How to Avoid Heat Damage When Straightening Your Hair

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Bored with your natural hair and thinking of going straight? There’s nothing wrong with a style change to break out of hair monotony, even if it means using heat. But each time you apply heat to your hair, your cuticles open up and your hair becomes vulnerable to pollution, free radicals and moisture loss.  So if you’re planning on turning up the heat, do it safely and with these tips in mind.

  1. Prepare your washed and conditioned hair by putting it in twists or braids the night before. This will stretch it out your strands and ease the application of heat.
  2. Divide the hair into smaller sections. Less heat is required to handle smaller sections compared to larger ones. In the same vein, finer hair needs less heat than coarser textures.
  3. Apply a spray or silicone based thermal heat protectant to help retain heat and distribute it evenly along the hair shaft.
  4. Use ceramic/ionic plated tools that will help prevent heat damage by helping to smooth down the cuticle.
  5. Place a rat tail comb in front of your flat iron to help separate the section and speed up the heating process. Slowly glide both tools down the hair shaft to the end of the section once. Do a second pass only if you didn’t get the desired effect the first time.
  6. Hair burns at 450F so using heat anywhere close to this temperate will put you in the danger zone. Use a heating tool with variable settings that you can control. Better to use medium heat and do a single or double pass than to risk permanent heat damage from having used an overheated tool.
  7. Use heat sparingly. Over time, heat will cause irreparable damage that can only be remedied by cutting off the damaged strands.  So have fun with it, but use it with caution.

What’s your best hair frying prevention tip?  Share it in the comments.