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How to Protect Hair from Heat Damage

Last update: Jul 7, 2017 12:58, April Williams

Let`s first answer the question, why the hair is damaged from the thermal impact of dryers and irons. The answer is simple: the hair consists mainly of “hard” keratin, and it is vulnerable to heat as any protein is.


Picture of healthy and damaged hair

In healthy hair, the cuticle scales, i.e. the upper protective layer, are smoothed and tightly cover the cortex — the cortical layer, which contains the pigment that determines the hair color. When heated, the cuticle scales rise, opening the cortex. If misused, hair dryers and irons evaporate moisture from the hair, digest the natural oil of the hair and destroy the protein, especially if you apply heat to wet hair. Thus, the hair becomes brittle, fragile and dull. And to prevent this, heat protection for the hair is necessary.

Types of hair damage

Experts distinguish three types of hair damage:

Mechanical, when the hair is exposed to misuse of hair brushes, frequent back combing, etc;

Thermal, when the hair is dried up as a result of improper use of irons, hot rollers, curling irons, hair dryers and other heat styling tools;

Chemical, when the hair is exposed to frequent bleaching or coloring, as well as perming.

Why do you need to use hair heat protectors?

For many years, the whole process of hair care consisted of two stages: beauty treatments themselves (perming, coloring, etc.) and the elimination of these effects (hair treatment). After long revitalizing courses, women began to curl or straighten their hair afresh, and the cycle was repeated again and again. Recently, the beauty industry reached the new level of quality: modern cosmetics to protect the hair allow you to minimize the risks of continued use of hair dryers and irons, eliminating the damage to the hair.

Experts` advice: if you style your hair with heat styling tools, be sure to use heat-protective agents for the hair. But when applying them, remember that the heat treatment is particularly harmful to wet hair, so you can start it only after the hair is dry.

All thermal protection hair products include vitamins B and E, natural proteins and extracts of green tea, which allows you to nourish your hair and protect it from the heat. But protection, restoration and strengthening of the keratin layer of the hair are the leading properties.

To date, you are offered a huge range of products to protect your hair: sprays, fluids, serums, emulsions, conditioners, gels, balsams, milks, lotions, creams, oils, etc.

Professionals divide all thermal protection hair products into 2 groups:

  1. Water washable— shampoos, conditioners, rinses, masks, etc.
  2. Not water washable — sprays, creams, balsams, oils, serums, gels, etc.

Both types of thermal hair protection affect the hair from root to tip. In addition, you can give hair volume, straighten your hair and make it manageable, silky and shiny, using these tools.

Hairdressers necessarily recommend washing your hair before using a hairdryer or ironing, because the hair may suffer because of the temperature interaction with the remains of extraneous styling products. After you have washed your hair, dry it a little naturally and then use thermal protection. But even if you use the products to protect your hair, do not forget that it is not necessary to heat the iron to more than 130 degrees and often use the maximum capacity of the dryer. Also, professionals recommend the use of protective products from one cosmetic line.

Hairdressers` tips on thermal protection

Tip № 1

Try to choose the product to protect your hair of the same brand as your shampoo, conditioner, and hair spray are. Products of the same brand and the same line do not contradict, but complement each other, caring for the hair more effectively than products of different brands and lines.

Tip № 2

Note the marker “protection for heat styling” when purchasing products for hair protection. Only these products will not only fix the hair, but also protect your hair from the harmful effects of hot air. Also, give preference to the products, containing no alcohol.

Tip № 3

Remember that the thinner the hair is the lighter should be the texture of the styling product, and vice versa. Creams, waxes, and lotions are perfect for the owners of thick, curly and unruly hair, and the owners of fine hair better use sprays and mousses for not to burden the hair.

Tip № 4

Choose styling products with ceramic surfaces and avoid those with metal parts that come into contact with your hair.

good hair

Tip № 5

Before using the hair dryer, curling iron, flat iron or hot rollers, use hair thermal protection. Regular application of thermal protection products before styling is the main condition for the health and beauty of your hair.

Tip № 6

Do not apply heat-protective agents for the hair on wet hair or dry wet hair with a dryer — this is the most common mistake that leads to disastrous consequences.

The hairstylist`s tip: after you have washed your head, wrap your hair with a towel (of course, better if it is cotton) for 3 minutes. Then apply heat protective agent — spray, cream, mousse or serum — and wait until it is distributed on the hair. It takes 1-2 minutes. Spend extra 5 minutes for the protection and beauty of your hair!

Tip № 7

Spray the spray at a distance of 20-30 cm from the hair (the recommended distance is usually indicated on the label). From this distance, a uniform finely dispersed cloud, in which the hair does not become heavier and the hairs do not stick together, is created.

Tip № 8

Apply creams and masks to wet hair, moving from the middle to the ends of the strands, and only then apply them to the roots to avoid an excess of the product on the hair roots. This advice is especially relevant for the owners of combined hair type (oily at the roots and dry at the ends).

Tip № 9

After applying the thermal protection product, comb the hair — this will help you to evenly distribute it through your hair. For the hair is well combed, do not forget to use the balm during shampooing.

Tip № 10

Do not be distracted during blow-drying or straightening your hair with the iron. The too long impact will burn your hair, and the burned hair can then not be revitalized!

Follow the advice of professionals, and you will be able to avoid the negative effects from aggressive styling products, maintaining the beauty and health of your hair.