By Winnie The Fashionista | Jul 05, 2018
Heat styling is a necessary evil. A carefully crafted curling iron can instantly up the ante on bone straight hair and a fabulous flat iron can sleek down curly hair into another dimension. Other heat tools such as blow dryers and hot rollers can be used to manipulate your hair into an array of styles whether for manageability, trimming purposes or aesthetics. However, heat styling can do a number on your hair. Here are some rules to observe for using heat to your best advantage:
Stop! Before you pick up your heat tool, have you prepped your hair and applied heat protectant? Moisturize your hair then slather on some heat protectant. Be generous. Have at it. Heat protectant provides protection against high temperatures, enhances shine and curbs frizz.
With irons, different types of hair can withstand different degrees of heat. For synthetic hair keep it between 60 and 180 degrees Celsius. Fine hair can withstand temperatures of 120 to 180 degrees. If your hair is normal, it can handle 180 to 210 degrees and if you have thick hair, a maximum of 210 degrees is possible. For blow dryers and hair dryers, use low wattage for fine, thin hair. Use higher wattage for thicker hair. Lupita Nyon’go’s hair stylist always recommends using heating tools such as diffusers and blow dryers on a medium setting.
Not all tools are created equal. A successful heat styling session is largely hinged on the right heat tools. A good heat tool is easy to use, heats up and cools down quickly, maintains the style for days after styling and does not overheat. Stylist Joe Calfee has the following to say about blow dryers “An ionic dryer helps to break down water molecules which allow hair to dry faster, but also allows moisture to penetrate deeper so that you dry your hair but still maintain the moisture on the inside,” “Ions also help to neutralize positive charged ions in your hair, therefore restoring shine and helping hair to feel very conditioned.”
For flat irons, ceramic or titanium irons are best because they heat up quickly and evenly and cool down just as fast. Tourmaline flat irons are good for making hair straighter, shinier and less frizzy.
Anything in excess is damaging. Heat is not an exception. Some natural hair beauties use heat once a year. It sounds absurd but there’s a reason why. Overuse of heat tools can lead to damaged tresses in the form of heat damage. Heat damage is evidenced by severely, dry, split weak ends. In addition, your natural hair texture will fail to revert back to its original state when washed. At this point, you have prayed and washed your hair but the curls will not come back! Using heat weekly may lead to heat damage. If you’d like to avoid such a scenario, you might want to cut back on flat ironing and blow drying to at most once a month. Make sure your hair is well moisturized to reverse the damage. I’ve used African Pride Olive Miracle Anti-Breakage Formula Leave-In Conditioner and I absolutely swear by it.
If you can, leave it to a professional. Ok ok. Maybe a professional hairstylist burnt your ear accidentally once or gave you heat damage. But a qualified hair stylist will know how to use their heat tools. Research the best salons and ask pertinent questions such as their temperature settings, products etc.
When using heat tools, work on a section briefly and keep it moving to prevent overexposure to heat. For instance, limit flat iron/curling iron to 2 passes.
I once watched a hairstylist take a flat iron and straight up use it on a client’s dripping wet hair. Soon after, the smell of burnt bacon spread in the air. This cringe-worthy situation had me dying inside. I just wanted to reach out and hug that girl. Flat ironing wet hair has disastrous results. Your hair may end up really dry and crispy, assuming you don’t manage to make it fall off. The proper way is to use a blow dryer first to remove moisture then run the flat iron through your hair.
Check Out Hair 101: The Ultimate Guide To Hair Care For Some More Hair Hacks.
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