Can hair straighteners damage your hair?

Published: 30th April 2006
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One of the most common questions I get asked on my website is whether using hair straighteners will cause any short or long term damage on my hair. You don't need me to tell you that placing anything hot in close proximity to your sensitive hair is going to have some affect. However, what I would like to provide you in this article are some of the facts and figures around the use of hair straighteners which come in to very close contact with your hair as opposed to most hair dryers for example.

The temperature ranges
In order for hair straighteners to work effectively they must be used at high temperatures. A typical hair iron will operate in the range from 100-180+ degrees C. Bear in mind that around 100 degrees it is only hot enough to dry your hair whereas at the top end of the temperature scale it needs to be this hot for especially thick and curly hair. Here is a more detailed breakdown of the temperatures typically used on varying types of hair:

- Drying hair: 80 degrees

- Completely hair: 100 degrees

- Partly damaged hair: 120 degrees

- Slightly damaged hair: 140 degrees

- Ordinary curly hair: 160 degrees

- Curly hair: 180 degrees

- Very thick curly hair: 200 degrees

As you can see the temperature ranges do go to very high levels and without the correct usage or in fact the correct hair iron you can in fact end up damaging your hair are repeated use. However, all this can be avoided by following a number of very simple tips.

- If you are planning to use your hair iron on a regular basis then I suggest you use good ceramic hair oil. This will help lock in additional moisture, which is normally lost through the application of high temperatures.

- Purchase one of the top end hair straighteners which has Infra Red radiation produced from high temperature ceramic plates or Tourmaline. These special plates can help seal the moisture in your hair so that you hair does not loose its condition. Ionic technology breaks down the size of the water molecules on the hairs surface making the molecules smaller and easier for the hair to absorb. As and additional bonus it can improve the condition of you hair.

- Always purchase a hair straightener with exact temperature control settings. Some of the cheaper models may only have a few pre-set temperature settings, which does not help, as you need to be as precise as possible.

- The most expensive hair straightener may not always be the best. Always checkout the many reviews on some of the most popular hair products shopping sites.

- Likewise don't always go for a cheap deal on auction sites. Some of them are totally useless and you can end up doing real damage to your hair in just a few uses. This tends to happen when straighteners with cheap plates "stick" to your hair during the straightening process.

To put your mind at rest the technology behind hair straighteners has improved significantly over the years. In fact nowadays the use of Tourmaline, which is a precious stone, possesses unique ionic and infrared properties which not only help reduce any heat damage risk but they also leave you with shiny healthy looking hair. This magical material is now used in many of the top-end, and medium price range, hair straighteners. These latest generation hair irons are certainly much more capable and are less likely to do any, short or long term, damage to your hair.

The bottom line is that your hair is very sensitive and you should try and reduce the amount of times you submit it to high temperatures. However the latest generation of hair irons let you straighten your hair in a shorter time and leave your hair straight for longer. This can only be good news for your hair.

About the Author
Andrea Simpson is a self confessed hair straightener fan. She runs her own website devoted to Sedu Flat Irons and other hair straightening devices.

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