Why do the things that make our hair look and feel amazing seem to harm it the most? Heat styling is the best way to get silky smooth locks and perfectly bouncy curls, and hair dryers help keep frizz away. Without blow dryers, hot curlers and straightening irons, hair can take hours to dry, tangle into a mess and feel coarse. Heat is essential to so much of our hair care, yet everyone knows that it causes damage over time. Fortunately, there is a way to ensure that you can use heat styling without worrying about lasting damage.
Styling With Damp Hair
While heat styling is not recommended for wet hair, the heat can also damage dry hair. After you shower, you should dry your hair at least 80% so it’s a little damp, but not dripping wet. Completely dry hair has the tendency to get burned under the heat of a curling or straightening iron because of the lack of moisture that is needed to evenly distribute the heat throughout your hair.
On the same note, using heat styling on wet hair can leave it rough and brittle. If you don’t have time to wash your hair and let it dry a bit before heat styling, spraying your hair with a little water or special heat protectant can work in a pinch.
If you hair is already fried and broken at the ends from heat damage, it’s best to stay away from curling irons and straightener altogether for a while. While straightening damaged hair can make it look better temporarily, it’s like putting a band aid over a bullet wound. It might take awhile to heal, but after using healing hair products and trimming your hair regularly, you can go back to safely using heat to style your locks.
A Safe Styling for Dry Hair
There are many products available that are specifically designed to help heat style dry hair. If you must use heat styling, use a conditioner for dry Black hair that will moisturize your hair enough to guarantee that it won’t get damaged by the heat.
Use the Right Appliances
Depending on what sort of hairstyle you’re looking for, you’ll need a different type of hair appliance. Although you can straighten your hair with a ceramic flat iron, an ionic blow dryer uses less heat for a fuller hairstyle. There are also heat appliances made specifically for the texture of Black hair. If you do your research on the best appliance for your hair type and preferred style, you are less likely to accidentally damage your hair.
A blow dryer, the most commonly used heating device, can also be the most damaging. It is more likely to overheat your hair than any other styling appliance. When drying your hair, use the cool setting on the blow dryer or purchase a blowdryer one with a setting like this. Slowly, but surely, your hair will still dry, but it also won’t be as damaged as opposed to drying with high temperatures.
To prevent tangles and overheating, comb your hair gently before, during and after blow drying. Make sure to keep the heat away from your roots as much as possible, because the high temperature could cause the roots to loosen.
Other Quick Tips
For natural hair, using a silk wrap is the best way to get hair at least 80% dry while retaining the essential moisture. Cotton towels or wraps can cause friction in the hair, which can promote hair loss and strip your hair of essential oils. Silk wraps allow your hair to dry without creating excessive frizz and split ends.
If you’re looking to grow out your hair, keep away from heat styling more than once every two weeks, as too much heat could stunt your hair’s growth, potentially even causing premature hair loss. By following these tips, you’ll be able to heal those damaged strands.