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There is a percentage of women (and men too) that are blessed with a head of hair that air dries perfectly straight, wavy or however they want it to be for the day – you know what I’m talking about: minimal effort, great hair. And then there are the rest of us…those that rely on tools and much more effort to turn just ok hair days into great ones. For us, hot styling tools are a necessity. Essential? Yes. Safe for our strands? Not so much. It can be safer however if you start with a heat protectant and set the tool to a temperature that is appropriate for your hair type. How do you know the difference between a temp that is frying your strands and one that is flattening (or curling) them? Let me break it down.
Hot Styling Tools – Which Temperature is Right for your Hair Type?
In general, people with finer, more damaged and fragile strands want to stick to the lowest setting possible while those with thicker, denser hair can turn up the heat a bit. Stating the obvious, right? Well, what’s not so obvious is that “a bit” in no way means cranking the dial. While maximum heat means quicker styling, it’s rarely recommended.
It’s easy to default to the highest heat setting when blow drying, but experts say to try and avoid it as much as you can – no matter what your hair type is. In fact, the temperature recommended for blow dryers doesn’t depend as much on your hair type. The average blow dryer has temps from 80°F (low) to 230°F (high). By sticking to between 80-120°F, all hair types will dry effectively without causing excessive damage. One way to skip the high heat is to let your hair air dry to about 70-80%, then finish it off with a blow dryer on low to medium heat.
When setting a curling iron temp, you’ll want to consider your hair density and what style you’re looking to achieve. If you’re styling tight curls and need to hold the heat on your locks longer, you’ll want to choose a lower temp between 250°F and 320°F. If you’re looking for looser waves and are running the wand or plate more quickly through the hair, you can set it a bit higher at 300°F-360°F – even 380°F for thick, dense hair.
The temperature of your flat iron should also be set with your hair type, condition and density in mind – never to exceed 400°F. For fine, damaged strands stay on the lower temps (300-350). Normal, thick and/or curly hair can handle a medium setting of 330°F -380°F and for very thick, curly strands use a temp between 350°F and 400°F.
TIP: If you’re in the market for a new curling or straight iron, look for one that has a temperature lock. That way you can lock in the temp that is right for your hair and prevent the tool from creeping up into the danger zone of damaging temps.
Whether you’re an avid flat ironer or use a curling iron once in a while, I encourage you to take some time to find the lowest temperature your tools can work effectively. As mentioned, always apply a heat spray before exposing your hair to any hot styling tool. The Ovation formula specifically protects against these tools with ingredients like Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Keratin Protein and plant extracts that seal the cuticle, lock in moisture and condition the strands. To find out more about the Ovation Thermal Protection Spray or to make a purchase, click here.
Stay cool & protect those #summerstrands!
Sources: beautylish.com & thenaturalhavenbloom.com