Style + Beauty

Fix the Biggest Mistakes You’re Making With Heat Styling Tools

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 (Thinkstock)

Nothing turns a poofy, frizzy mane into soft, touchable tresses like your beloved blow dryer, straightening iron, or even curling iron. But if you’re suffering from an unruly mane — or worse, hair loss — chances are those heating tools are to blame.

“Heating tools burn and damage your hair so much,” stresses celebrity stylist Chaz Dean, who has worked with Gwyneth Paltrow, Charlize Theron and Julianna Margulies, among others. “For example, would you use a flat iron on your eyelashes? The response is always an immediate no. And when asked why, people usually say, ‘Because my eyelashes would burn right off.’ Well, your hair is burning off, too.”

And while Dean understands the importance of using styling tools at home or the salon to achieve amazing hair, he emphasizes that excessive use of heat can lead to permanent damage that can only be fixed with a pair of scissors.

Fortunately, you don’t have to toss aside the dryer or iron for good. Dean believes you can achieve your favorite style by utilizing safer methods that won’t affect your hair’s health, all while looking your best. Check out what Dean has to say about the top mistakes you’re making and what can you do to fix them before it’s too late:

Using Heating Tools in the First Place

With excessive heating, it’s just a matter of time until your hair becomes frizzy and starts breaking off. It only takes one use for a heating tool to burn your hair and eventually, sadly sooner rather than later, this will lead to dry, damaged, broken hair, as well as lots of split ends! Because the hair on your head is in a larger mass than, say your eyelashes, you might not notice the damage right away, but your hair will become thinner, finer, weaker, and definitely broken over time.  Consider air drying whenever possible and use a super absorbent towel to remove excess moisture. Also, try braiding, a topknot, or pin curls to achieve waves.

Having the Heat Turned All the Way Up

If you absolutely cannot refrain from using heating tools, at least use them on the lowest possible heat, which on most heating tools is usually about 200 degrees. If you have a heating tool with a lower heat setting, use it! If you can’t hold it to your skin, you should not hold it to your hair. Using the lowest temperature on your hair tool will minimize damage.

Not Using a Heat Protectant

Protect your hair as you would protect your skin from the sun. Before using heating tools, apply a product that will shield hair from damage and eliminate frizz. When looking for the best protectant for your hair, you should stay away from products with SD alcohols and proteins in them. They dry the hair out more. When using a heating tool on top of it, your hair will just become more depleted of moisture, causing it to break and become frizzy. Remember, it’s not your hair that’s frizzy — it’s the damage being done.

Taking Too Long for the Hot Tool to Pass Through Your Hair

Simply put, the more time the hot tool is on your hair, the more damage your hair acquires, resulting in a dry, damaged and broken mane. Keep it at a minimum. If one section is already dry, move on to the next. 

Using Heating Tools Too Frequently

This goes for people who use heating tools daily or sometimes multiple times in one day. I cannot stress enough, if it burns your skin it will burn your hair. Most people think they have naturally frizzy hair, but they actually don’t. The frizz is an effect of using heating tools frequently. If you’re in dire need of a fresh look, use the time to experiment with different hairstyles that don’t require tools.