But… is it really? We know for a fact that blow drying, on its own, is damaging to our hair. So when you blow dry, and then style with one or more hot tools, it’s adding insult to injury.
Which has us wondering: What does heat damaged hair look like? Just how much heat styling can our hair withstand? And what is the best way to protect our hair from heat damage and styling trauma? (Because we are definitely not giving up our blow dryer, wands, and irons any time soon!)
WHAT DOES HEAT DAMAGED HAIR LOOK LIKE?
We took our burning questions to Dr. Joe (PhD and Color Wow Chief Chemist) for his cool-headed thoughts on this very hot topic. He gave us the bad news first….
“Excessive and repeated exposure to heat (e.g. blow drying and heat styling) can cause physical and chemical changes in hair. This is true for all types of hair, but especially true for hair that is chemically treated by coloring, highlighting, relaxing, or permanent waving, which is especially vulnerable.”
5 SIGNS OF HEAT-DAMAGED HAIR
#1 Dry, dehydrated strands
Heat styling degrades hair’s protective natural moisture barrier and “unglues” cuticle scales’ attachment to each other and to the hair shaft. Routine wetting and blow drying of hair also causes cracks in hair’s surface from rapid dehydration. Hair becomes more porous, so it can’t retain essential moisture. This leads to brittleness, loss in elasticity, and vulnerability to chemical processes.
Repeated application of heat (>212°F / 100°C) degrades hair’s internal protein structure, continually weakening the hair causing breakage, even worse split ends, and damage.
#3 Split Ends
With repeated heat styling (which cracks the cuticle) and repeated combing, hair’s protective cuticle scale layers are removed - which causes split ends… one of the most frustrating and common types of hair damage women deal with.
Heat drying hair significantly increases its tendency to acquire static charge, resulting in “flyaways.”
#5 Loss of elasticity
Heating hair above 230°F / 110°C produces changes in the hair’s ability to bind (hold) moisture. This makes hair appear stiff and less elastic. Combing or brushing at this point can cause breakage and split hairs.
How to protect hair from heat damage
There are three essential ways hair must be protected from heat:
1. With hydrating agents that grab and hold water to protect hair’s core protein
2. With emollients that absorb heat + block direct contact between heat and hair
3. With polymers that repel heat away from hair to minimize damage
In formulating Color Wow products for the needs of fragile, color-treated hair, he included one or more of these critical heat-protecting properties in every single product (except for our Color Security Shampoo and Dream Filter Pre-Shampoo Mineral Remover Spray). Because why make heat protection a single-use product when you can protect PLUS treat or style in a single step??
“At Color Wow, we know more women than ever have color-treated hair. And, we know more of them are using more heat styling tools, more often. So with every product* we make, we make sure we include heat protecting ingredients.
We do not use one heat protectant and spread it over the entire line. Each formula has its own unique heat protectant ingredient or combination of ingredients. Therefore, if you use 2-4 products combined you are getting a multitude of various heat protecting ingredients deposited on your hair for optimum protection.”
COLOR WOW ANTI-DAMAGE HEAT PROTECTION PLAN (PREVENT SPLIT ENDS AND DEAD HAIR!)
To prevent hair from becoming physically-damaged, make sure to incorporate products with heat protectant every time you heat style. For a detailed guide of all Color Wow products with heat protection, check out this chart!