Styling your hair is indeed a complex process and involves the application of heat. Using a blow drier, straightener, or curler requires heat to work and gives you the hairdo you want. Anyhow, heat is not an ideal commodity when it comes to hair.
It can be harsh to both the scalp and the strands which can completely change the composition of the hair. This article aims to highlight the usage of heat for styling hair and how it can adversely impact the hair. We will also be discussing how the hair can be protected at length and 5 tips to do so.
What Is Heat Styling: How Can It Damage Your Hair?
In simpler words, heat styling can be defined as the process of using a heat tool to style your hair in multiple ways. It is believed that hair when comes into contact with heat becomes more manageable and loses its frizziness. This makes it especially useful to people living in humid areas who often find flyaways put a damper on their styles.
Apart from straightening, heating tools are also used to curl or dry the hair. However, the impact they can have on the hair is much larger than you could imagine. Some of them include:
✳️ Strips away the protein– While the non-heating counterparts don’t work as effectively as the heating ones, they do not harm your hair. The heating tools, on the other hand, strip away the protein in hair called keratin which is what gives it strength.
✳️ Loss of hydration– Similar to keratin, styling tools also degrade the hair’s quality immensely. They do so by leaving it dry as they evaporate away the water content in the hair.
✳️ Cuticle damage– The Cuticle is the protective layer formed on the hair. Continuous use of heating tools can take away the protective layer and leave it vulnerable to irritants.
✳️ Weakened bonds– Hair is bonded strongly together with proteins and other nutrients. Using heat styles can lead to the degradation of the bond making it too brittle at the ends and strands.
✳️ Color fading– If you color your hair, heating tools could fade away the color slowly.
5 Tips To Protect Your Hair Before Applying Heat
Now that we know the harm that can be caused by using heat styling tools, you could use these 5 tips to ensure that your hair remains protected. They include-
1. Use A Hair Protectant
Humectants in heat protectants can help the hair retain its hydration and natural oils. Good quality products are often made of Vitamin E and other essential oils that can ensure that the hair gets enough nutrients that might be stripped away due to excess heat. To use it, you can spray it from a distance at the strands.It is recommended to seek advice from a reputable brand or consult a hairdresser for the best hairspray that suits your needs.
2. Adjust Heat Settings
Every tool has a different range of heat settings. This could range from mild to high. The mild setting can emit a light amount of heat which can be ideal in conditions where the moisture is low. Use high settings only when the hair is extremely frizzy and unmanageable. When it comes to using a hair dryer, always remember to towel dry the hair before using the machine.
3. Make Sure Your Hair Is Dry Before Styling
If your hair is wet chances are the heating tools could throw a circuit shortage and may even lead to damage. Moreover, it cannot work effectively on hair that drips water. After the wash, pat the hair dry and then use a mild drier to wipe away the extra droplets of water before going for airbrushing or dry brushing.
4. Deep Condition Your Hair
In case you are about to use styling products that radiate heat, it would be wise to condition your hair properly so that the hair oils don’t wash away. Additionally, conditioning can also help regain the moisture that could be lost thanks to exposure to heat.
Not only does it maintain the beauty of the strands, but it also makes the hair strands flexible which can prevent hair breakage. You can also use a serum to help detangle the hair. The conditioner stays longer on the hair this way and no harm could come its way.
5. Limit The Frequency
Hair strands should not be heated or styled regularly. Instead, you can go for tools that don’t use heat. It might not be a quick option but that would be better to make the hair stay pretty.
So make sure you use heat styling tools only 2-3 times a month. Researchers believe that every time you use a heat styling tool, it could affect the thickness of your hair and make it prone to breakage. Moreover, it could also make the hair frizzier when the tools are not used.
Other than these 5 you can also take care of these few. Firstly always use high-quality products on your hair. The lower the quality, the worse the care. Secondly, always partially dry your hair and not fully dry. Eating is also an important part of managing your hair. Your hair cannot grow and be strong on its own.
If you feel it is too brittle, make sure you eat some foods like almonds or Vitamin E supplements available on the market. However, ensure that they are free of additives that do not damage the hair further. As a last step towards hair care, you might want to consult a dermatologist.
Hair styling can be a tedious task and heating tools are helpful. With the care of your hair in your heart, using heat tools can seem a bit like a problem. But as they are a necessity in today’s world where time is money and a bit more, all you can do is be careful about their usage.
You could do this by following the simple tips mentioned above. Always keep your hair as a priority and do what suits it. Do not ignore the signs it might be giving you like excessive hair loss or brittle strands. Drink plenty of water.