What damage do straighteners cause?
From split ends to dry, frizzy hair, when used repeatedly hair straighteners come with a whole range of negative effects. What’s perhaps more frightening however, is the fact that excessive use of heat can cause the hair to break which makes it look like its falling out completely. This occurs because heat damages the cuticle of the hair, a protective coating on each strand.
When you consider that some hair straighteners can reach a stifling 230 degrees in just under a minute these effects are hardly surprising! That being said, I’m not here to discourage you from using straighteners completely but there are a few steps you can take to keep your hair healthy whilst still achieving a smooth, straight style.
How often should I straighten my hair?
First things first, straighteners obviously cause increasing damage the more you use them and so one of the best pieces of advice I can give is don’t use them every day! It is generally recommended that you straighten your hair no more than once or twice a week so why not experiment with more natural styles and see if this improves the health of your hair?
I’m assuming that you’ve already invested in a pair of straighteners but to prevent them doing too much damage to your hair, here are a few practical tips you can put into practice.
Keep the heat low
Straighteners that are turned up to their hottest setting will do the most damage to your hair so keep the heat low to avoid the issues I’ve mentioned above.
Only use on hair that’s 100% dry
Ever heard that tell-tale sizzle when your hair isn’t completely dry but you go ahead and apply the straighteners anyway? You can be absolutely certain that this won’t help the health of your hair so ensure it’s completely dry before putting those straighteners on it.
Divide the hair into sections
It is more difficult to straighten large, thick bits of hair so instead of reapplying the heat again and again unnecessarily, divide the hair into small sections and straighten one of these at a time.
Test the temperature
It may be the case that your hair does not require as much heat as you are using on it but the only way to find out is to test it. So, turn down the temperature of your straighteners and if the result is still straight, enviable locks then it indicates you needn’t use as much heat!
Use the straighteners quickly
Allowing the heat to linger over each section of your hair is more likely to cause damage so run your straighteners down each strand quickly to minimise the effects of the hot temperature.
Clean your straighteners
Ever thought to clean your straighteners after using them? No? Well, you’re not the only one I’m sure! However, the remnants of hair care products can linger on the panels of your straighteners and so the next time heat is applied these end up in the hair causing damage and stickiness. So, from time to time fill a little basin with soapy water, dampen a cloth, squeeze the excess water from the cloth and then wipe away any residue on your straighteners.
Ok, so we’ve now discussed some simple tips to help you achieve straight hair without causing damage but what kind of products could help? Well, as always here at Jan de Vries we think the focus should be on natural ingredients!
Argan oil is pressed from kernels that fall from the argan tree, a plant native to Morocco. As it is rich in omega 6 fatty acids and antioxidants it can do wonders for the health and appearance of the hair. It prevents hair breakage for example, and leaves each strand feeling smooth and soft. That’s not all though, argan oil can also protect the hair from the heat of straighteners and so if you are worried about causing damage to your hair, this is the product try!
Many hair care products that make use of argan oil also tend to include a host of other less natural ingredients so take care to read the label before making any purchases. If you are looking for recommendations however, then I wouldn’t hesitate to put forward John Masters’ Argan Oil as this is 100% pure argan oil.
If you are wondering how to apply argan oil then my colleague Yvonne from the Glasgow Shawlands store has written a blog that you may find useful.
John Masters’ Organic Rose & Apricot Hair Milk is a great all-round hair care product! It provides nourishment for the hair, it helps control frizz and it even encourages a lovely shine. This makes it perfect for dry and damaged hair that may have arisen as a result of regular use of straighteners.