From blow-drying and straightening to curling and waving, our hair endures a lot of heat styling on a pretty regular basis. Sure, hot tools can leave our hair looking more stylish and put together, but over time, that heat styling can lead to some pretty serious damage, including dryness, breakage, and split ends among other things. Let’s be real though, getting rid of your hot tools for good isn’t going to happen, which is where these helpful tips from our team of hair care experts come into play. By working these easy hacks into your heat styling routine, you’ll be able to not only help reduce the likelihood of heat damage but also improve your hair’s overall health, which is something we can definitely all get behind regardless of the length, type, or texture of our delicate strands.
1. Start off on the right foot
As we’ve preached on this blog before, healthy hair starts in the shower. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how well you treat your hair if you’re not properly cleansing, hydrating, and conditioning it at the start. That’s why, we always recommend using a high-quality shampoo and conditioner that’s free of harmful sulfates, parabens, and other nasty ingredients, which can strip the hair, leaving it dry and brittle. In addition to checking off all of those boxes (and being 100% vegan and cruelty-free!), our customizable formulas also give you the option to add a number of damage-fighting hair goals to your formula, including thermal protection, deep condition, fix split ends, and replenish hair, so your strands can beat the heat (literally).
2. Create a protective shield
Whether your hair is fine and straight or coarse and curly, you should never heat style your hair without applying a heat protectant to it first. Think of it this way, you would never head out the door without applying your sunscreen first, right? The same concept applies here. A good quality heat protectant, like our fully customizable leave-in treatment, will provide a protective shield around your delicate strands to help lock in moisture and prevent your heat tools from causing too much damage. Plus, like with all of our products, our lightweight leave-in treatment also gives you the option to add up to five hair goals to your formula (extra thermal protection and anti-frizz, please!) so that you can get an added boost of your hair goals throughout the day.
3. Turn down the heat
One of the biggest mistakes people make when using a hot iron is turning the heat setting up too high. While temperatures can vary based on your hair type, it’s typically recommended that you stick within the 200-300 degree range, with finer/thinner hair types keeping closer to the lower end of the spectrum. Whatever you do, just don’t use your tool’s highest heat setting, as that’s when all hair textures will start to see damage no matter how much heat protectant they apply.
4. Invest in a weekly hair mask
While this is good practice for just about everyone, it’s especially crucial for those who regularly heat style their hair. A deep conditioning mask will not only help replenish your hair’s natural moisture after heat styling but also add an extra layer of protection to help prevent future damage from occurring. Simply swap in a conditioning mask in place of your daily conditioner, let it soak in while you wash your face, shave, and so on, then rinse—it’s that easy. Not sure which mask to choose? Allow us to introduce you to our new, fully customizable hair mask, which is formulated with high levels of active ingredients like argan oil, Japanese sake, and jojoba ester oil, to effectively nourish your hair from the inside out. It’s pretty awesome if we do say so ourselves.
5. Follow the ‘one and done’ rule
While your temperature setting is certainly a factor to consider when heat styling, it’s also important to consider how many times you’re using your tools on the same section of hair. In general, it’s best to follow the ‘one and done’ rule: one pass over a section of hair and that’s it. While it may seem like you’re reinforcing the style or direction of the hair, you could actually be causing added damage to your strands. If you find that it requires more than one pass to achieve the style you’re looking for, try turning the temperature up just a bit. Your goal should be to find the lowest temperature setting that still allows you to get your styling done efficiently.
6. Don’t overdo it
At the end of the day, while we all love heat styling, it’s best to remember that like all good things, it’s all about moderation. When you have the chance to give your tresses a rest and let them air-dry, do it! Air-drying might take longer, but it will save your hair from serious damage in the long run. In need of some heatless hairstyling inspo? Head here for some of our favorite no-heat hairstyles to guide your next look!