Styling your hair with heated curling tools can produce beautiful, luxurious curls. But with prolonged exposure to high temperatures, hair damage can occur and in severe cases even hair loss.
How to Tell if Your Hair is Damaged
There are several symptoms of damaged hair. Here are just a few signs that your hair might be damaged from your heated tool:
- Frizzy and unmanageable
- Dull and lifeless with little shine
- Tangles easily
- Excessive split ends
- Has breakage throughout
- Problems with color fading
- Hair falling out in clumps
Symptoms are not limited to these and can vary by hair type. Consult your trusted hair professional for their honest opinion on the condition of your hair.
What Causes Hair Damage
Hair is made up of tiny, compact layers called “cuticles” that seal in the hair’s natural moisture. Healthy hair has cuticles that are layered on top of each other and smooth. When hair becomes unhealthy, the cuticle layers become raised. Prolonged use of heated curling irons, or any device that reaches very high temperatures can dry out your cuticles, thus damaging hair on an atomic level by wearing down the bonds that hold hair cuticles together.
Curling your hair isn’t the only culprit; the use of heat along with the rest of your beauty regimen could be causing damage to your hair:
- Color treating your hair with harsh chemicals
- Excessively combing dry hair can cause breakage and split ends.
- Frequently wearing metal accessories like pony tail bands and clips can break hair strands.
How to Avoid Hair Damage from Heated Curling Tools
There is hope for frequent users. Bear in mind the following tips on how to reduce damage by using quality tools and styling products.
Use Only The Best Curling Tools
You can find the best curling wands on the market today. Unfortunately, you can also find sub-par curling tools that will cause damage to your hair. Know how to spot the good from the bad.
The tools will have variable heat control so you can adjust for your hair type. Thicker hair can take higher temperatures while thinner hair requires less heat. Whatever your hair type, start from the lowest setting possible and work your way up to a temperature that produces good results. It is not recommended that you style above 400F unless you’re a salon professional.
Look for tools made with ceramic, tourmaline or titanium. There is much debate as to which one is truly better for your hair but for the daily home use, ceramic is probably the best as it heats the hair follicle quickly and evenly. Remember: the longer the hair is pressed against the hot barrel of the wand, the greater the possibility of damage.
Protect When You Wash
Select a shampoo that is gentle and does not use harsh chemicals. Do not shampoo your hair every day; instead use just conditioner every other day. After shampooing/conditioning, rinse your hair with cold water to help seal the hair cuticle. Once a week, apply a deep conditioning protein treatment to your hair to restore the natural cuticle growth.
Before you style with a heated curling tool, make sure to use a protective spray that will help seal in moisture and add a layer of protection between the hair follicle and the heat. Ask your stylist for a good brand that he/she would recommend. Gently comb your hair before styling so that the wand doesn’t snag on hair tendrils.
Try to minimize the amount of time that your hair is on the actual barrel of the curling wand/iron. Prolonged heat exposure causes the cuticles to warp which causes damaged hair. Keep your hair set for at most 3-4 seconds during each pass. Try and take only one pass for each hair section.
Everyday Habits for Healthy Hair
Even when you’re not curling your hair, there are a few preventative measures you can take so that you will enjoy healthy, beautiful hair no matter what hairstyle:
Trim Your Hair Frequently to Reduce Split Ends!
- Avoid extended exposure to sunlight and harsh UV rays
- Minimize combing to minimize breakage
- Use ponytail holders that don’t have metal attachments, which can cause snagging
It’s important to keep your hair healthy so you can enjoy styling your hair no matter how you wish. With a few smart safety measures, your will enjoy damage-free hair and you won’t have to worry about hurting your hair with your favourite heated hair curler.