Damaged hair can be extremely frustrating and annoying to fix. If you use heat on your hair, such as a hair dryer or a flat iron, there’s a high chance that your hair is heat-damaged. However, there are many reasons that hair damage may occur. Some signs that it may be due to heat damage are if it’s overly dry, you have split ends, or you have hair breakage.
Really the only way to properly fix damaged hair is to cut it off because it can be difficult to restore enough of the moisture and nutrients that are lost through using heat. It’s much easier to prevent heat damage from occurring in the first place.
Here are 5 key ways to prevent your hair from being heat-damaged:
1. Use the right products to keep your hair from being damaged
Using the right products can help restore the nutrients and strength your hair loses when heat is applied. These can include your shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. If you don’t use a hair mask, you should start because it helps add moisture back into your hair, and make it stronger and shinier.
The right product for you will depend on what sort of hair you have and how the heat damages it. If you find that your hair becomes frizzy from heat, then these anti-frizz products might be perfect for you, or you may find that you need more moisturizing products.
2. Turn down the heat
Turning down the heat on the styling tool can lessen the amount of damage to your hair. This is a great idea if you use heat quite often. Most hair types don’t need the heat to be turned up all the way and the tools can be just as effective at a lower temperature. If you have very thick, coarse hair, you may find that the heat needs to be higher. The more often you use heat on your hair, the more potential damage may be caused.
However, you don’t want the heat so low that you have to use the tool on the same section of hair multiple times because this can be just as damaging. You have to find the sweet spot between too hot and too cold.
3. Use a heat protectant
Whether you use heat on your hair daily or once in a blue moon, it’s essential that you apply a heat protectant beforehand. This creates a barrier between your hair and the styling tool which will help to seal in moisture and potentially stop your hair from burning. These can come in the form of sprays or creams, and are usually made from silicones.
If you want a more natural product then use one that’s hydrolyzed wheat protein based. You want to make sure that the protectant is applied to every piece of hair that will be touched by the heat.
4. Let your hair air dry rather than blow drying
Letting your hair air dry rather using a hair dryer will mean less heat will be applied to your it and will result in less damage. If you want to use heated styling tools, then letting your hair dry naturally is the perfect way to use less heat. When you use heat on your hair too often, you increase the likelihood of damage occurring.
If you need to wash your hair before styling it, consider washing it a few hours beforehand to give it time to dry. Using a hair dryer when your hair is mostly dried to finish it off won’t cause much damage.
5. Don’t use heat on damp hair
One of the biggest things to avoid when using heat is applying it onto sopping wet or damp hair, unless it’s a hair dryer. This is because when heat is applied to wet hair, it causes the hair to expand quickly, and burst out of the cuticle. The water evaporates from the hair when heat is applied and shatters everything around it. This damage can be easily avoided by ensuring that your hair is dried thoroughly.
It’s much easier to prevent heat damaged hair than it is to fix it. There are many ways to prevent it, such as letting your hair air dry, using a heat protectant and using the right products. Following all or just one of these may prevent your mane from damage and allow you to still apply heat.