Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage

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For most of us, using at least one form of heat styling to complete your daily routine is essential. Whether you blow it out, curl it up, iron it down, or crimp in the waves, you have at least one go-to look that can’t be done without cranking up the heat. And while whatever method you choose usually leaves your style looking great, we all know deep down that it bears no little consequences to the health of your hair. Here, we’ll guide you through a few DIY methods that you can try to lessen the sear on your strands.

What’s the damage?

We’re all vaguely aware of the dangers in heat styling, but what really is heat damage? When does it occur? The truth is, not always. The process of using heat to style your hair excessively (meaning at high temperatures every day) is what wears away the protective layer of keratin on your strands, and leaves your hair looking dull in color, dry in texture, and over time, splitting at the ends more than usual. This is why it is important to regularly protect your hair from heat damage as you go about your styling routine so that your finished look is always shiny, full, and most importantly, healthy looking.

1. Turn down the heat!

The easiest way to protect your hair from heat damage is so simple, you probably overlook it every day. Just use less heat! Depending upon your hair type, you should only use your heat-styling tools at temperatures between 200 – 300 degrees Fahrenheit. For finer hair, the lower settings will do, and if you have thicker, curlier strands, you can turn it up to the higher range. However, there is no type of hair with which you need to use all of your styling tools at their full settings unless you’re looking to lose your hair’s natural luster prematurely. Likewise, if your usual routine involves blow-drying freshly washed hair and then using another styling tool, tone down the heat by letting your locks air-dry before styling instead. This reduces the amount of heat applied in one sitting, and therefore naturally reduces the amount of damage to your hair. Over time, your hair will thank you for it.

2. Everything in moderation.

If you know that you absolutely need to maintain the order of your routine to keep your style flawless or know that you can’t give up your high temperatures without giving up your high volume, then try moderating your routine in favor of your natural shine. Instead of rushing to your tools as soon as you’re out of the shower, manage the health of your hair by “plopping” before applying any heat. After washing, you’ll want to wrap your hair for fifteen to twenty minutes before using any tools. To do this, you can use a regular bath towel, but it’s great to use a regular t-shirt instead, as the material absorbs less of the natural moisture from your hair. Allowing your hair to dry this way before styling allows it to relax from extreme temperatures during your shower time and styling time. Once you move on to styling, a good rule of thumb is to use no more than two passes per section of hair. Repeatedly styling the same section of hair not only saps your strands of the natural keratin and moisture that makes them shine but will also break down the hydrogen bonds that help your hair to hold its texture, which renders your styling routine pointless, to begin with. And if you just can’t avoid styling to perfection when you’re using heat, then change up your routine so that you are not using heat-styling tools every day. Alternate weekly at minimum between styled looks and no-heat looks to give your hair some recovery time. (See also: 9 Homemade Tips for Faster Hair Growth)

3. Create your own protective regiment.

If you’re going to use heat to style your hair, then it is important to give your hair the tools to retain its nutrients and sheen despite the temperature stress. The best DIY protectant solution that we found requires a half cup of shea butter, two tablespoons of avocado oil, and two drops of whichever essential oil you choose for your hair type (their list includes peppermint for thin hair, geranium for dry or color-treated hair, and rosemary for oily hair). Combine the first two ingredients with an electric mixer until the substance is light and fluffy, and then add you’re essential oil until the mixture is thoroughly combined.  You can use this mousse-like DIY protectant sparingly from the middle of your hair to the ends, avoiding direct contact with your roots. Make your own at home and apply it before every time you use heat to style!

So to recap, if you prefer to style your hair regularly instead of washing and going, don’t worry! There are quite a few ways to care for your hair at home rather than spending money on commercial protectants that are filled with chemicals. Sea Salt Sprays are also a great alternative as a protectant spray. Whether you choose to use less heat or use it less frequently, it’s always important to use your DIY protectant mixture to give your hair a boost of moisture and a protective layer before you use heat at all. Doing so will ensure that your hair remains as healthy and happy as possible. (See also: Proven Ways to Improve the Health of Your Hair)

About The Author:

Jordan is a writer for Beautifully Alive. She loves eating healthy and trying new recipes. The self-proclaimed Zumba Queen has a passion for beauty products and loves reading new books. She’s always down for a DIY project!

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