How to Protect Hair From a Curling Iron

Watch the heat. The finer the hair, the lower the temperature.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Curling irons are great and all, but they're not exactly the most gentle way to style your hair. All that heat can do a real number on your precious locks, and if you're not careful your hair could go from silky smooth to dry as a bone before you know it. That's where a good ol' ounce of prevention comes in handy. You don't have to totally ditch your trusty curling iron, but you do need to protect your hair if you're gonna keep going under the iron.

1.

Use the right tools. Marie Claire magazine suggests using a curling iron with a porcelain or ceramic design and "tourmaline technology." You want a porcelain or ceramic curling iron so the heat distributes evenly without crazy hair-frying hot spots. If you're wondering what the heck tourmaline is, it's a type of crystal that provides irons with a frizz-busting negative ionic charge and less damaging infrared heat.

2.

Always, always put some sort of hair product on your locks before using a curling iron. Ideally, you should use a heat protective spray for the best protection, but even styling cream will put some kind of gooey barrier between your delicate follicles and the hot iron.

3.

Watch the heat. "The finer the hair, the lower the temperature," stylist and National Cosmetology Association president Mark Goodman tells WebMD. Curl baby fine locks at the coolest setting and turn up the dial if you have thicker hair. To be safe, don't turn that sucker on full blast unless you're a professional.

4.

Curl quickly. Don't twist up and just let the iron sit there, scorching and frying like there's no tomorrow. If you wait until you smell burning hair to release the iron, you're in trouble, sister. Try to heat each section for just three or four seconds so you don't totally fry your mane.

5.

Give it a rest already. Curling your hair every day is going to damage it, even if you use the best heat protective spray money can buy. To give your locks time to cool down and recuperate, break up with your curling iron and go au natural a few days a week.

6.

Take extra steps in the winter. Teen Vogue magazine says that those frigid and super dry winter months can cause heat damage to get more severe, which means your hair will need a little extra dose of help when it's cold. Use leave-in conditioner for extra moisture and coat your mane with a leave-in hair oil to quench its thirst even more.

Things You'll Need

 

1.Ceramic or porcelain curling iron with tourmaline technology

3.Leave-in conditioner

2.Heat protective spray or styling product

4.Leave-in oil

 

Tips & Tricks

 

Try heatless curl creations, using pin curls and rollers, to give your locks a break.

Never use a curling iron on wet hair. Have you ever thrown water into a hot skillet? The reaction isn't exactly gentle.

 

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