We all love sleek and smooth hair. And sometimes we want it sassy curly! But if your hair needs some help from blow dryers and curling irons to achieve the coveted look, be careful - you may wreck your hair forever.
Excessive use of heat can wreak havoc to your precious strands. It will make your hair brittle and prone to breakage. The next thing you know your hair has started falling out!
What happens to your hair when you use your hair iron
Our hair is made up of strong keratin and sulphur bonds. These disulphide bonds (composed of sulphur atoms and keratin chains), are responsible for giving your hair fixed, natural shape. That’s why the natural shape of your hair e.g. naturally curly, wavy, or kinky, is hard to break or change. This is where the help of your flat iron comes in.
When heat is applied to your hair, it causes the disulphide bonds to break. This breakage loosens the keratin bonds resulting in straightened or curled hair.
How to prevent damage when heat-stylingDisrupting our hair’s natural structure or cycle always leads to damage and hair loss - just like applying heat. However you can apply some simple steps in order to at least reduce the effects brought about by heating. Remember though that regardless, anything in excess leads to harm.
1. In-shower cold rinse
It’s not really about achieving a “shinier finish” (many claim this is myth) - but rather closing up your hair cuticles to retain your hair’s natural moisture as well as to lock in the moisturizing effect of your conditioner. Sealing in the moisture increases your hair’s resistance to external factors such as heat. Our hair is quite responsive to temperature and water. So it is important to be conscious about how our hair reacts to these factors.
2. Use a natural hair moisturizer that also acts as a sun shield
Herbal oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, and olive oil are all natural sunscreens not just for the skin but for the hair as well. If you use it on your hair regularly you’ll provide an extra layer of protection for your tresses so they don’t get easily penetrated by heat - whether it be sun’s UV rays or your blow dryer.
Make it a habit to deep-condition your hair about one to two tablespoons of organic coconut oil or olive oil before shampooing. Massage your scalp gently for a few minutes and make sure that your hair strands are thoroughly applied with the oil. Wash off as usual with a non-sulfate shampoo and conditioner. Again note step number one.
3. Protect before styling
There are essential oils that are 100% safe and can offer protection for your hair before blow drying it or using your hair iron. Some of the best oils to use are organic coconut oil, argan oil, almond oil, and olive oil. These oils contain healthy fats and antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin E that offer natural protection from heat and free radicals. Before styling, just apply a few drops of your preferred oil onto your hair strands.
4. Choose your styling tools
Good quality heating tools offer various heat settings, allowing you to choose the temperature that’s suitable for your hair type. Cheaper irons only has one setting that can be too hot especially for fine hair. First, know your hairstyle whether fine or course etc.
Also choose a blowdryer with a nozzle and a heat diffuser. These features can also help reduce the effect of heat on your tresses. You can seek assistance from a professional staff in choosing the right tools for your hair.
Overall, it is best to stick to your natural hair shape. But in times when you need a unique look for parties and events, nothing wrong with heat styling as long as the above steps are applied. In anything, moderation is key.