Traversing the world of hair straightening can be a daunting journey. There are so many tools to choose from, products to think about, and of course, the dreaded potential for hair straightener damage.
You’re not alone when trying to figure out how to straighten your hair without damaging it. If you have ever asked yourself, “is straightening hair bad?” Here are some great tips to help maximize your hair straightening experience.
Is it Bad to Straighten Your Hair?
By no means does straightening your hair have to be a bad experience. As long as you prepare your hair before, use the right tools during the process, and control damage after ironing it, your hair should retain a healthy look.
What's the Best Way to Straighten Hair Without Damage?
When it comes to technique, it’s always a good idea to keep in mind your hair texture and the temperature of the tool you’re using.
Blow drying your hair beforehand can also be a big help, as it will pull all your hair strands in a single direction.
Always section your hair. If the sections are too small, those hairs are prone to burning under the direct attention of the iron. Alternatively, if the sections are too big, the more the heat will be spread and the less effective it will be.
How to Straighten Your Hair Without Damaging It
If you straighten your hair daily, do it just once a day following up with a moisturizing treatment. But, is it bad to straighten your hair every day? Not really, but it's essential to take proper care of it. Certain oils like coconut or argan oil can help hydrate hair and keep it looking healthy.
Oils are your friend when it comes to ironing. Try to minimize shampooing to every other day to allow your hair to build up its own oils and barriers. This can also potentially keep your hair straight longer reducing the number of times you need to iron it.
Before you start with any tools, you should prepare your hair for the straightening process. Use a good conditioner and shampoo, something that will provide a barrier from the heat.
If you can, use something with Keratin. In a 2013 study published by the U.S National Library of Medicine, BMC Biotechnical suggested that using Keratin improved the hydration and health of both treated and untreated hair using keratin shampoos and conditioner. Furthermore, their results indicated that using the keratin shampoo and conditioner and then heating the hair to 180 degrees Celsius helped infuse the keratin to the hair.
You should also use a heat protection spray before touching your hair with any kind of heat. Not only will the spray protect your hair from becoming crispy, but certain sprays also help with keeping your hair from becoming frizzy.
Best Tools During Straightening
When looking for a straightener, most try to find straighteners that don’t damage hair. The truth is if misused and without the proper precautions, all straighteners have the potential to cause damage.
Hair straightener damage can be unpleasant and cause brittleness, breakage, and split ends. Even if you are able to avoid that, straighteners can cause the hair to smell bad after straightening or look incredibly dry.
There are several different kinds of tools to use when straightening your hair. Always take time to consider your hair type and what you are most comfortable with.
Most people think of a flat iron when it comes to straightening hair. There are several different kinds, like ceramic plates, that will help with distributing heat. There are tourmaline and titanium flat irons that use negative ions to keep the frizz down.
Some irons only work on dry hair; some can work on damp hair. As steam straighteners have come into fashion, questions on whether or not they can damage hair have also cropped up.
Like all straighteners, steam straighteners have to the potential to damage hair if misused. As long as you don’t have the settings too high and pay attention to the time you spend on each section of your hair, you should be fine. Steam straighteners can potentially add more moisture and protect your hair if used properly.
The Importance of Hair Type
While there’s a lot of options regarding tools, the most important thing to take into consideration is your hair type. Your hair type will help determine how much heat, and what way to go about ironing your hair.
Fine hair requires much less heat than thicker, curlier hair. Overheating fine hair can cause it to burn and break. Aim for around 140 degrees to 160 degrees Celsius.
Having thicker hair doesn’t mean you should suddenly turn your iron up to the highest setting. Thick, curly hair is still prone to breaking and burning. Try to keep the iron under 200 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, certain heat protectants you may have used will no longer work.
How to Straighten Natural Hair Without Heat Damage
Whether you're trying to straighten curly or fine hair without damaging it, always take it into consideration heat and products for care. Your naturally curly hair may need more products in order to keep it looking healthy, but as long as you use the proper shampoo, conditioner, heat protector and post-product, you should have an entirely successful hair straightening experience.
Best Hair Dryers to Straighten Hair
When looking for the best professional hair dryer, the key is again hair type. The best blow dryer for curly hair are usually ceramic and have a strong engine which will help distribute the heat and prevent frizz while also minimizing the time your hair is under the heat. You might also want a hair dryer with a diffuser to maintain your curls.
The best hair dryer for fine hair also includes both ceramic and tourmaline, both of which help distribute heat and minimize hair straightener damage. Try to get a hair dryer with multiple settings, so you have full control of how high or low you want to go. For fine hair, try to keep the heat low in order to minimize damage.