You know how everyone tells you to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun when you go outside? Well, it’s the same thing for your hair when it comes to heat! Using a quality heat protector is the first line of defense against the dangers of overheating from heat tools like a blow dryer, keeping your hair healthy, shiny, and looking amazing for those spicy senoritas!
The Nerdy Science – We’ll Be Quick
Each strand of hair is composed of an inner cortex filled with water molecules and a fibrous structural protein called keratin. This inner cortex is wrapped in an outer cuticle, which in healthy hair, protects and gives that smooth, shiny appearance. There are many things that can cause the destruction of these precious hair follicles, though. But none take affect quite as fast as a thorough overheating job. Heat damages our hair by evaporating the water molecules in the inner cortex, and by breaking down the keratin, altering the inner structure and mechanical properties of the strands. This damage occurs either when the heat is too high, or goes through the follicle too quickly.
The Good, The Bad & The Bueno!
Now before you throw that blow dryer in the trash, there are positives to heat styling your hair, too. Using a hair dryer properly with heat protection is a much gentler way than vigorously rubbing a towel on your head to dry your hair. Not to mention it’s also a great way to add volume to your style. Applying heat can also straighten curls and help set the hair in that perfect style without having to go overboard on products like clay and hairspray.
On the flipside, overheating causes frizz. When this happens, you might as well just get back in the shower and start all over. Unwanted frizz is nearly impossible to style. Overheating also causes cracks and ruptures in the cuticle making hair vulnerable to future damage. High temperatures can even break down the keratin, affecting the strength and texture of our hair. Even worse, it can make hair fall out – now we’ve got your attention!
So, what’s a gent to do?
Besides mastering the art of a hair dryer, a gentleman (and woman) should always use protection… heat protection!
Using a good heat protector before heat styling reduces hair damage by creating a nearly impenetrable (nothing is 100%) barrier which seals in moisture and creates an even heat distribution. It also helps maintain that sleek, soft texture and can even add a bit of volume and light hold. Protectors can actually enhance the effectiveness of heat tools making hair even easier to style, eliminating the split ends caused by repeated forceful styling. More importantly, protecting hair from overheating keeps it from falling out.
How to Find A Good Product
Quality heat protectors include humectants, or substances that preserve moisture. The ones to look for are panthenol, glycerin and propylene glycol, as they have been clinically proven to be effective in protecting hair without causing build up. Many also include amino acids, like keratin, which strengthen strands and provide antioxidant nourishment. Lastly look for natural oils and extracts, like aloe and chamomile, to protect and seal the cuticle. A spray works the best for even distribution and protection as serums can be a little too heavy for certain hair types. The best product we recommend to grab (we're slightly biased) is Pete & Pedro PROTECT Heat Protection Shield Spray.
Trust the Process – How To Use
Time to apply. First gently towel dry the hair after the shower. Next comb and divide your hair into sections. Hold the spray 8-12 inches from hair and apply. That’s it. Quick and easy protection with the push of a button. You can follow with other pre-stylers like TREAT Argan Oil or SALT Sea Salt Spray followed by your favorite styling aid like Putty or Clay. Then, use your blow dryer as you please, ideally using a medium heat setting. You don’t need to go hot for very long or at all.
If your hair is already fried, heat protection is a must to stop any further damage. A good clarifying/keratin/hydrating shampoo and conditioner will help get it back to its original form. If you really want to kick it up a notch, add some argan Oil to your weekly regiment, and get ready to have the best hair at the office or school.