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How to Prevent Heat Damage on Your Hair

Updated on December 29, 2012

It's a fact that excessive heat is the enemy of hair. When you expose your hair to too much heat, the heat robs your tresses of moisture. They also force the scales of the hair's outer cuticle layer to open, allowing essential nutrients to leach from your hair. Continued exposure to heat leaves your hair dry, dull and brittle.

And yet, we can't help but use heat to style our hair. We use blow dryers to dry our hair after washing it. We use hair irons to relax our hair and keep it from frizzing. Many hair treatments require heat to work as well. With heat playing an essential role in hairstyling, it is inevitable for your hair to sustain heat damage if you style it regularly.

Or is it? While you can't avoid using heat to groom and style your hair, it's not true that you can't keep your hair from sustaining heat damage. With the proper conditioning and the use of the right hairstyling tools, you can protect your hair from heat even as you use heat in grooming your hair.

Here are tips that can help you prevent heat damage on your hair.

Tip #1: Use hair straighteners suited for your hair type.

Hair straighteners are essential tools you must have in your styling kit. However, you must make sure that the hair irons you buy are truly suited to the type of hair you have.

For example, if you have thick hair, you need a hair straightener that has a plate an inch and a half wide and can heat up to 410 degrees. Thick hair needs high heat; if you have thick hair and you use a hair iron that can't produce high heat on it, you expose your hair to heat longer than necessary, thus increasing the risk for heat damage.

On the other hand, if you have fine hair, your hair iron should produce heat below 360 degrees. Fine hair is very delicate and doesn't need a lot of heat to process. Using a hair straightener that is too hot or prolonged heat exposure will ruin your fine hair.

Tip #2: Use a professional-grade hair dryer.

A hair dryer is another important tool that you must have in your styling kit. Hair dryers can be expensive, but as much as possible, you should invest in a blow dryer used by professional stylists. Such dryers will have different heat settings so you can blow your hair at the right temperature.

Moreover, professional-grade blow dryers come with different features and accessories that can help you protect your hair even further. A diffuser, for instance, can distribute heat evenly around your head. A cold-shot button can lock your hair into your desired style and make that style last throughout the day.

Tip #3: Condition your hair regularly.

The best way to prevent your hair from sustaining heat damage is to condition it regularly. A heat-protective conditioner will coat your individual hair strands and seal in the moisture in your hair once it is exposed to heat. You must apply conditioner when you wash your hair, and then massage some leave-on conditioner or hair serum before you style your hair with your blow dryer or hair iron.

You should also deep condition your hair at least once a week. Deep conditioning your hair nourishes your scalp and roots and restores lost proteins to your hair. It will keep your hair resistant to damage no matter how often you expose your hair to heat.

Excessive exposure to heat is one of your hair's greatest enemies. It leads to heat damage that can leave your hair looking dull, dry and brittle. But with regular conditioning and the use of the right styling tools, you can keep your hair soft, shiny and beautiful even if you have to expose it to heat.


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    • Monis Mas profile image


      6 years ago

      Interesting information! I try to keep my hair as healthy as possible - useful tips!


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