Does Using A Flat Iron Cause Hair Loss?

In the quest to attain the sleek, straight hair that looks so great with certain fashions, women with curly hair will often turn to flat irons for the job or social events. With the guidance of a skilled hair stylist a flatiron can be a simple beautifying tool. However, its overuse may elevate the chances of hair damage both permanent and temporary.

Flat Irons and Hair Loss

Aware of the high temperature of these appliances, many ask whether a flat iron can cause hair loss.

Hair Damage Vs. Hair Loss

The first part of the answer to this concern is to make a distinction between temporary or permanent hair loss and damaged hair.

Everyone loses hair every day as a normal and natural process. Certain factors, such as stress and dietary deficiencies, can also cause a greater degree of temporary hair loss.

The term “alopecia” refers to permanent hair loss, such as caused by pattern baldness. This latter form of hair loss is genetically determined and not influenced by day to day factors. While they might not be responsible for the loss of hair, there are a number of things that can damage hair. The extreme heat of a flat iron is one of those items.

How the Flat Iron Damages Hair

Hair can be damaged by any heat extremes. Temperatures over 347 degrees will usually cause permanent damage.  Devices such as the flat iron use very high heat, as much as 400-410 degrees. The heat achieves its effect by altering the internal structure of the hair, primarily breaking down hydrogen bonds. One the damage is done, it takes letting the hair grow out to undo the process. While there is no direct connection between use of a flat iron and hair loss, the damage is a direct result.

It’s Not Just the Flat Iron

Any appliance used on the hair that uses high heat temperatures will affect its structure. The moisture in wet ironing can cause even greater damage to the hair. Of course, any blow dryer used on high will cause the same heat damage. The longer the hair is heated, the more the effect on the health of the hair. Unusual stress and a poor diet can cause both hair damage and temporary hair loss.

Healthy Hair Is the Key

Bleaching, coloring and other cosmetics can damage the hair as much as heat. The good news is that time will generally heal any damage that is done to the hair. And the better news is that with healthy hair, the damage will eventually be cut off. Hair grows from 1/4 to 1/2 inch a month. The real issue is maintaining a healthy diet for healthy hair. Hair is made up of keratin. This is a protein, making protein in your diet important to hair health.

If you really want that straight hair, just remember that there is a price to be paid if you overdo it. In the end, however, the damage a flat iron might do is temporary and the damaged hair will be replaced.

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