In an ideal world, we’d all be able to let our hair dry naturally. But when frizzy, limp, air-styled strands just won’t do, we can at least help protect strands from our go-to tools so the results look sleek and smooth, not sizzled.
“Healthy hair burns at roughly the same temperature as paper, around 451 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Melissa Harvey, a New York-based consulting trichologist (hair scientist) with hair growth company Bio Follicle. “That’s when keratin, the protein that gives follicles their flexibility and strength, starts to melt.” Leave-in treatments and styling sprays can help prevent damage by reducing the amount of time your strands are in the line of fire, so to speak.
It Factor Simply It Quick Blowdry Smoothing Lotion, for instance, promises to cut drying time in half with a proprietary technology that claims to reduce the bond between water and hair, thus speeding up evaporation. It’s also infused with conditioning ingredients such as sunflower seed oil and silk amino acids that work to hydrate and strengthen each fiber—an armor of sorts—before you begin blasting them with heat.
Tresemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray is infused with a heat-activated vitamin complex that purportedly locks in moisture while you style. And Mizani Therma Strength Strengthening Style Serum contains a blend of moisturizing botanicals and super-strengthening ceramides (natural lipids that boost the structure of hair) that are jump-started when exposed to higher temps.
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