Heat damage is one of the leading causes of hair breakage. High intensity and unnatural heat transforms hair from strong and smooth into unprotected and splintered. Similar to a weathered fence damaged by heat and sun, hair exposed to high heat on a consistent basis breaks down.
One of the biggest culprits is the curling iron. This tool is ancient in origin, dating back to the time of the Pharaohs of Egypt! Yet it hasn’t improved much over the millennia to reduce harmful effects, even with modern technology.
However, heat isn’t the only culprit. Here’s why you should make the switch immediately.
In a scientific research study titled “Thermal degradation of hair. I. Effect of curling irons” published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, the data concluded that the thermal treatment of hair with curling irons at temperatures ranging from 266℉ to 338℉ resulted in significant damage. Most curling irons are consistently used at even higher temperature settings made for thicker hair, heating up to 435℉. The study also found that heat damage from the curling iron changes the pigmentation of the hair strand itself, especially in lighter colored, natural hair. And more surprisingly, it was discovered that the typical cycle of rinsing the hair, towel drying it, then using a low-temperature blow dry prior to using a curling iron increases the hair’s tendency to be damaged during the curling process. Ouch!
2. Bad Hair Products
Products marketed to help hair resist the damage inflicted by heat damage are not always the safest for your hair. Many of them contain silicone or dimethicone, which makes the hair appear smooth, shiny, and healthy in the short term but causes it to be weak and brittle in the long run from the lack of moisture! Veteran Aveda trained hairstylist Chayla Cummins states, “Silicone is bad. It coats the hair, making it unable to absorb moisture from conditioner, hair treatments, as well as the natural oils the scalp produces. Instead, I recommend a little coconut oil to get a healthy, natural shine.” And many heat protectant sprays actually cause hair to break off when styling. These products can mask the bigger problem of what heat is actually doing to the hair.
Did you know that the average woman takes approximately 55 minutes every day to get ready with skin routine, hair, and makeup? And for women with long hair, it is even longer. That time equates to a full two-week vacation every year. Using tools like the curling iron is inefficient, time intensive, and at times frustrating. No one really wants to admit to dedicating all of that time to getting ready. Now you don’t have to.
You want to keep your long, beautiful tresses intact. The science clearly shows how detrimental heat is to the hair, and if it is habitually exposed the long term damage is certain. Make sure you know the details on your favorite products before you put them in your hair. And use an alternative method to curl your hair. It’s time to say “bye bye” curling iron!