I’ve been heat styling my hair in one form or another every single day since the second I hit puberty, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that not all hot tools are created equal. Heat styling your hair with minimal damage is partially about knowing what your hair can and cannot handle, and partially about making sure you have the best heat tools that won’t damage hair. Thankfully, the hair stylists and beauty experts of the world have been more than willing to weigh in on heat styling tips that help keep your hair manageable and healthy.
Whether you’re reaching for your blow dryer, straightener, or deep-conditioning serum, quality definitely matters here, and not just any drug-store variation will do – especially if you’re looking to keep split-ends tamed and fly-aways at bay. Of course, there’s the obvious solutions, like keeping the temperature as low as possible or skipping the heat altogether, but when those things just aren’t an option, a tool made from a great, heat-friendly material and a spray made from awesome, protective ingredients just might make all the difference. Check out these hair tools that stylists love, both because they straighten hair wonderfully and help to keep it damage-free.
1. Go For Ionic, Ceramic, And Infrared
Lisa Marie Garcia of Farouk Systems Hair Care told Style Caster that flat irons with metal plates and fixed heat temperatures can cause a lot of heat damage, particularly if they're not made with titanium or ceramin. Consequently, Garcia suggests using “tools that have ceramic, far-infrared, ionic or titanium technology.” The HSI professional ceramic tourmaline ionic flat iron has unbelievably high ratings because its ceramic plates, ionizing technology, and infrared heat leave hair smooth and manageable in no time at all, and with minimal damage.
2. Try Far Infrared Rays To Dry Hair Quickly And Safely
“Far Infrared (FIR) rays are electro-magnetic waves of energy, totally invisible to the naked eye, capable of penetrating deep into the human body, including the hair shaft,” Garcia told Style Caster. This Wazor professional far infrared hair dryer has a durable motor, a lightweight frame, and a ceramic build, but the real sell is the infrared heat. It evenly heats hair from the inside out to dry it quickly and evenly while simultaneously creating a protective barrier around the shaft.
3. Moisturize Hair While You Straighten It
Celebrity hair stylist Ursula Stephen told The Today Show she advised using ceramic tools that moisturize hair while straightening it. “And always splurge on a good hot tool — it's worth it!" she said. Instead of metal plates, the Asavea ceramic straightening brush has anti-scald bristles that straighten the hair while brushing it, evenly distributing the heat among the strands, as well as pulling oils down from the scalp. It also heats evenly with a ceramic build to seriously decrease damage.
4. Style Hair While You Dry It
Amy Abramite of Maxine Salon told Greatist it's important to never use hot tools on wet hair, as this can burn the hair. For great results without unnecessary damage, towel-dry hair most of the way and use a dryer that simultaneously styles, like the Conair Infiniti Pro Styler dryer. It delivers hot ionized air to the hair as it pulls strands through a brush, while tourmaline ceramic smooths cuticles and reduces frizz. It can entirely eliminate the need for a flat iron, because it straightens while you dry.
5. Condition With A Nourishing And Vitamin-Rich Solution
When it comes to counteracting the damage from your styling tools, Sedu Brand Manager Jazmin Brunson told Style Caster, “Look for products such as Sedu Moisturizing Conditioner that nourish the hair with vitamin A and E along with strengthening proteins.” It uses jojoba oil and shea butter to keep hair hydrated and manageable, even despite heat styling, and even though it’s got a rich texture, it won’t weigh hair down on a daily basis.
6. Get Optimal Air Flow While Straightening With A Blow Dryer
“Vent brushes have vented hollow centers to allow a heated stream of air to flow through the brush and the hair, ensuring high-speed drying,” Hairstylist and salon owner Errol Douglas told Daily Mail Online. This ceramic and ion turbo vent brush is an awesome option. Because the air is permitted to flow through, damage from styling is less severe, and it’s also made with a ceramic barrel, ion charged materials, and bristles that help to distribute natural oils through your hair.
7. Choose Your Temperature On Your Flat Iron
As Oscar-winning celebrity hairstylist Mitch Stone told Style Caster, another great trick is choosing a hot tool that has very flexible temperature settings. “This way they’re not forced to be on ‘high’ all the time. Often times you can achieve the job on a lower setting, which I highly recommend.” This Wazor Hair flat iron is another great option because it allows you to set any temperature between 284 degrees and 446 degrees. It also has ceramic tourmaline coated plates and a curved build that allows you to curl, too.
8. Protect From The Sun As Well As Your Tools
“People don’t realize how much the sun damages your hair,” said Will Galotti, owner of Hair on Earth in Florida, to Poughkeepsie Journal. In addition to excessive heat styling, hair can start to feel like straw by the end of the summer. This Sun Bum Beach Formula Leave-In gives you tons of UV-protection, but it also protects hair against heat appliances and deeply conditions strands from the inside out using amazing natural ingredients. It also smells amazing, feels super lightweight, and keeps hair straight despite humidity.
9. Always Use A Thermal Protectant
Lisa Marie Garcia also told Style Caster it's important to be “using a thermal protectant (like CHI 44 Iron Guard)” every single time you style your hair using heat. This weightless formula coats each strand to protect it from heat, but it won’t leave a crunchy or oily build-up after you’re done styling. It also gives you a nice, healthy sheen, and it can be used on color-treated hair, too.
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