You already know that sizzling your hair does not lead to thicker, healthier hair. On the contrary, these heat products like blow dryers, straighteners and curling irons dry out the hair, thinning your strands and making them brittle and prone to breakage.
But if you – like me – love the way your hair looks after a little curling session (or straightening – grass is always greener on the other side, yea?), here’s how you can have your cake and eat it too.
Heat and Hair Shall Never Meet (Directly, at Least)
Applying hot tools directly to your tresses is a really, really bad idea. The heat can fry your cuticles, drying out and damaging those precious cells that do so much to strengthen and protect your hair shaft. The more you do this, the dryer and angrier your hair becomes.
So instead of letting that iron loose on your unprotected hair, put something between your strands and the heat by using a protective cream or spray to replace the moisture lost during heat styling.
The absolute best for this is Seed Phytonutrients Anti-Frizz Smoothing Cream – it protects your hair from heat and leaves it smooth, shiny, and tangle-free. Plus, it’s extremely affordable – the perfect hair product 🙂
Choose the Least-Damaging Heat Tools
Air-drying is obviously the best for your hair, but sometimes a blowdryer is just necessary. I mean, if you have to be at work in 15 minutes and it’s the dead of winter…air drying is just not an option.
If you’re going to be using a blowdryer on a regular basis, opt for an ionic dryer. These dry hair much faster so your strands aren’t exposed to heat for long and the ions reduce the size of water molecules so that it can more easily penetrate the hair shaft and restore moisture balance.
The result is drastically less hair damage, which is obvious from the way ionic hairdryers leave your hair looking: a lot more conditioned, shiny and smooth. I also notice much less static with these.
The best one I’ve used so far is the Revlon 1875W Infrared Heat Hair Dryer. It does its job in half the time normal hairdryers do, it’s super light-weight, and it leaves hair smooth and less prone to tangle.
As for irons, it goes without saying that these apply a lot of heat to your hair and there’s no such thing as a totally damage-free iron so try to limit the use of these to once or twice a week, especially if you have very thin hair.
Okay, now that we have that out of the way – let’s move on to a quick run-down of the most-to-least damaging irons for your hair.
Stainless steel irons: These remnants of the past take forever to heat up and are the most damaging for hair, which is pretty obvious by the way they leave your hair looking – brittle and fried. I don’t recommend using these ever.
Chrome: These were pretty popular for awhile ’til better, less damaging irons found their way to the market. These are pretty much just as bad as the stainless steel ones – it fries the hair and doesn’t even have the decency to produce even heat. Pass.
Gold: Gold is enticing because it’s, well, fancy. And gold-plated irons aren’t terrible – they get evenly hot, work really well (your curl will hold and not look frizzy) and don’t damage your hair too much, but…there are less damaging irons available.
Ceramic: Ceramic was a game-changer. While the above irons heat hair from the outside-in, taking much longer and resulting in moisture loss and damage, ceramic iron uses infrared heat to penetrate hair quickly from the inside out so that you get the same results in a much shorter time.
Ceramic irons also distribute heat evenly so there are no especially “hot spots” that fry parts of your hair. Result = less damage, smoother hair.
Tourmaline with Ceramic (or Porcelain): Okay, this is the top dog in the market and the only iron you should be considering if you want to minimize damage as much as possible and still have the lovely effect of curled (or straight) hair.
Tourmaline is a natural crystal with a negative ironic charge, which allows it to eliminate frizziness and close your hair cuticle (that’s why these irons give a smoother finish). They also use infrared heat so you get much faster styling with much less damage.
The best ones? For curls – Remington’s Ceramic Wand is magical. Once you try it, you will probably never use anything else. It takes oh, about 2 seconds to curl a strand of hair and those waves are smooth, bouncy and remain that way forever (i.e. about a full day).
For straighteners – the most recommended is obviously HSI’s Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron – it works quickly and it leaves the hair smooth and sleek.
If you’re going to heat your hair, make sure you choose one of the top least damaging options!
Oh, and one last tip…
Detox Your Hair Every So Often
Especially if you’re coming from a long history of vigorous and harsh heat treatments, give your hair a much-needed break by going on a total hair detox.
Things that make your hair look awesome in the short-run – like tight braids, weaves and extensions, chemical perms, and high heat irons – dry out your hair in the long run.
As tough as it may be, try going cold turkey for awhile and instead of thinking of it as a deprivation, think of it as a chance to really spoil your tresses.
Do hair thickening treatments at home, splurge on some all-natural hair oils, get thee a keratin treatment, or start juicing for thicker, healthier hair.