While the heat from hair styling tools can shape hair to your desired look, it can also wreck your hair and leave it looking dull and feeling rough. Here’s everything you need to know to save your strands from heat damage.
Prep Before You Blow-dry
Stop rubbing your hair back and forth with a regular cotton towel after washing. This roughens the hair cuticle and makes the strands generally coarse to the touch. Instead, switch to a microfibre towel that can soak up moisture without frizzing up your strands. Dry your hair as much as you can with the microfiber towel to reduce your blow-drying time. Then apply a heat-protective lotion (but not the spray type) over all the strands before using the hairdryer. This will help reduce friction and the breakage that could result when blow-drying.
The Right Tools
Invest in hairstyling tools that can help to further prevent heat damage. The Dyson Supersonic hairdryer ($599) has a powerful Beauty digital motor to deliver high-pressure air that will dry your hair quickly. It’s a smart device that also comes with a heat monitor which measures and regulates the temperature of the air 20 times a second to keep hair damage at bay. It has four heat settings (28 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Celsius, 80 degrees Celsius and 100 degrees Celsius), three airflow settings, and a cold-shot function to allow styling versatility.
Use Lower Temperatures
Thinner, finer hair is more prone to damage, so if you have this hair type, you should use a lower heat setting when you’re blow-drying or heat-styling. Remember to keep a distance between yourself and the gadget you’re using – hold your hairdryer between 15cm and 25cm away from your hair and direct the air down the hair shaft, not at your head. If possible, use a diffuser attachment for more even heat distribution.
Aside from protecting hair against heat from styling tools, you also need to protect it against the sun, which can dry it out and fade its colour. While you’re styling your hair, also mist a protective spray all over it to prevent moisture loss throughout the day.
Distribute Heat Evenly
Don’t run your styling tool repeatedly over the same section of hair or keep the heat source targeted at one spot for a long time. Doing so will overheat that spot and can cause the hair there to break. You may think that piling on the heat is a good way of reinforcing your hairstyle, but it will actually do more harm than good.
Weekly Care Is A Must
Replenishing your hair’s natural moisture after heat styling is essential – you can do this by applying a hydrating mask once or twice a week at home and getting a protein treatment at the salon every month or two. This combination of at-home and salon care can improve the condition of your hair.
Avoid Hot Showers
Besides all the pointers about heat styling tools given here, you should also bear this commonsense practice in mind: Don’t wash your hair with hot water, as this can irritate your scalp and damage your hair. If you’re not comfortable with cold showers, at least try to go with room-temperature water.
And there you go! Here's to your crowing glory, may it always look lustrous and lush.
This story first appeared in the August 2017 issue of Her World magazine.