We have all experienced some sort of heat damage and have been told by our hair stylists to use a “heat protectant,” but do we know what heat protectants are? Why are they used? And most importantly, how should they be used?
What are heat protectants?
Heat protectants are extremely essential when using heating tools such as hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons. Most heat protectants contain cyclomethicone (a clear silicone that evaporates immediately and helps to transfer nutrients and oils into the hair shaft. This type of silicone creates a thin, waterproof, heat resistant layer over the hair strand.
Why are heat protectants used?
– It helps keep moisture from the inside of the hair. There are different agents that decrease moisture from the hair such as, over exposure to the sun, dehydration, and chemical processes like bleaching and coloring.
– It lubricates the outside layer of the hair, so it will be easier to manage and detangle along with smoothing your hair.
– It also helps reduce the porosity of the hair. Porosity is your hairs ability to absorb moisture. Ultimately, this reduction fights against humidity.
How should heat protectants be used?
First and foremost, fully read the instructions on the product itself! We tend to skip this step. While there is a variety of heat protectants out there, some are for use with wet hair and others are used right before the process of using a hot tool. They may not be effective if used improperly. When doing a clients hair, I use a heat protectant leave-in spray that protects from the heat of the blow dryer. I also use a heat protectant right before using any hot tools. It can be a serum or spray, I use a serum when the texture of my clients hair is thicker, and I use a spray for a finer hair texture.
If the heat protectant is in a serum form, then a dime amount (literally) is enough. You don’t want to use too much of it because it may result in frying your hair when using hot tools. When using a heat protectant spray for dry hair, section hair and spray at least 6-10 inches spraying on top and underside of the hair. You may see that after using the heat protectant, your hair is still receiving damage.
Here are a few tips that may help:
-Cut the damaged ends of hair.
-A bigger intake of water goes a long way. The key is to stay hydrated from the inside. Drinking enough water can keep your skin and hair hydrated.
-Wear protectant styles that don’t require heat.
-Deep condition your hair often or every time you wash. Make sure to use a leave-in conditioner that is hydrating.
-More protein in your diet. Eat foods that are rich in protein.
-Make sure to wrap or cover your head at night, if you don’t wrap your hair, then a satin pillow case will work. Our scarfs, bonnets, and pillow cases hold the oils from our head so be sure to wash them often.