This Is What Curling Irons Do To Your Hair

by Rosie Narasaki

Much as we may love our heat styling, they're generally viewed as something of an enemy to hair health, with many stylists advising their clients to air-dry when possible. How bad are they for you, though? Do curling irons really ruin your hair?

Well, short answer: Yes. As Chicago-based hairstylist Anna Jackson told DailyMakeover, "Heat rapidly dries out hair, and if your hair is already colored or just naturally dry, then you will have to trim your hair more often and use masque conditioners to help keep the moisture in. Hot tools can also make hair look crispy and create split ends if overused." It makes sense, after all: Curling irons, blowdryers and the rest of their ilk, in a sense, fry your hair — effectively sucking the moisture out.

It can cause damage to your strands, as well as changing your texture — and unfortunately, according to WebMD, curling irons happen to be one of the worst offenders. As such, Jackson also cautioned heat-styling enthusiasts to cut back, saying, "Blow out hair 3-5 times a week and try to limit your flat iron/curling iron usage to 1-2 times a week," advice that can be tough to hear for curling iron devotees.

Even with all that in mind, though, you don't have to eschew your beloved curling iron entirely — luckily for us, there are a lot of ways to minimize on the aforementioned damage. First off, as Jackson mentioned above, there's always the concept of cutting back, and she also mentioned the use of special conditioning treatments, which can go a long ways towards repairing damaged hair.

It can also help to invest in high-tech tools — as Lisa Marie Garcia told StyleCaster, "Most importantly, make the investment in good styling tools that have ceramic, far-infrared, ionic or titanium technology. This will help protect your hair in the long run." Similarly little heat-protecting sprays can also go a long way — Garcia recommends their use, and they've gotten the thumbs up by the Journal of Cosmetic Sciences (they essentially act as a buffer to protect your hair).

Chris Graythen/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

If you're looking to get out of the hot tools game entirely, though? Well, you can always go for the old school rollers, or the even more old school pincurls. Heck, you can even give the cool new headband curling method a try, if you're feeling adventurous!

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