December 2, 2012

How to Prevent Damage When You Flat Iron Your Hair

There's no look sleeker than perfect, shiny, flat-ironed hair. Whether you're attending a high-brow charity luncheon, spending the day at the office, or hitting the clubs for an evening of drinks and dancing, a flat iron can offer you the polished look you seek. But as you may be aware, the intense heat that comes off this styling tool can also cause irreparable damage to your delicate locks, leading to dullness, dryness, fly-aways, and even split ends. Over time, your silky strands can start to show signs of wear and tear that make your mane look positively tatty, especially if you already stress you tresses with chemical treatments like dye or straighteners. So if you want to keep your hair healthy and shiny even when you're turning up the heat, here are a few tips to help you do less harm.

The first thing you can do is style your hair less. If you're washing, blow-drying, and flat-ironing on a daily basis your hair has no time to build up the natural oils that protect it. In truth, there's no reason to wash daily unless you have very oily hair to begin with. So if you can avoid the rigmarole of fixing your hair daily by preserving your 'do for more than a day or two, you should definitely do so. This could mean wearing a shower cap and coiling your coif in a hairnet at night so it still looks perfect on day two or three. But it will definitely help to keep your hair healthier when you use heat treatments.

Of course, not every woman has this option. Some of us need to wash our hair every day while others simply can't stomach the idea of going without a daily shampoo. In this case, there are other ways to protect your tresses. The first thing you can do is use a shampoo and conditioner geared towards heat-treated (or otherwise damaged) hair. This will help to seal the shafts and hopefully stave off some of the damage you're doing. Next you should use leave-in products that further guard against the harmful effects of hot tools. While you're busy asking yourself, "Where can I buy a Chi Flat Iron?" don't forget to note that Chi also makes thermal protection sprays to guard against iron-related damage. Using the two in tandem will definitely help to minimize the harmful effects of the iron. Certain oils can also help to seal the cuticle, so seek out heat-resistant serums that contain coconut, argan, or jojoba oil.

One final tip is to wait until hair is completely dry to use your flat iron. Most people don't realize that they're doing additional damage by adding heat to wet hair. But you should know that the sizzling sound you hear when you apply a hot iron to wet locks is a signal of something gone wrong. And yet, many women make this cardinal hair-care error. In fact, you are super heating the moisture that is in your strands and essentially boiling them from the inside out. That's bad. Further, you don't need to pull or do multiple passes that can add to the damage. Use the high heat setting and smooth the iron over each strand slowly, but only once, to get maximum results with minimal harm.

(Guest Post by Carol)

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  1. Thanks for this post because of I have burned my wet hair.

  2. Nidhi4:55 PM

    If you are using a curling or straight iron, you should probably not use it for more than three or four seconds

  3. Gargi4:56 PM

    if you misuse those tools or have the wrong ones, your hair may look like it's ready for a lengthy stint in hair rehab.

  4. Akshata4:59 PM

    thnx for all the info

  5. Thanks for sharing an article like this. I also have an bad experience regarding hair ironing.


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