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by Bridget Reed
January 23, 2023
Heat styling is a common way to achieve the hairstyle you want. Hot tools for hair have been used for centuries! But heat damage is a real thing and can come in the form of split ends, frizz, and breakage.
You may have noticed that your hair doesn’t stand up to a blow dryer or curling iron quite like it used to. That’s because, whether we like it or not, our hair texture changes as we get older. Aging hair is prone to dryness, and we all know that heat equals dehydration. There’s a reason why we grab a refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day!
Heat damage can happen even more quickly to aging hair. Hormonal shifts can exacerbate dryness, which can also extend to our hair. Another factor that can determine the best way to protect your hair from high heat is your hair texture.
Different hair types react differently to heat! Our hair tends to become thinner as we age. Fine and thinning hair has less of a barrier against heat than thicker strands do, making thin hair more susceptible to heat damage.
Whether your preferred form of heat styling comes in the way of a blow dryer, curling iron, or flat iron, the issue remains the same. Your hair needs to be protected from high heat to prevent damaged hair. Thermal protection products can come in handy.
In this article, we will explore how damaged hair can occur from heat tools, different styling products you can use to keep hair healthy and free of flyaways, and how to get the most out of your natural hair exposed to high heat.
As you can imagine, heat can cause damage to hair which, in turn, could lead to split ends and possible breakage. Heat tools are an important part of styling and can yield great results when used properly. Improper use generally comes from too high of temperatures, keeping heat tools in one spot for too long, or not treating hair with a heat protectant spray.
Many of us adore a good salon blowout. But what exactly happens to our hair to make curly hair straight and vice versa as far as heat is concerned? Let’s take a look at the chemistry surrounding the use of heat tools.
Using heat tools to style hair breaks down hair lipids. Hair lipids are what make hair maintain its shape. Saturated and unsaturated fatty acids make up hair lipids' composition. Breaking down these fatty acids is possible through heat at an ideal temperature of 365 degrees. Some hot tools can heat up more than that, though, which is not recommended to use on your hair.
Protecting hair from high temperatures is key to making sure your hair remains undamaged and healthy. With the proper heat levels and a heat protectant cream or spray, you can get the style you want without fear of frying your hair.
As we age, we lose moisture in our hair, skin, and nails. This is a natural result of physiological changes during the aging process. As we age, less sebum is produced by the scalp, which causes a lack of hydration in aging hair strands. This makes thinning hair especially prone to the detrimental effects of high heat.
Thicker hair can stand up better to high heat than its thinner counterparts. Thin and fine hair strands have fewer layers to defend against heat.
The texture of our hair also changes with age. Individual hair strands become more coarse for many people. Coarse hair tends to become frizzy and lose its soft feel. We never want to add heat styling to the mix without safeguarding your hair in the form of hair oils or protective hair products.
Shielding your hair from the high heat of hot tools is an important step in keeping the health of your hair in tip-top shape. Applying a heat protector is the best way to avoid hair damage from heat tools like flat irons, hair dryers, and curling irons.
When looking for a heat protectant, it makes sense to consider your hair type to ensure the product you grab will address your needs. With aging hair comes higher levels of dryness, which can leave hair prone to an increased risk of breakage.
Heat protectant works by forming a protective barrier around dry hair strands and smoothing the hair cuticle to shield it from damage from heat styling tools. With the protective barrier in place, heat can pass through in a steady and managed way that allows your hair to warm up without excessive damage.
The same reason you never want to be without an umbrella in a storm, you never want to subject the keratin in your hair to high temperatures without a heat protectant.
A good heat protectant will do just that — protect your hair from heat. But a great heat protectant will offer a greater amount of protection while also working to care for your specific hair needs.
Whether you are styling your hair at home or your hairstylist has their hands on your mane, it is always extremely important to protect your hair from damage. It’s also a great and sensible idea to ensure that your hair is receiving the right moisturizing and, if possible, nutrients to help it thrive.
Having your hair protected is the first step. The next is to ensure your specific hair type or needs are met. Having a heat protectant that is multifaceted and proactive means that your hair receives the right care. A benefit of using a good heat protectant spray is hair that is not only safe from heat damage but nourished and elevated as well.
We recommend our No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray to preserve the integrity of your hair without regret. This workhorse of a heat protectant helps moisturize dry hair, tames frizz, and conditions to help prevent damage from temperatures up to 450 degrees!
We aim to address aging hair that needs special care compared to a one-size-fits-all solution. Our heat protection has a proprietary blend of vitamin E and nourishing oils (such as moisturizing argan oil) to keep your hair healthy even with styling tools.
This heat protection spray is clear, forms a protective layer around dry strands, and is non-greasy. We recommend using our taming spray on damp hair to help lock in moisture while it hydrates and protects it. It is also free of parabens. Parabens are artificial preservatives that can disrupt hormones, and we at Better Not Younger think that parabens have no place in our products.
An added benefit to our taming spray is that it will help tame frizzy hair. Frizzy, coarse hair needs extra care and extra hydration when heat tools are introduced. You can even use this spray throughout the day on dry hair to reduce the appearance of stubborn flyaways and frizz! Simply spritz a few pumps into your hands and rub them together. Brush your hands lightly over anywhere that you notice frizz.
Just because our hair gets a little bit drier as we get older doesn’t mean we have to do without our trusty heat tools! Blow dryers, hair straighteners, and curling irons have still earned a place in our bathroom vanity.
Aging hair that is dry and thinning deserves to be pampered. Using a thermal protectant spray, creme, or leave-in conditioner is a great way to enjoy integrating your favorite hairstyles while ensuring that your hair will be in better condition afterward.
We get it if you don’t have time to air-dry your hair before work. Make sure you use a lower heat setting on your styling tools and never use heat to style your hair without grabbing some heat protectant first.
For more information on the right products for your aging hair, take our personalized hair quiz today. At Better Not Younger, we believe that everyone deserves to age better and to celebrate the process.
Dry Skin in older Adults | PMC
Aging Hair Biology | PMC
What Are Parabens? | Environmental Working Group
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