If you’re anything like us, straightening your hair can play an important part in your overall hair styling routine. These impactful irons have an almost magical ability to tame tresses into a silky-smooth state, but unfortunately the trade off can all too often be heat damaged hair. However, following some simple tips and tricks is all it takes to protect your hair from the heat.
We’ve created this guide to protecting hair from the heat of straightening to give you the knowledge you need to keep your strands strong. Keep reading to learn our expert tips for straightening your hair with minimal damage, alongside heat protectant spray recommendations tailored to your individual hair texture, type and concerns.
Do straighteners damage your hair?
Anyone who has been guilty of straightening their hair every single day knows that over time, bad straightening habits can result in heat damaged hair. In fact, it’s not just straighteners that need to be approached with caution – all heat styling tools including straighteners, wavers and curling irons have the potential to take a toll on your hair.
The hotter your straightener and the more frequently you use it, the more likely you are to experience signs of gradual hair damage such as dullness, increasing fizziness and more split ends. Intense heat damage can even lead to breakage if the issue is not recognised and addressed promptly. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to protect your hair so you can enjoy the benefits of heat styling without compromising your strands.
How to prevent damage from straightening
When it comes to damage from straightening your hair - prevention is better than a cure. It’s preferable to take steps to minimise damage than to abandon caution and be left figuring out how to fix heat damaged hair. Follow these simple tips to help protect your hair.
1. Ensure your hair is fully dry before using hot tools
Despite the popularity of ‘wet-to-dry’ straighteners in years past, straightening hair that’s wet or even damp is extremely unsafe and risks compromising the integrity of the hair’s internal structure.
When you straighten hair before it’s fully dry, moisture particles within the hair strand heat up extremely fast, effectively boiling hair with an explosive effect that blisters the surface of the cuticle. This in turn increases split ends and breakage. Making sure your hair is completely dry before straightening or curling is an easy way to avoid these potential issues.
2. Use only high-quality styling tools
The quality of your hot styling tools can also make a big difference when it comes to protecting your hair while straightening. Low quality tools can give off uneven heat, snag your hair or require a higher level of heat to achieve the same result as a higher quality tool.
We recommend using the L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod 3.0, a revolutionary steam straightener that strikes the perfect balance between performance and care. Using the combined power of heat and steam to straighten hair, this straighter provides impressive results whilst minimising the risk of heat damage.
3. Decrease how often you straighten your hair
You’ve likely been asking yourself ‘how often can I straighten my hair without damaging it?’. The answer depends on several factors such as how hot your straightener is, whether your hair is lightened or colour treated and your hair type. However, our advice is to take steps to help each straightening session last as long as possible. You can try using dry shampoo, shower caps and sleeping with your hair in a scarf to help make your straight hair last. At the very least, we recommend trying to avoid straightening your hair every day where possible.
4. Re-nourish your hair with a mask
If you do find yourself with damaged hair after straightening, hair masks can help re-infuse your strands with moisture to support hair integrity. Our Nutritive Masquintense Riche Hair Mask is designed to repair weak, heat damaged or over-processed hair through the power of Iris Root Extract, Ceramides and Benzoin Resin. This mask deeply repairs the core of the hair fibre and seals hair cuticles for a revitalised result.
5. Use a heat protectant spray or cream
Using a heat protectant product every time you style your hair is an incredibly important way to prevent heat damage to hair. These sprays and creams have the ability to protect the hair fibre during heat exposure, as well as intensely hydrating each strand. Here’s a breakdown of our recommended heat protectant products for different hair types and concerns.
For dry or damaged hair: If your hair is lacking hydration and integrity, try our Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow-Dry Cream. This heat protectant cream reinforces hair and provides thermo-protection up to 180°C.
For blonde hair: Blonde hair is often in need of deep hydration, which is why we enriched our Blond Absolu Cicaplasme Hair Primer with Hyaluronic Acid to create smoother hair. This formula has thermo-protection up to 230°C.
For weakened hair: If your hair is feeling weak and prone to breakage, our Genesis Defense Thermique Anti-Breakage Blowdry Spray is formulated with fortifying ingredients including Ginger Root and Edelweiss Native Cells to help prevent split ends.
For frizzy hair: If you have unruly hair in need of smoothness, our Discipline Kératine Thermique Heat Styling Protectant is designed as a protective taming milk to instantly smooth frizzy hair while limiting the damaging effects of heat.
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