girl curling her hairHot hair tools help us create beautiful, polished styles in little time but overuse can cause long-term damage. You don’t have to stop using blow dryers, curling irons and straighteners altogether, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the negative effects on your hair.

Before picking up your next heat styling tool, keep the following tips in mind.

1. Treat Your Hair Well

Your hair deserves special attention and care, even when not using hot tools. Keep your hair and scalp properly cleaned, conditioned and well-hydrated.

Use safe products, avoiding harsh ingredients like sulfates and parabens, which can strip hair and leave strands feeling brittle and damaged.

2. Apply a Hair Mask

Much like a face mask, hair masks help lock in moisture to maintain the lustrous look you want. Once a week after shampooing, use a hair mask in place of your regular conditioner. Look for active ingredients like argan oil, which aid in hair strengthening and moisturization.

3. Use a Hair Protectant

Before using your favorite hot tool, apply a hair protectant as a line of defense against heat and to keep locks moisturized. These products, which often contain silicones and other organic substances, help prevent significant damage when styling with a curling or flat iron.

4. Set the Right Temperature

The recommended “sweet spot” for a hot hairstyling tool is 200 – 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Typically, less heat should be applied to thinner hair, while thicker locks can better handle higher temperatures.

5. Practice “One and Done”

The general rule is not to repass over the same section of hair – one and done! If you think certain sections will require more than one pass, use a slightly higher temperature and take your time guiding the styling tool through these areas.

6. Look for Alternatives

You can still achieve specific looks, without the use of hot tools. For example, you can braid wet hair and sleep on it overnight for beachy waves that are the perfect summer style!

7. Don’t Forget Sun Protection

Ultraviolet rays break down the hair cuticle, which protects the innermost layers of hair, resulting in dryness and frizz. Wearing a hat can help protect your face and hair from the sun. Per the American Cancer Society, tightly woven hats are more protective than straw.

Applying hair milk also protects the scalp from harmful rays, without the mess of sunscreen. These products typically include moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter and coconut milk.
To book your next cut, color or styling appointment, contact Catherine & Company today!