How Hair Heating Tools Might be Damaging Your Hair
In the quest to attain sleek, straight hair, women, and men with a curly or wavy texture often turn to flat irons or blow dryers to fight frizzy hair. Those wanting the perfect curl usually turn to big hot, curling irons. With the guidance of a skilled hair stylist, a flatiron, curling iron, hair dryer, or any hot tool can be a simple beautifying tool. However, overdoing it may increase the chances of hair shaft breakage, leading to permanent and temporary hair damage.
Flat Irons and Hair Loss
Can heat styling tools with high temperature settings cause dry hair, hair breakage, and dull hair? Generally, stylists suggest using high-wattage dryers on a medium setting or low setting. Ideally, you want to allow your wet hair to air dry completely, or at least 80%, before applying a heat styling tool. If you have bleached hair compounded with regular flat ironing, you could increase the chances of hair loss or hair damage risks.
Hair Damage Vs. Hair Loss
There are different types of hair loss. The only remedy for hair loss caused by damage to hair from the effects of hair straightening or caused by chemical damage and regular use of heating tools is:
- Hair treatments
- Restoring hair oils
- Trimming split ends
- Apply heat protectants for a layer of protection
- Reduce usage of chemical treatments
- Reduce usage of heated styling tools
- Wearing silk scrunchies while you sleep
- Time for hair growth cycle and recovery
Wearing silk scrunchies on your hair at night will help minimize hair shaft breakage as you toss and turn at night. If you routinely use hair treatments, like masks after every wash it will help promote a shiny outer layer and smooth hair. Heat damage hair will benefit from hair salon visits. A professional can advise you on promoting hair growth and guide you on choosing effective hair products. When you leave the salon, your mane will feel full of healthy hair strands.
We shed hair every day. Losing excessive hair can be a health issue, a reaction to medical treatments, or lacking strong hair due to bleaching or chemical processing. Certain factors, such as stress and dietary deficiencies, can also cause stress on the hair. A balanced diet and good hair care practices can help restore the sheen to your hair. Add veggies and folic acid to your diet. Ensure the water you’re using to wash your hair isn’t stripping the natural oils from your hair.
Here are a few things you can do to restore the health of your hair:
- Allow hair to air dry
- Reduce blow drying hair or using hair dyes
- Reduce use of any heat styling method
- Use natural hair masks on a regular basis
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Check your iron levels with your doctor
Other hereditary and natural aging effects can cause alopecia. The term “alopecia” refers to permanent hair loss and pattern baldness. If you are losing patches of hair, seek medical attention––this can also be a sign of alopecia. Recently, the FDA approved a synthetic treatment for alopecia.
How the Flat Iron Damages Hair
No matter your hair type, any heat extremes can damage hair. Temperatures over 347 degrees will usually cause permanent damage to hair follicles. While flat ironing at very high heat levels, between 400-410 degrees, can achieve quick, smooth-looking, and pin-straight hair, the heat alters the internal structure of the hair strands. The effect of high heat is primarily breaking down hydrogen bonds.
The structure of the hair fiber is made up of the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. Hair cuticles are the outer protective layer of the hair. Hair cuticles give your hair that youthful and hair healthy shine. Once a hot iron damages the hair cuticle, the hair texture looks dull, and the chances of damage are high.
For the hair’s natural moisture to restore, it will take lots of time and letting the hair grow. Reducing flat ironing sessions and using hair masks regularly will work wonders. While there is no direct connection between using a flat iron and hair loss, the damage is a direct result.
It’s Not Just the Flat Iron
Let’s recap all the appliances that can leave your beautiful, youthful hair in ruins with excessive use: any instrument used on the hair that uses high heat temperatures will affect its structure. The moisture in wet ironing can cause even more significant damage to the hair, so always use hair dryers on hair that is 80% dry or flat irons on hair that is 100% dry. Reduce the heat of the blow dryer to medium. A blow dryer used on high will cause increased 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 hair damage and temporary loss.
Healthy Hair Is the Key
Bleaching, coloring, and other cosmetics can damage the hair as much as heat and even cause hair loss. The good news is that time will generally heal any damage to the hair. Routinely trimming your hair will keep split ends at bay. As a bonus, the damaged hair will eventually be cut off. You want to develop habits that will minimize stress on the hair with a healthy diet and good hair habits. You can avoid heating products altogether. Follow the basic rules of hair care to keep your hair lustrous and in tip-top shape.