Curling irons, flat irons, and hair dryers are all great tools to keep in your styling arsenal to have amazing hair, but how do you know if you’re overdoing it? Heat damage can happen to anyone at any time, and you have probably experienced it before without even knowing you were doing anything wrong. Luckily, there are professionals with the knowledge to ease your mind and help you get restore your hair to being shiny, healthy, and strong.
Signs of Heat Damage
If you have ever experienced multiple of the following symptoms listed, you probably have been overusing the hot tools. Some signs of heat damage include:
dull overall appearance
hair breaking off at the ends causing it appear to grow very slowly
split ends causing you to require more frequent haircuts
This kind of damage occurs most often because heat has been applied too long or too often to the hair. High temperatures can cause immediate damage and require long term fixes. It could take years to get your beautiful, healthy hair back, and sometimes requires simply growing the hair out to overcome the effects.
How It Happens
Similar to chemical damage from over-bleaching, high heat softens the keratin in the hair, which leads to more breakage. Damaged protein structures and severe dehydration are the two main factors when it comes to heat damaged hair. Those with fine hair, a curly hair texture, and anyone who has previously colored or bleached their hair are most likely to find their hair heat damaged because their hair starts in a compromised state. Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t much you can do to get the hair feeling healthy again. The good news is, we’re going to take a deeper look into products and ways you can help revive your hair.
The number one way to prevent heat damage is to stop using heat on the hair every day. Typically, there is no reason to wash the hair every single day, which means there is absolutely no reason to apply heat every day.
If you find your style is looking a bit messy the next day, don’t fret; you can easily figure out some second day hairstyles to try out and feel fresher than ever.
Dry shampoo is also a great tool to revive second day hair into looking (and smelling) it’s best!
Another great way to prevent damage is using a thermal protection. For example, we have ONE, a prep spray product by R+Co that provides heat styling protection. Thermal protection products allow the hair to evenly heat, and slow down the rate at which it heats up. Making sure your hair is completely dry before you begin using a hot tool, and lowering the temperature on all of your tools will help ensure healthy and beautiful looking hair.
Any type of high heat is going to cause damage, so turning the temperature down on any tool you use on your hair is going to help keep the integrity of your hair intact. Using the cool setting on your hair dryer is a great way to prevent split ends, lock in your style, and cut down on frizz. You can start with the warmer setting to speed up drying the roots, and finish the blow dry with the cool air, which creates shine and helps set your style for the day ahead of you. Your hair dryer is going to lose the ability to regulate the heat as it ages, so make sure to keep a rotation of new tools at all times. If your hair dryer is 5 years or older, it is time to retire it and find a new one to love for the next few years. Your hair will thank you!
So… what is the correct temperature to set your tools to? This answer is less straightforward. It all depends on your hair type and the style you are going for. Typically, I keep the temperature at 350°F with my guests. A good guide to follow is about 380°F for coarse hair, 350°F-370°F for wavy or curly hair, 330°F-350°F for those with medium/straight hair, and 300°F-330°F for fine or already compromised hair. Make sure to leave the heat on the hair for a maximum of ten seconds or less, otherwise you run the risk of severely damaging the ends of your hair.
However, what if your hair is too far gone and the damage has already been done?
Stop putting heat on your hair altogether. No one likes this answer but it is the most realistic option if you’re hoping for a quick fix. None of the following revival techniques are going to do much for your hair if you don’t stop abusing it.
Grab some moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. R+Co has an awesome moisturizing shampoo and conditioner duo called Atlantis, which leaves the hair feeling smooth and moisturized without weighing you down, making it perfect for all hair types.
As we mentioned earlier, washing your hair less frequently is actually healthier for your hair! This means you’ll need a good dry shampoo to get rid of any unwanted oils and leave your hair smelling great. Death Valley is an awesome dry shampoo by R+Co and is sure to become your new best friend during this time period. R+Co has a moisture and shine lotion called Waterfall, which is going to give the ends of your hair the extra love they need after shampooing and conditioning, and it’s super light, which also makes it suitable for all hair types.
Now that you have your at home routine down, it’s time to step into the salon. Monthly deep conditioners, like the Mint Condition treatment we offer hear at Virtue, are going to give your hair that extra boost of moisture that is hard to achieve on your own at home, and will give you an awesome dose of you time that everyone deserves!
You can also switch out your monthly deep conditioners for Olaplex treatments. These will feel pretty similar to a deep conditioner, but you can choose to add the Olaplex into a clear gloss, which is going to leave the hair looking shiny and less dull from the heat damage.
Pair these treatments with more frequent haircuts and you will be on the road to having your healthy hair back in no time!
Everyone wants healthy hair that looks great too, and you don’t have to settle for one or the other! The best tool to prevent heat damage is knowledge, and with these suggestions and products, you can put your mind and your hair at ease
Written by Riley