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Ways You Are Damaging Your Hair With Your Straightener
Heat Protectant
It’s crucial to use heat protectant in your hair when you use heat. It forms a thin film that shields your hair strands, locking in moisture and reducing frizz.
UNITE Hair’s Nikki Neubarth says heat protectant lets "the hair gently head up instead of shocking the hair with a blast of heat," which will minimize heat damage to your hair.
Straightener Type
Those with fine and easily damaged hair should use straighteners with ceramic plates, while those with thick hair should use those with titanium plates.
Those with wavy, curly, or frizzy hair should use straighteners with tourmaline plates, which help hair retain moisture. Opt for one with small plates to reach your roots properly.
The heat setting for fine and fragile hair should be between 250°F and 300°F. Hair with a neutral thickness and texture should use a straightener heated to 330°F to 350°F.
Wavy hair can handle up to 370°F, and those with coarse or textured hair need a temperature between 370°F and 410°F. Very thick hair needs a temperature of 410°F to 450°F.
The Process
Ideally, you should pass over each hair section with your straightener only once. Repeated exposure can harm your hair, even if you use a lower heat setting.
The repeating passing of hair between the straightener plates creates friction which can roughen the cuticle, making them more prone to damage.
Dirty Straightener
Any hair products that you use can build up on your straightener, reducing its effectiveness. If you use it often, it should be cleaned weekly or monthly.
After you unplug your straightener and let it cool down, wipe the plates with a microfiber cloth or paper towel dipped in rubbing alcohol. Use it again once it’s fully dry.