Updated: Jul 14
If you’ve ever sought that perfect hair day, chances are you’ve used heat tools to get there. Whether it’s just a blow-dry, or a blow-dry and iron, heat tools help smooth, shape, and bring out the shine in your hair. However, too much heat can ruin all of those hair desires! To keep your hair well-styled and healthy, check out these three tips.
Prep Your Canvas with Heat-Protection Products
Applying a heat protectant to your hair before hot-styling is a critical step in any haircare routine. Thermal protectants are found in some multi-tasking products, while some simply stand alone for the task at hand. Generally, heat protectants offer protection upwards of 350℉ to about 450℉. Little Shop of Hairdos offers multiple products carrying heat protection, including the highly sought neuStyling Smoothing Créme (which also promises humidity control, manageability, and shine). There are also many other blow dry cream and spray options too. Additionally, Neuma offers a neuStyling Air-Dry Shaper, a neuMoisture Argan oil, and a neuCurl Perfecting Créme within each of its haircare lines, providing UV protection alongside other benefits specifically for dry, unruly, brittle, weakened, and dull hair. Most thermal protectants are applied on clean, towel-dried hair, but when in doubt, ask your stylist!
How Hot is Too Hot?
That being said, there’s only so much a heat protectant can do–it’s not the superhero we all want it to be! Most hairstylists will advise to only use the amount of heat needed to get the job done. Usually, this means lower temperatures for finer hair, while thicker hair will require higher temperatures. As a general rule, it is not advisable to ever go above 400℉ with any heat tool. Studies have shown that the hair starts losing proteins (the main component of your hair) around 392℉! It’s also important to consider the type of heat tool you are using. For instance, the heat of a blow dryer can be decreased if your dryer has multiple heat settings, or simply by increasing the distance between your dryer and your hair while perfecting that ‘do. Flat Irons and curling irons or wands apply heat more directly, and therefore require an additional layer of discernment while using. Recommended temperature ranges for curling irons are between 200℉ and 360℉, and for flat irons 250℉ – 400℉. The temperature that works best for you will depend on the type and condition of your hair. Your stylist can offer a professional evaluation and give you a recommendation tailored to your hair needs.
What Makes a Good Hot Tool?
Hair technology has come a long way over the years, as industry experts have continued to study each nuance in hair, hair coloring, and hair styling. That means our heat tools have improved by leaps and bounds–AKA if you still have that flat iron from high school, it’s time to toss that puppy! Older tools also have a propensity to distribute heat unevenly or provide temperatures above what your tool indicates. That being said, always look for tools that allow temperature adjustments, and are made with quality plates. As a general rule, you can’t go wrong with ceramic plates. This material heats the hair from the inside out, making it less likely to damage finer hair in particular. Ceramic also provides even heat and helps lock moisture in the hair. Some ceramic irons use an additional tourmaline coating to enhance the benefits of the ceramic plates, and offer an added benefit of shine to the hair. Another common option is titanium, however because this material heats up so quickly, it is easy for the average user to damage their hair, making titanium a better option for professionals.
Make an appointment with your Little Shop of Hairdos stylist to talk heat protection and even how-tos for hair styling. Our Raleigh stylists are happy to help you find the tools and techniques that will work best for you at home!