How to Use Heat Styling Tools Like a Pro



Heat Styling Tools - Express Wig Braids

Many of us want the sleek, polished looks we see in magazines but end up with unsatisfying results and heat-damaged hair. 

Heat damage can occur when hair is exposed to high temperatures from styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. But fear not! We’ll unveil expert strategies that will help you use heat styling tools like a pro, ensuring you achieve beautiful, healthy hair every time you style.

Let’s briefly look at how heat can cause damage to the hair before we go into how to use heat styling tools without compromising the health and beauty of your hair. 

How Does Heat Cause Damage to the Hair?

Hair is primarily composed of a protein called keratin. High temperatures can cause the keratin proteins to break down, weakening the hair structure. The outer layer of the hair, the cuticle, can also become damaged, causing it to lift and break, leading to rough, frizzy hair.

In addition, repeated heat exposure can cause the cuticles to crack and chip away, leading to significant hair breakage and split ends. 

Also,  heat can strip the hair of its natural moisture, leaving it dry and brittle. This dehydration makes hair more prone to breakage and split ends. The natural oils produced by the scalp, which help to keep hair moisturized, can be diminished by excessive heat exposure.

The cortex, the thickest layer of the hair shaft, gives hair its strength and elasticity. Heat can damage the cortex, leading to loss of elasticity, making hair more prone to breakage and less able to hold styles.

Excessive heat can also affect the scalp, causing burns, dryness, and irritation. A damaged scalp can lead to poor hair growth and health issues.

With all these, it’s important to protect your hair from heat damage by combining proper preparation, employing the correct techniques when styling, and other expert tips that we’ll be sharing with you. 

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Read on to learn the expert tips and techniques that will transform your styling routine, giving you professional-quality results every time.

5 Easy Steps in Using Heat Styling Tools

Here are the best practices to safeguard your hair from the harmful effects of heat:

1. Prepare Your Hair

Start with clean, dry hair. Heat styling works best on clean hair, as oils and products can weigh it down. Ensure your hair is fully dry unless you're using a tool specifically designed for wet-to-dry styling.

Always apply a heat protectant spray or serum before using any heat tools. This helps prevent damage and keeps hair healthy.

2. Adjust Temperature Appropriately

Using the right temperature prevents excessive heat damage and help you to achieve the desired style more efficiently.

Use a lower heat setting (250-300°F / 120-150°C) for fine or damaged hair. Use a medium heat setting (300-350°F / 150-175°C) for normal hair, and a higher heat setting of (350-400°F / 175-200°C) for thick or coarse hair.

3. Adopt Proper Technique

Divide your hair into manageable sections using clips. Working in sections ensures even heat distribution and more precise styling. Start with the bottom layers and work your way up. 

Also, different tools are designed for specific hair types and style. Choose blow dryers with appropriate attachments for volumizing or straightening, flat irons for straightening, and curling irons or wands for curls. 

Blow Drying: Use a round brush for volume and smoothness. Direct the nozzle down the hair shaft to reduce frizz. Finish with a cool shot to set the style and add shine. 

Flat Ironing: Glide the flat iron down each section slowly but steadily. Avoid going over the same section multiple times to reduce heat exposure.

Curling: Wrap small sections around the barrel, hold for a few seconds, and release. Alternate the direction of curls for a more natural look. Let the curls cool before brushing or touching them to set the style.

4. Don’t Forget Finishing Touches

Apply a lightweight serum or oil to add shine and reduce frizz. Use a flexible hold hairspray to set the style without making it stiff and to add volume and texture, especially with curls or waves.

5. Maintenance and Care is Key

Regularly clean your heat styling tools according to the manufacturer’s instructions to remove product buildup. Wipe down plates and barrels after each use with a damp cloth.

Limit the use of hot styling tools to a few times a week, and incorporate no-heat styling methods when possible to give your hair a break.

Use deep conditioning treatments weekly to restore moisture and repair any damage.

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Using Heat Styling Tools

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can use heat styling tools effectively while minimizing damage and achieving professional-looking results.

  • Using tools on wet hair (unless using a blow dryer).
  • Skipping the heat protectant.
  • Holding the tool in one spot for too long can cause severe damage.
  • Using too high of a temperature.
  • Not letting the curls cool before brushing them out.
  • Over-styling the same section repeatedly. One or two passes per section is usually sufficient.

Whether you’re aiming for sleek straight hair, bouncy curls, or voluminous waves, understanding how to protect your hair and style it correctly will make all the difference. By adhering to these professional steps and tips, you’ll not only achieve stunning styles but also maintain the health of your hair, making heat styling a rewarding part of your beauty routine.

Remember, preparation, protection, and proper technique are the keys to using heat styling tools like a pro. With practice and care, you can enjoy stunning hairstyles that look salon-fresh every day.

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