Hair Straightening & Curling
We understand the appeal of hair straighteners. They can cut your styling time in half and are a very effective way of taming unruly hair or, alternatively, creating curls. However, they can really degrade the condition of your hair if they are used too often or incorrectly. This is because they deplete your hair of its natural moisture (water) content, making it less elastic and unable to stretch without breaking. While hair straighteners will never be ‘good’ for your hair, there are ways to minimize the damage.
Use protective styling aids
There are two kinds of uses for hair straighteners: curling and/or straightening. Any good quality straightener should feature temperature controls. The reason why straighteners work so well, and also the reason why they cause so much damage, is their considerable heat, which temporarily realigns the shape of your hair. To lessen the damage caused by direct heat, apply a heat activated protective styling aid to your mid-length and ends. However, please be aware that no styling aid will completely protect your hair from damage from straighteners.
Use the ‘correct’ hair straightener
Hair straighteners use the natural moisture content of your hair to create a new style. This is why your hair needs to be fairly dry for them to work properly. However, if care is not taken, they can make your hair very brittle. Steam-producing irons provide moisture, so are less likely to dry out your hair. The best of these are Teflon-coated irons.
Use a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment at least one a week, to help restore lost elasticity and moisture and to help prevent breakage and dry hair.
Limit their use
If you have extremely coarse, curly or frizzy hair, the daily use of straighteners to tame your style can be very tempting. But be warned, this can quickly lead to substantial breakage, which actually makes your hair appear more frizzy due to the different lengths of hair snapping off and sticking out. It can become quite a vicious cycle. Try to limit the use of straighteners to once or twice a week. There are many products out there to help tame and smooth wavy, kinky or frizzy hair. We say embrace your curls and the natural texture of your hair.
Do not leave the iron on your hair for too long. The high heat can burn your hair and cause irreversible damage. Also, do not pull excessively when straightening or curling – your hair is already vulnerable to breakage, and tension can make it worse. Hair fact: your hair can burn just like your skin – you just can’t feel it!
Replace your hot iron
Impurities from water, and also the residue of formerly removed hair cells, can build up on hot irons and cause them to stick to your hair, which be very damaging. To avoid this hazard, hot irons will eventually have to be replaced. You will know when to change it as ‘stickiness’ will occur and build-up on the ceramic plates will be evident.
Hot Iron Cautions
Never put hot irons too close to your scalp. Their high heat can result in painful burns and subsequent infection.