If you use hot tools to style your hair on a regular basis, you may have experienced dry, damaged hair. Though hair loss is not directly linked to heat styling, your curling irons and straighteners may be an incidental culprit in the long-run.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains how heat styling may play a secondary role in hair damage and loss of volume.
The leading causes of hair loss are genetics and hormones, though environmental factors such as poor diet, frequent chemical treatments and heat styling can come into play. Using high temperatures to style hair on a regular basis can cause breakdown in the cuticle, the outermost part of the hair shaft that helps strengthen and protect it. The cuticle acts as the first line of defense against damage, and when it breaks down, the rest of the hair can become weak and dry. Split ends form, and hair may take on a rough, frizzy appearance.
Split ends may give the illusion of hair loss, says Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
When split ends travel up the hair shaft, hair can break off more easily at the root. Breakage close to the root may give the impression that hair is thinning or falling out, but hair breakage from heat styling is not the same as permanent or temporary hair loss, even if you technically may be losing density. Ceasing heat styling for an extended period of time is often the best solution for repairing damage and restoring hair to its natural luster. You can also help rehabilitate hair by adding a deep conditioning mask like Fekkai PRX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque to your routine one to two times a week. It’s important to keep in mind that repairing damaged hair takes time, and you’ll need to be patient to see results.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger recommends hair care products from LovelySkin.com.
To minimize damage from heat styling, the most important thing you can do is keep it to a minimum. Save your curling irons and straighteners for special occasions only and opt for day-to-day styles that do not require heat. When you do use a styling tool, be sure it never goes above 350 degrees, or a low-medium setting. Some tools can reach over 410 degrees, which is far too hot to safely style hair. LovelySkin.com carries a variety of professional-quality tools to choose from. Also, never style wet hair. This can cause a blistering effect on the cuticle and lead to even more damage.
You should use a thermal protection product such as glo essentials Extreme Heat Protecting Serum whenever using hot tools. These formulas can help shield hair from damaging heat to an extent, however they should not be relied on as a long-term solution for keeping hair safe and healthy.
Do you have a question for Dr. Schlessinger about hair loss and heat styling? Let us know in the comments.