Let’s get one thing straight (really straight), hair straighteners can damage your hair, especially if it’s already dry or broken. But this doesn’t mean you have to ditch the flat irons. After two years of hands-off styling at home, the desire for ultra-sleek hair is back and the timing couldn’t be better. Today’s tools and products are future-forward, offering customisable settings and heat-protective features. Let’s take a look!
How do Straighteners Damage Hair?
The truth is the heat from a straightener can make your hair weaker. Sometimes the damage isn’t as extreme or as noticeable as breakage. It can be subtle like causing your hair to appear dull or frizzy, which makes you reach back for the straighter again – ugh it’s a vicious cycle!
And have you ever wondered what that sizzling sound is? That means your hair is still damp, which causes the moisture to burst when a straightener glides over it. If you want to flat iron your hair, it should be completely blown out and totally dry. Our stylists recommend using a paddle brush to blow out the hair and get it as straight as possible, which will create the perfect canvas for your flat iron. We recommend using GHD’s Air Max Dryer – it’s a breeze to use and we offer $60 off at Epic salons!
How to Protect Hair from Damage?
Before blow drying and straightening, it’s really important to prep the hair. Our stylists recommend using a treatment that promotes the health of your scalp to lock in a strong foundation before styling. We love Oribe’s Serene Scalp Thickening Treatment Spray because it energises, hydrates and refreshes the scalp to create fuller, thicker, and healthier hair.
But the only safety net between your delicate tresses and 230 degrees of concentrated heat is a thermal protectant product. Just like wearing sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun, you need protection for your hair when exposing it to heat. Our favourite heat protectant to use is the Kérastase Genesis Defense Thermique spray. Not only does it protect your hair from heat, but it also nourishes, moisturises and fortifies your locks. You can also expect some added shine and a delightfully soft finish.
How Often Can I Straighten My Hair Without Damaging It?
The inevitable question our stylists are asked is “how often can I straighten my hair without damaging it?” Ideally, we would be washing and straightening our hair every day. But this cycle of dependency is something to avoid. If you simply cannot skip a few days of straightening, then make sure you don’t do it more than one or two times a week. And never use other heated stylers on the same day (unless you’re slaying the Met Gala steps!)
A key tip to avoid re-straightening is to separate your hair into small sections. You might be tempted to straighten your hair faster with bigger sections, but your iron won’t reach all of the strands. Using small sections allows you to swipe each strand only once, reducing excessive and unnecessary damage.
Preserve your style for as long as possible by opting for a silk pillowcase when you sleep. We’re absolutely in love with the Kérastase pillowcase! You can get one for free when you buy three products from their Chroma Absolu range – in Epic salons!
How to Treat Damage From Straightening?
For those of us who are wedded to our straightener, the first question to ask our stylists is how to reverse the damage. The good news is you can easily put in place some steps to treat damaged hair after styling. A face mask is a must, but we’re betting you forgot about your hair, which is crying out for a little loving care. Once a week, pop on a thick revitalising hair mask like Oribe’s Signature Moisture Masque – a surefire way to cure damage from your straightener. This crème de la crème nourishing formula transforms even the driest, most unmanageable hair, leaving it weightless and irresistibly soft to the touch.
The Best Straighteners to Prevent Damage
The right hair straightener can last for years, so it’s worth spending some time choosing the best appliance for you. The most important factor is temperature control. Using a tool that has a temperature too high could melt the core of your hair, while not enough heat can leave your hair looking unfinished with a style that doesn’t last long.
Determining the right temperature varies by model just as much as it depends on hair texture and weight. Lucky for you, the new GHD Platinum+ will adjust its temperature based on your hair type! It’s programmed to recognise the thickness of your hair, the section size and speed at which you’re styling and adjusts its power accordingly. But the best part is the heat won’t exceed 185 degrees, which is the optimum safe-for-hair temperature.
Another thing to consider is the material of the plates. Ceramic irons are more gentle, while titanium is more aggressive. A classic example of a great quality ceramic straightener is the GHD Original Professional Styler, which guarantees sleek, smooth and shiny hair.
You can get your hands on a GHD styling tool in any Epic Salon with $60 off! Book your next appointment today and talk to our stylists about which straightener is best for your hair.