Temperature is commonly used for styling hair. Whether it’s blow drying, straightening or curling there are plenty of tips and tricks that stylists use to enhance your look. But all that heat can have a negative impact on the structure of your hair so it is important to know how to style your locks with as little damage as possible.
Why does heat damage hair?
Lots of different treatments can damage hair, such as bleaching, vigorous brushing or even sunburn, but heat is one of the more common complaints.
Damaged hair occurs when the hair cuticle breaks down. The cuticle protects your hair strands from damage, keeps your hair shiny and protects the cortex which gives your hair colour and strength.
Exposure to high heat changes the keratin structure in your hair which leads to weaker hair that is prone to more damage. Once the keratin is melted your hair is changed on a molecular level and the damage is not reversible.
Once we step out of the shower our hair is soaking wet. A key way to help keep your hair healthy is to get the water out of your hair as quickly as possible. A good habit to get into is to gently towel dry and squeeze the excess water out before blow drying.
Combining a heat protectant spray before starting to dry your hair can help to protect it. Alongside this, lowering the heat you use can also be beneficial. Many professional hair dryers have adjustable temperature settings so you can find the right temperature that dries your hair but minimises damage.
Your styling instruments
When it comes to using a straightener, there are different materials to choose from and each has pros and cons.
Aluminium, whilst lightweight and a great heat conductor, is really damaging to your hair by drying it out and making it more prone to breakage. Most aluminium plates are now covered by other materials, though.
Ceramic plates use ionisation to close the hair follicles which helps to achieve a smooth and silky result. Ceramic hair tools do not reach the higher temperatures that other materials such as titanium do, so it is a lot gentler on your hair, however, this can make the process slower if you have thicker hair.
Pre-styling hair prep
The haircare market is worth an estimated £1.52 billion and is therefore full of different products that will help to protect your hair. It can be a bit of an experiment to see what works best for your hair type.
Adding hair oil to your tresses before styling your hair is a great way to lock in moisture and add shine. Oil can be added at any point in your haircare routine so it is an easy step to add in.
A primer can work well as a dual-action product which can protect your hair from styling heat as well as hydrating and preventing frizziness.
So whilst there are many options out there, keeping your hair healthy is important. It may take some trial and error, but finding what works for you will benefit your locks in the long run.