Flat irons and your hair: using heat ‘safely’
Hi everyone! How are you doing? I’m really sorry for not being regular at blogging! Since I left Nigeria, I’ve become a driver, housemaid, nanny and all. It’s not been the easiest trying to combine this with running my store long distance. I thank God for my lovely manager, Nkiru and the other staff! I also appreciate all of you guys for still being here!
So, how was your valentine’s day? I decided to flat iron my hair and I experienced quite a bit of breakage during and after the process. I need to get a better flat iron for the few times I do decide to flat iron my hair! Anyways, I just compiled a little post to help you the next time you decide to flat iron your hair! I have also included a little bit of a scientific study I found online.
Study on the effect of flat irons on hair
Hair thermal damage and the effect of various polymeric pretreatments were investigated using measurements of hair treated with flat irons.
1. The results showed obvious degradation of hair keratin.
2. In addition, thermally treated hair shows reduced water regain and lower water retention, compared to the non-thermally treated hair, which might be attributed to the protein conformation changes due to heat damage.
3. Thermally stressing hair also led to significantly increased hair breakage when subjected to combing.
How to use heat on hair without damaging it is a question a lot of ladies often ask.
1. Use heat tools as little as possible. Prevention is better than cure!
2. Cleanse your hair before using heat.
3. Deep condition with a mild protein-conditioner. Flat ironing can break down hair keratin so it’s best to boost your hair’s protein before using one.
4. If possible, use a conditioner that contains silicones. They offer heat protection to the hair. Silicones usually end with the suffix -cone. Examples of silicones to look out for include dimethicone, amodimethicone, or lauryl methicone copolyol. Not all silicones end with -cone though. E.g Cyclopentasiloxane, dimethiconol, etc.
5. Also look other for products containing polymers. Some polymer pretreatments help to protect the hair’s native protein. These studies indicate that hair breakage can be reduced significantly when hair is pretreated with selected polymers such as VP/acrylates/lauryl methacrylate copolymer, polyquaternium-55, and a polyelectrolyte complex of PVM/MA copolymer and polyquaternium-28
In addition, these polymeric pretreatments provide thermal protection against thermal degradation of keratin in the cortex as well as hair surface damage. One of my favourite conditioners contains one of these polymers: Salon Selectives, Type S Conditioner, Smooth & Straight. Motions at home Nourish Leave-in conditioner also contains polyquaternium-28. Click HERE to see more examples of hair products containing polyquaternium-28 and HERE to see products containing polyquaternium-55.
6. If you intend to flat iron your hair, it’s a good idea not to blow dry with heat first. Air dry, roller set or blow dry with cool air. Keep the dryer at least 15 cm from your hair.
7. Use a heat-protectant serum or spray
8. Use a high quality ionic ceramic/tourmaline flat iron.
9. Use a moderate temperature setting. You should aim to flat iron at a temperature less than 150 – 170 degrees Celsius (approximately 302 – 338 degrees Fanreheit). If possible, look for a flat iron with actual temperature settings. When blow drying your hair, use the lowest possible temperature setting too.
10. Don’t go over your hair with more than 2 passes of your flat iron.
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