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How Damaging Are Hot Hair Tools? We Break Down the Most Popular

I think it’s safe to say we’re all guilty of using heat on our hair. Even if we don’t take all the time in the world to blow dry, who doesn’t have their trusty curling iron ready to go at all times? That said, just how damaging are hot tools? We break down the harm in the most popular types below!

Blow Driers

According to Well + Good, excessive heat from a blow dryer will cause cuticle damage.

“If direct heat is put onto the hair, that targeted heat can be too much for the hair to handle,” the outlet says. “As a result, the outer surface of your hair can be destroyed. Once the cuticles start to break off, it exposes the protein and lipids that make up your strand, and that’s when you start to see breakage.”

You’ll want to always avoid using the highest heat setting, because if your scalp is hurting from the process, it can’t be any better for your strands! Opt for medium heat and medium airflow to lessen harm. The outlet also suggests opting for a higher-end dryer made with negative ions that actually smooth out the hair.

Flat Irons: Most Harmful

How damaging are hot tools? Flat irons are among the most harmful. This is because they’re damaging for more than just heat. While you should never have your iron on to 350 Fahrenheit (180°C), your hair is in for a struggle either way because of all the clamping and pulling required in the flattening process. Additionally, the heat can damage your scalp, causing it to dry out and flake.

Curling Irons: Harmful

Because hot tools dry out hair, the use of a curling iron, for example, is particularly harmful for people with dry hair to begin with.

According to Stylecaster, if your hair is already colored or just naturally dry, then you’ll have to trim your hair more often and use masque conditioners to help keep the moisture in. Curling irons can also make hair look crispy and create split ends if overused.

Styling Brushes: Least Damaging

Phew! There’s at least one hot tool out there that is slightly less damaging. According to hair brand Sam Villa, heated brushes create minimal damage because they use less direct heat than curling irons or hair straighteners. Instead of holding your hair against a hot surface (the barrel of a curling iron or the ceramic plates of a flat iron), heated brushes are designed to glide smoothly through hair. Heat is applied through the base of the hairbrush and/or the bristles.

Speaking of hot tools, HERE‘s my detailed review of INH’s Insert Sleek Hair Here brush!

2 minutes

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