So how bad can it really be? Heat styling, that is… To put it bluntly… bad. Real bad! I once had my hair so badly burnt from heat styling that when I got into the shower that evening and washed it, all I could smell was burnt hair! And the damage was unfortunately done. So to avoid being in the same (burning) boat as I was here are some tips to keep in mind when heat styling your hair.
One, two, skip a few. Take a day off.
So tip number one is, when you can, as OFTEN as you can, let your hair dry naturally and throw it into a loose bun or ponytail instead of whipping out the heat styling tools. Because the bottom line is that heat styling damage is irreversible. No matter the treatments or miracle cures once the damage is done it can only be grown out or cut out.
Wait until your hair is totally dry before you heat style it.
We all do it. Laziness tends to be the problem. Or if you’re like me you’re constantly running late. So you quickly flat iron your nearly dry/damp hair. This causes what’s known as “bubble hair”. Since heat styling breaks down the hair’s hydrogen bonds, applying concentrated heat from a curling or straightening iron can be very damaging. Wait until your hair is dry, or blow dry your hair on a low setting to speed the process along before using an iron. Otherwise, you may cause irreversible damage to your strands.
Hair texture and heat level go hand in hand.
Some heat styling tools have settings and you should adjust the level of heat accordingly. If you have thin, wispy hair there’s no need to have it on the hottest setting possible. But if you for example have thick, curly hair you may need to add some flame to that fire in order to achieve the look you want. Either way, start off slow and work your way up. Don’t go 0 – 100 real quick in this case! Don’t let this be you…
Hydration is everything.
Heat styling takes the moisture out of your hair and dries it out. So ensuring that you supplement your hair before and after is essential. Oils and sprays are a great way to nourish your hair. I like using Pantene’s Instant Nourishing Spray which you can leave in your hair after styling it.
Protect your hair like you protect your skin.
This is the holy grail of heat styling: use a hair protector before styling your hair! EVERY time! Nuff said…
Just keep moving.
Try not to keep a heat styling tool on your hair for prolonged periods of time (more than a few seconds) and try not keep it one spot. This will most likely cause damage. Keep it moving and keep it flowing and you should be safe.
Masque me up.
If you heat style your hair on a weekly basis and you’re not using a hair masque at least once a week you’re doing it all wrong. Sunday is my “me” day. Bath, bubbles (both in the tub and in my glass) and a hair masque are my weekly ritual. Make it yours! Get ready for the week ahead by pampering yourself and rescuing your hair. It’s a win-win situation
How much is too much?
So we all heat style – it’s inevitable. But try and limit yourself to 3 – 4 times (max!) per week. I know it seems tough but there are a ton of hairstyles that don’t require heat styling at all. For more hair tips visit Pantene’s website here and follow them on Facebook there.
You can also check out our other hair care articles here.