Let’s be honest, heat has transformed how we style our hair. It’s fast and the aesthetic benefits are immediate. But fast and fun, in this case, comes with damage. Does this mean using ANY use of heat results in damage? The truth is no. Heat styling can change the structure of your hair proteins and overall hair structure however, for healthy hair, heat styling does not cause immediate damage.
Let’s unpack this further shall we?
When we use heat on our hair, we are forcing our hair’s outermost layer to:
● lie flat
● loosen natural curl
● release moisture (drying hair out)
● hold a different shape
How much heat is safe to use on our hair?
If you don’t use heat on your hair excessively (everyday) then you’re already on the winning team. Healthy hair can withstand up to 450F of heat before incurring damage. Furthermore, if you have healthy hair and apply heat to your hair once every month or so below 450F, you shouldn’t see any heat damage to your hair. Meaning, with the right hair care regime and gaps in between, applying heat to your hair for styling can have no damaging impact at all.
How can you protect against heat damage?
The best way to protect from heat damage is to prevent it. Here are a few easy steps to take to protect your hair:
1. Rinse your hair with cool water.
This will help seal the hair cuticle after a shower.
2. Let your hair air dry.
When you can’t, blow dry your hair on the ‘cool air’ setting and keep it at least 5 inches or more from the surface of your hair while using it.
3. Dry your hair with a t-shirt or cloth to reduce time under the dryer.
4. Before any heat styling, apply a heat protector to your hair!
Sprays that contain silicone and keratin ingredients seal your hair cuticle and make it more resistant to heat damage. Heat protection sprays are your holy grail.
5. Satin is your friend.
Keep your heat produced style for longer by sleeping with a satin scarf and/or satin pillowcase.
6. Use heat styling tools only once a week.
Don’t overdo heat.
So what does this all mean for you? Heat or no heat? Well, it depends on the state of your hair. If you have previous heat damage, then no heat. Give your hair time to heal. If your hair is healthy, then a little heat won’t hurt. Just remember to protect against heat damage with the right products and the right technique.
To happy, healthy hair! Love MPL