Flat ironing my hair is something that I do on the norm and I know it’s bad for my hair, so why do I still do it? Because it’s the only way I can tame my hair and make it look good. Recently I’ve been trying not to straighten my hair every day but there was a point when I would. I’m sure many other girls can relate to this, so that’s why I wanted to look into it more and see how bad it actually is for your hair.
There are many heat risks when it comes to flat ironing your hair. Consumer flat irons can sometimes be equipped with different heat settings that can go up to 410 degrees or more. According to the AAD, exposing the hair to such high temperatures from 347 to 419 degrees for just five minutes can cause harm to your hair. One thing to stay away from when straightening your hair would be to not straighten it when it’s damp or wet. When a hot flat iron is applied to damp or wet hair, it can cause damage at an even lower temperature. This can also happen when your hair has been bleached, permed or dyed, so just be careful. “A healthy hair strand has a uniform structure with a hollow, water-and-air filled medulla and a smooth cuticle. This allows light to pass through it and gives it an internal glow (translucent center), and an external, reflective shine (smooth cuticle). Excessive heat damages both of these layers.” explains Dr. Krant. “The worst habits in hair styling are mainly about trying too hard to make the hair do things it doesn’t want to do. Unfortunately, or fortunately if we kill it, the hair stands are dead once they come out of the scale, so once damaged, it’s not really possible to fix.” What Dr. Krant explained here really brought to my attention that your basically burning your hair every time you use a flat iron on it and it really showed to me how much damage your really doing to your hair.
Some side affects when using heat on your hair would be drys ends, fly aways, breaking and dulling that thins out your hair, and a shaggy appearance.
There are many ways to decrease the intensity of these side affects. Heat protectant sprays, leave-in conditioners, or some types cream that also have heat protectant in it are some good ways to reduce damaging your hair. I prefer to use the leave in conditioner called “It’s a 10”. “It’s a 10” repairs dry damaged hair, adds shine, smoothes and controls frizz, seals and protects hair color, detangles, prevents split ends, stops hair breakage, makes hair more silky, enhances natural body, and its also a flat iron and thermal protector. I’ve been using it recently and have been seeing pretty good improvements as to how my hair feels and looks.
In the end, your hair isn’t going to be permanently damaged from flat ironing but you may have to live with it for a couple years until new hair grows out.