Search by product name or hair type/concerns
by Bridget Reed
February 18, 2023
Using hot tools to style our hair is one of the most fun things about having hair! Curling irons, blow dryers, flat irons, and more are all incredible heat tools that we can use to manipulate our hair texture and transform our manes into something totally different.
You may have heard that heat can damage our hair. This is especially true for many of us as we age. When we get older, our hair is more prone to becoming dry. Straightening our hair every day adds excessive heat to our hair, and we all know that heat can be very drying. It would make sense to wonder if using a flat iron or hair straightener daily is a bad idea.
So, is it bad to straighten your hair daily? And how often should we use hot tools on our hair to help eliminate possible damage to our hair? You'll want to read on if you reach for your flat iron most mornings (or any other hot tool, for that matter).
Some of us don’t feel comfortable letting our hair air dry. Some people feel that the wave pattern of their natural hair could benefit from the effects of heat tools. Sometimes we just feel our best having our hair straightened or curled with hot styling tools every day — there’s nothing wrong with having preferences when it comes to our appearance!
Aging better is everything. But when we use something to influence our appearance that could cause damage, we may want to think twice. If it’s bad to straighten your hair daily, how can we work around it?
Everyday use of hair straighteners, flat irons, and blow dryers can dry out our hair that is already susceptible to becoming dry. Hair that isn’t properly hydrated can lead to frizz, split ends, and even breakage.
No scare tactics here — if you want to straighten your hair every day, there are some things you should know. Equipped with the right hair care products and knowledge can help protect your hair's integrity as you age. Take our hair quiz here for personalized recommendations.
Say you’re getting ready for a date night or a girls’ day. Without a second thought, we’ve all been there: reaching for a flat iron or curling iron. But what exactly is happening that changes our hair structure, and should we be worried?
When enough heat is applied to our hair, the structure actually changes. Our hair is made up of three different bonds. The bonds that make up our hair are known as hydrogen bonds, ionic bonds, and disulfide bonds.
Disulfide bonds are the strongest, with hydrogen being the weakest. This means that hydrogen bonds are more likely to be broken by external factors. Enter: the use of hot tools.
Hydrogen bonds within the hair can break when you use a flat iron or curling iron. These bonds are what cause your hair to hold a curl. When the bond is broken, the hair loses its natural form and can be made straight or curly by heat, which re-forms its shape.
If or when water or excess moisture reaches the hair, it will allow the hydrogen bonds to return to their natural state. Heat tools use electricity to make the hot metal or ceramic plates reach a certain temperature to be applied to hair. The temperature your hair care handle will depend on your hair type and whether it is currently damaged or has been bleached.
For those with thin and damaged hair, under 300 degrees is ideal. Starting at 300 degrees and going up to 350 degrees is a good middle ground for everyone else.
If you still aren’t reaching the desired results, stepping up to 380 degrees on occasion can be safe. You shouldn’t need to exceed 400 degrees; any higher can result in very fast and irreversible hair breakage and damage.
Straightening our hair with heat tools is a very common practice. For many of us, it can be a natural part of our morning routine, like brushing our teeth! But sometimes, we don’t put much thought into how often we can or should straighten our hair.
So, what’s the magic formula as far as hair straightening frequency is concerned?
Those with more resilient hair could likely stand to use heat styling tools two or maybe three times a week. Those with thinner hair or aging hair should keep their use of hot tools like blow dryers and straighteners to once a week.
Thin hair is not as resilient and is usually more prone to breakage due to its diameter. Thicker hair strands will take more heat to break the bonds and more time exposure than thin hair strands. In general, the best practice is to save the heat tools for special occasions and not try to make it your daily look.
If your hair is easier to manage when it has been straightened, you can try shampooing it less often to keep it straighter for longer!
As we get older, straightening hair can be more damaging than it would’ve been in our younger years. Aging brings a lot of change, including hair that is more prone to drying. Our scalp also tends to produce fewer natural oils as we age, meaning that our hair is missing out on key hydration.
With dry hair comes susceptibility to breakage and damage. It is also likely that aging hair will require less heat to break the hydrogen bonds and less time exposed to the heat.
Prolonged exposure to a heat tool could very easily lead to breakage of your hair strands or damage that could leave your hair feeling “fried.” No one wants that!
You can style your hair with care by turning down the heat and finding the sweet spot, likely under 300 degrees. For even more peace of mind, a heat protectant can work wonders on aging, thinning hair when you straighten it.
Applying a heat protectant is the best thing you can do for your hair when using heat tools. Being proactive in caring for your hair as you age better is key to feeling like you are treating your hair well with a blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron.
Better Not Younger’s No Remorse Heat Protection & Taming Spray was made for aging hair that needs protection from the heat on those days when styling is needed. With protection up to 450 degrees (but try to stay under that amount, if you can!), you can style your hair like you used to and know you’re covered.
This heat protectant spray has a proprietary blend of vitamin E and nourishing oils that also can tame frizz and keep split ends at bay. If you have damaged hair that needs extra care before it is ready for the heat of a flat iron, then we’ve got your back on that too.
Our Second Chance Repairing Shampoo and Conditioner can seamlessly repair damaged hair with little effort. Simply swap out your current shampoo and conditioner for these two powerhouse hydrators and replenish your strands.
You don’t have to say goodbye to straightening your hair just because your hair has gotten a little drier with age! Sticking with products that not only safeguard against heat but replenish moisture and using techniques on the best methods of using heat on your hair can help keep damage away.
How Does Heat Styling Work? | PSU.edu
Hair Shaft Damage from Heat and Drying Time of Hair Dryer | PMC
Hair Styling Procedures and Hair Morphology | PMC
A Comment on the Science of Hair Aging | PMC
Leave your comments below: