If you haven’t yet seen the video of a young woman (watch below) curling her hair as part of a tutorial she was posting on YouTube, you’ve been spared the horror of watching a large chunk of her hair fall off.
At first, the woman doesn’t even notice.
However, she quickly resorts to panicking behavior when she realizes what’s happened. This is obviously something that hadn’t happened to her before. After all, she was comfortable enough to do a video showing others how to use their straightening irons. So what happened?
Can’t Stand the Heat
Like any tool that involves heat — remember you mother’s curling iron? — the flat iron can do damage to your hair after prolonged periods of use. So if you’re straightening every day, you’ve also got to be protecting your hair from the heat, which can dry your hair and even make it brittle enough to break off. Fortunately, manufacturers make products that allow your hair to stand the heat. Shampoos and conditioners make the list, especially leave-in conditioners. One ingredient consumers should look for in their conditioners is cetrimonium chloride.
You’ll also find sprays to use before and after using flat irons, blow dryers and other hot tools. These can also add luster to your hair, so they’re versatile. Leave-in oils such as argan oil provide another option to protect your hair against heat damage. After shampooing hair, apply oil and allow it to sit under a hair dryer for approximately ten minutes to give an intensive moisture boost to damaged hair.
Is There Such Thing as The Perfect Flat Iron?
Another tip from professional stylists is to buy a quality flat iron. Cheaper tools only have a single heat setting, which may be too hot for your hair. For example, flat hair needs a lower temperature of about 360 degrees, while thick, wavy hair can stand temperatures closer to 400 degrees. Instead, look for one that has adjustable heat. Spending more also means your hair straightening can last you up to 10 years, and who doesn’t like that sound of that?
There are many flat irons on the market, but they fall into several basic types: adjustable heat and non-adjustable, which you’ve already read about, and types based on plate material. The three common materials are ceramic, titanium and tourmaline. Manufacturers will use marketing terms like “ionic” or “infrared” to suggest that one type of straightener is better than the other. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Even non-ionic ceramic ions produce negative ions, which are better for keeping hair healthy, while titanium and tourmaline irons produce even more of those same ions.
In general, titanium hot irons heat up faster but cause more heat damage to your hair, while ceramic is a slower heat that causes less damage. New titanium flat iron technology does use ceramic heating elements to cause less damage to your hair while providing the quickest results. However, all hot irons can damage hair, especially after regular use.
Taking Care of Hair
You should skip ironing your hair on days when it’s not necessary. Remember to provide plenty of time for your hair to dry. Products and moisture in your hair can cause even more damage than straightening dry hair if you’re not using a flat iron that’s appropriate for both wet and dry hair.
Can Hair Straighteners Cause Hair Loss?
The damage that a person may incur from use of a hair straightener is less likely to be hair loss or thinning than it is breakage. Dried ends, which occur after ironing hair that is dry, can lead to splitting. The damage done when someone flat irons wet hair leads to tiny blisters in the hair itself, which also makes hair more likely to break. While a haircut can remove the visible signs of damage after using a flat iron, moisturizing routines can prevent the damage from occurring as frequently or as badly as would otherwise occur.