Beat the Heat: Use Heat to Your Advantage
There are so many variables that affect the health of our hair. Over the next few weeks, we’ll touch on a few of the biggest offenders.
This week the focus is Heat Damage.
The reason heat damage is high on the offenders list is largely because it’s cumulative. The damage occurs over time, but repairing the hair can take even longer, so if you use heat on your hair as part of your routine, you need to consider the following.
French fries are cooked at 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit. Most flat irons get to 450 Fahrenheit.
Healthy undamaged hair burns at about 451 degrees Fahrenheit – that’s why no one makes a hotter flat iron. The temperature at which your hair will burn DECREASES as heat damage INCREASES! That means that your hair becomes more fragile and vulnerable to heat damage the more you apply heat to it.
Figure out the right temperature for your hair if you use a heating element (e.g., flat iron, curling iron, etc.) as part of your styling process.
1. Purchase a good heating element that has an adjustable temperature.
2. ALWAYS use a silicone to protect your hair from heat, but remember when using products with silicone to clarify often to remove the build-up and keep hair its healthiest.
3. Start at a low temperature and increase by 10 degrees until it “works”. MORE heat is NOT better. You may test by moving up another 10 degrees, but once you find the right temp, STAY THERE. After the “working” degree is hit for your hair, the only thing you add to your hair with more heat is more heat damage.
4. You can “manage” the damage with deep conditioning treatments and some protein treatments (but here again – proceed with caution, as too much protein can cause breakage).
5. Because heat damage is cumulative, the only real way to eliminate that damage is to cut off the damaged hair. I KNOW, but it had to be said!
Naturally, we encourage you to embrace your natural beauty, but we know that sometimes what we’re born with needs coaxing to achieve the desired style, hold, or look you want, and that’s where heat can be really effective.
Just remember to use heat conservatively and condition often to help off-set any damage that might accumulate over time.
Embrace your natural beauty!