of your hair you want to hit the cool button on that section for a few seconds to help the hair cool down and set faster.
Rough Dry Your Hair
Rough drying your hair means to take out as much moisture in your hair 1st before you begin styling your hair with a brush.
You want to begin by drying your hair with a blow drier and your hands until your hair is about 90-95% dry.
Once your hair is just about dry you want to then create sections of your hair so that you can smooth your hair easier with a round brush.
Rough drying your hair delivers less of direct heat on your hair and will significantly cut down your blow-dry and styling time.
Ok, curly girls and straight-haired girls will have totally different ways of blowdrying their hair, even if the curly hair girl is blowing her hair out straight, it is best to Rough Dry the hair first.
Either way, every blow-dry should be Rough Dried first to reduce heat exposure and to keep the hair out of harm’s way from any unnecessary roughness to the hair from the heat or air force from the dryer.
Create a Pattern for Your Hair Using The 1 & Done Rule
When I style, color, or cut hair I see a pattern to how I can complete the look.
Everyone has their own pattern to their hair or, a way that they go about styling their hair.
When you are using any kind of hot tools such as flat irons or curling irons you want to move them through the hair quickly.
The reason is to not stress your hair and totally deplete your hair of its natural moisture.
When you continue to run multiple passes of heat through your hair after it is already dried or you keep the hot tools on the hair for too long, you are stripping your hair of its natural moisture which shows in breakage, dullness, and dryness.
When you have a pattern to your hair that you follow it makes moving through your hair faster that much easier.
Here is what I suggest, before you apply the hot tools to your hair you want to first heat up the bottom of your hair with the iron itself them once you have the hair already warmed up you can clamp down on the hair and begin to run the hot tools through the ends of the hair.
In other words, put the hot curling iron or flat iron plates on the hair and rub it back and forth for a few seconds to warm up the hair
If you want volume Only curl or flat iron the hair from the mid-shaft to the ends, not at the roots of your hair.
Treat damaged hair
Ok, let me first start off by saying the ONLY way to cure or get rid of truly damaged hair is to cut the damaged hair off.
That’s it-once your ends are split, they are split for good.
Seriously, it is literally impossible to fix split ends once it happens to the hair despite what you may read about fixing or repairing split hair ends.
You can, however, hide or camouflage your hair’s split ends so that your ends look more desirable and gives the illusion that your ends appear to be clean and healthy.
Some ways that can help you hide your split ends and help your hair rebuild its moisture are deep conditioning treatments to your hair.
Do weekly to bi-weekly deep conditioning treatments on your hair and you will see a world of difference to your hairs health and performance.
Don’t Air Dry Your Hair So Much
Yup, I said it.
Your hair is weakest when it’s wet and more susceptible to damage because the water interferes with the Keratin proteins, forming them into weaker bonds called Hydrogen bonds.
So, be cautious with your hair when it’s wet because when wet hair stretches too far it doesn’t snap back into shape, what happens is the cuticle becomes deformed which causes the edges to lift up and crack-“Split Ends”.
Pick and choose the times when you are going to air dry your hair or not, even if you dried your hair just part of the way and let the rest of the hair air dry is a good option.
The 1 thing that you never want to do is to go to bed with your hair wet, you will absolutely tear up your hair quickly by going to bed with your hair wet too often.
There are lots of varieties of quick-dry towels for hair that really help with taking out excessive water in the hair and it cuts down drying time significantly.
Over Thinking It
This is probably the biggest Beauty offense there is.
Women we overthink shit, it’s just how we are.
The worse damage comes from us overthinking our hairstyles and forcing the hair to do stuff it doesn’t want to do.
No Means, No.
Even if you force your hair into the position you want it to be in, it will show the visible signs of the beating its gone through.
If you are really struggling with your hair to do what you want then your best bet is to go and sit with your stylist for a styling lesson.
Your stylist cans show you the right ways to work with your hair to get it to cooperate with you on a regular basis.
That’s everything to keeping your hair protected and healthy while using all of your favorite heating tools on your hair.
I hope I was able to show you something new about your hair and if you enjoyed your time here then please share it with your friends, it would be so Awesome of you.