Time to put down your hair styling tools?

There are thousands of hair styling tools on the market that make it easy for us to change up our hair and make it look a bit more presentable. If you’re anything like me, you probably use hot tools too much. It has been said that heat styling tools damage hair, but what exactly does that mean?

Heat styling tools are so hot that they cause much damage to the hair. When using extreme heat on the hair in order to style it, the chemical bonds of the hair must be temporarily broken in order for the hair to maintain the achieved shape. If the bonds are permanently broken, the hair will be burnt and look fried. According to this article, the extent to which ones hair is damaged depends greatly on their genes and ethnicity. A group of engineers from Purdue University have classified hair into eight different types ranging from straight to curly, and from Caucasian to African American. A hair straightener was used to flat iron each type of hair on the same temperature and see how much heat each hair type produced.  The study found that wavy Caucasian hair produces more heat than curly African American hair, which means that Caucasian hair spreads heat better, making it less likely to burn.

Unfortunately, African American women and men with curly hair are extremely vulnerable to hair damage from using heat styling tools. Because the fibers in their hair are unable to spread heat effectively, they are prone to severe heat damage.

All hope is not lost though. There are some ways to help protect against heat damage if you cant commit to ditching the hair straighteners and curling wands. This article suggests that people with finer hair use heat tools on a lower heat setting. There are also products in local drugstores and hair salons that you can apply to your hair in order to protect it from the heat damage. It is also essential that before straightening or curling you hair, you make sure it is completely dry. If your hair is wet or even damp, the heat tool will sizzle the hair.

If you would like to read more about how to avoid heat damage when straightening your hair, click this link.






3 thoughts on “Time to put down your hair styling tools?

  1. Yu Zhang

    Actually I just bought a hair styling tool, and your article gives me some warning. I learn that chemical bonds of the hair will be broken when we iron hair. Additionally, finer heat tools on a lower heat setting can help protect the hair, and this reminds me that apart from the genes and ethnicity of people you mention that contribute to the level of hair damage, there should be also other factors that influence the extent of damage that you do not analyze. For instance, the level of heat. Though we cannot decide or alter our genes and ethnicity, the heat level we use can be controlled. It will benefit us a lot if we know the temperature range under which the hair is safe from burning. However, we did few studies on figuring out the temperature and I guess it’s unethical to burn someone’s hair. Maybe we can use the cut- off- hair to conduct an experiment: changing the temperature of heat and measure the broken extent of chemical bonds. At present in our daily lives, we would better buy styling tools which can change temperature and start at a low level during ironing.

  2. Liam Arun Datwani

    This was a very interesting article but it is a little narrow. You only real talk about the superficial differences different ethnicity’s hair with the added benefits of how hot hair style tools affect them. It was interesting and the last paragraph was a very good way to add new element but something on hair products would have been interesting. Additionally, I think it would have been better if you had put the articles names when mentioning them and the sources names instead of just hyper linking the sources.

  3. Holly Rubin

    I know that the person that does my hair always warns me against using flat irons and curling irons because they literally roast your hair and cause split ends, and now I understand more information about what she says. Whenever people talk about this, I can’t help but to think of this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdVuSvZOqXM) that I saw a few years back of a girl literally burning off her hair. It definitely scares me against using hair styling tools.

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