Straighteners, hair dryers and curling tongs might make your hair look the way you want it, but they’re one of the main causes of hair damage. Heat damage leads to dryness, limpness, and – wait for it – split ends! Because we want to look great without compromising the condition of our hair, we’ve compiled our guide to the ultimate heat protection:
Use a heat protector
A heat protecting spray covers and seals the strands, protecting them from heat damage and breakage. Apply liberally BEFORE using your styling tool and be sure to cover all areas. Using it before each styling session will minimise the amount of damage your hair undergoes. Try Lee Stafford Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Shine Mist (available at selected Clicks stores).
Mind the temperature
The majority of styling tools have heat settings, allowing you to adjust their temperature. The finer your hair, the lower the temperature should be, and remember that no matter how thin or thick your hair, a lower temperature is less likely to cause damage.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner
If you’re a regular heat-styler, be sure to use a shampoo and conditioner that’s designed for heat styled hair. Many brands now have protective products available that help minimise the effects of heat styling and keep the hair healthier for longer. Try TRESemmé Thermal Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner (available from most retailers).
Apply a weekly hair mask
Hair masks are important as they offer deeper conditioning and hydration than a regular conditioner. Just like your skin needs a mask or facial from time to time, your hair benefits greatly from a weekly TLC session. Not only wil it help repair the damage it suffered during the week, but it will also leave it soft and nourished. Try Davines NouNou Pak Nourishing Conditioning Mask (available from Carlton hair salons).
Give your hair a break
You wouldn’t eat junk food every day, would you? So you shouldn’t be heat styling your hair every day either. There’s nothing wrong with a couple of blow-dries or a bi-weekly straightening session, but try to put a limit to the number of times you heat style your hair. Let it dry naturally as often as possible and, when you can, wear it au naturel.
These tips, along with a regular trim and a healthy diet, will ensure your hair remains in great condition. If you have any hair protection tips of your own, share them in the comment box below.