As mentioned in our last post, high temperatures cause the hair cuticle to be raised, not only leaving the delicate cortex of the hair vulnerable to damage but also allowing moisture to escape!
Hair is made of proteins which can denature and breakdown if exposed to high temperatures. Heat when washing, drying or straightening your hair can lead to dryness and breakage. Here are our top tips to avoid heat damage:
1. Air dry your hair
Rather than use a dryer after washing your hair, squeeze out excess water then smooth Seal into your damp hair and allow it to air dry. If you need to speed up the process try patting down your hair with a microfibre towel turban and/or wrapping it in an old t-shirt – these methods are more gentle than blowdrying and will cause less friction and breakage than using a cotton towel.
2. Avoid high temperatures (above 180C)
If you straighten, blow dry or hot-comb your hair, avoid temperatures above 180ºC which can literally cook the protein that makes up your hair. It’s safest to use a medium heat setting (around 160-180ºC) for a short period of time. Ceramic plates are best as they achieve results at lower temperatures than non coated straighteners.
It is also important to be aware of temperature when washing. Continuous use of excessively hot water when shampooing will cause dryness and even breakage, so be careful when washing to use lukewarm rather than hot water.
3. Use a Heat Protector
Always use a heat protector spray or serum any time you expose your hair to heat whether than be from straighteners or a blow-dryer.
Bonus Tip for heat damaged hair
You can also protect already heat damaged hair from breakage when washing by using oil. As hair absorbs water it naturally becomes heavier and expands; exposure to heat causes cuticle damage, weakening the hair.
Weakened hair can’t carry as much water as undamaged hair. The weight of water which the hair can usually cope with decreases when wet so normal amounts of water absorption can lead to permanent structural damage. Using a coconut oil prepoo before shampooing helps by reducing the amount the hair expands and so can help prevent breakage.