Everyone wants shiny, bouncy, commercial-worthy hair. In the quest for that flawless mane, many people torture their hair on a regular basis with blow dryers, flat irons or curling irons and then top it off with harsh treatments such as chemical straightening. But these everyday habits harm your delicate strands and can lead to the string of bad hair days you were hoping to avoid.
The good news? Luscious locks are within your reach. By taking some smart steps, you can dial down the damage and help your hair reach its gorgeous and glossy potential.
While it can be as hard to part with your blow dryer or flat iron as it is to walk away from a pair of Manolos at a 70 percent off sale, styling tools only scorch and tug at your hair, causing major damage. Follow these tips to save your strands.
Blow dryer: When your hair is wet, water collects under the cuticles (the outermost layer of the hair). The heat from blow-drying causes the water to form bubbles that stress and break the hair, leading to split ends and dullness.
Drying every day can lead to some serious damage. Spacing out your blow-dry sessions can help minimize the risk. But the key to a healthier blowout is to use cool air, or towel-dry, and then use low heat and hit the off button as soon as your hair feels dry. Even just a few unnecessary seconds from a heat blast is a one-way ticket to Fried Hairsville.
Hot tools: Hot tools like curling irons and flat irons are awesome for coaxing strands into certain styles, but they’re also a hair health killer. Heating hair above 212 degrees (the temp at which water boils) just once can cause bubble hair, which is similar to the effect of boiling water on the stove. In this case, bubbles form inside your hair shaft, causing brittleness and breakage. Not using a hot tool every day helps minimize the risk, but when you do use your tool, don’t hold it on one spot. Keep it moving in a fluid motion.
Hot rollers: Hot rollers can dry out your hair just like any heated styling tool can, but the real danger here is rolling them too tight. Constant tension at the roots can cause the hair to fall out, so go easy.
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