31 Aug Tips for heat styling hair
Tips for heat styling hair (without damage)
We all love our hot styling tools, whether it’s a hairdryer, curling iron, or straightener. But with heat styling comes heat-damaged hair: split ends, dry and dull strands, and hair breakage.
“Excessive heat over a prolonged period will cause irreversible heat damage,” says Carlos.
How heat damages hair
He explains, “Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. High temperatures can weaken and break down the protein bonds leading to permanent structural damage.”
He adds, “Heat damage is cumulative. Regularly using tools at high temperatures increases the changes to the protein bonds and moisture levels of each strand. Eventually, those bonds are broken and cannot be fixed.”
Fine and thin hair is generally more vulnerable to heat damage as it has less natural protection. But thick and coarse hair is not immune, especially when subjected to high heat frequently or for extended periods.
Hot tools, cool tricks
The good news is you don’t need to give up your styling tools entirely. Here are our five practical tips you can use to minimize heat damage:
#1. Don’t skip heat protectant
Before using any heated tools (including a hair dryer), always apply a heat protectant product. This will create a protective barrier which seals in moisture and helps stop the hair shaft from drying out, keeping hair looking shiny and healthy.
Carlos adds, “I particularly like Aveda’s Botanical Repair Strengthening leave-in treatment as its ultra-lightweight consistency is easy to distribute evenly through the hair, it’s absorbed within seconds, doesn’t leave a residue behind, and protects against heat up to 450°F.”
#2. Invest in quality styling tools
High quality heat styling tools often have a more even heat distribution, reducing the chances of ‘hot spots’ that can severely damage hair.
They usually have adjustable heat settings too, so you start with a low temperature and only increase if necessary.
Carlos cautions, “And avoid using your tools on the same section of hair more than once because it can cause damage to your hair shafts.”
#3. Avoid styling wet hair
Wet hair is more susceptible to heat damage as the cuticle (outer layer of your hair) is raised, exposing the inner structures of the hair to the intense heat. So always ensure your hair is 70-80% dry before using heat tools, advises Carlos.
#4. Give frazzled locks a break
Heat damage is cumulative and continual heat styling will progressively weaken your hair. So, it’s important to try to incorporate heat-free days in your haircare routine.
Air drying your hair when you can and use dry shampoo once a week if possible. Plus, you can explore alternative ways of styling like braids, updos, or hair accessories that do not require heated tools.
#5. Repair. Repair. Repair.
Hair Masque treatments restore essential moisture and nutrients to your hair, combating dryness and brittleness from heat styling. Regularly using hair masques like Aveda’s Botanical Repair Intensive Strengthening Masque (rich or light) can intensely repair and strengthen hair instantly leaving the hair visibly healthier, softer, and shinier.
#6. Book regular trims
Even with these precautions, some degree of heat damage is almost inevitable. That’s why it’s crucial to get regular trims every 6-8 weeks to remove any damaged or split ends and keep your hair looking its best.
As always, remember that everyone’s hair is unique, so do ask your Xylem stylist for advice, tips, and recommendations – we love to help