6 Tips for Heat Styling Your Hair Without the Damage

November 25, 2020
Marisa Petrarca
By: Marisa Petrarca | Makeup.com by L'Oréal
person curling hair with curling iron

In a dream world, our hair would air dry frizz-free, but in reality, it often takes the use of hot tools to style our hair to perfection. Unfortunately using blow dryers and flat irons on the reg can cause breakage, stringy hair and split ends — especially if you don’t take proper precautions. To find out how to minimize damage while heat styling, we reached out to Matrix brand ambassador George Papanikolas and celebrity hairstylist Matt Fugate

Tip #1: Use a Heat Protectant 

There’s no excuse not to use a heat protectant spray before using hot tools. “Spray a heat protectant on damp hair like the Matrix Style Link Heat Buffer,” says Papanikolas. “It creates a shield of heat protection up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a super lightweight heat protecting spray which ensures your hair has a smooth and shiny finish that’s free from heat damage.”

Fugate also recommends a cream protectant like the Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry Créme.“This cream allows you to re-style and shape your hair over and over for up to four days without having to reapply the product,” he says. For a drugstore option, we like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Length No Haircut Cream.

L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Length No Haircut Cream

Tip #2: Control the Temperature

“All hair is different in texture and thickness so you should find the perfect temperature for your styling needs,” says Fugate. “For example, blonde or naturally curly hair can be styled at a much lower temperature than other hair textures and thickness.” As a rule of thumb though, try and keep your hot tools below 400 degrees so you don’t burn or singe your hair. 

Tip #3: Rough Dry First 

“Unless you have super coarse, curly hair, you should rough dry hair to take out the majority of the moisture, then go section by section with a round brush to smooth out hair,” says Papanikolas. “The rough drying is less direct heat than you put on hair with a round brush.” 

Tip #4: Don’t Hold Heat Too Long 

If you’ve had your hair styled in a salon, you may have noticed that stylists use hot tools for what seems like only seconds — there’s a reason for that. Papanikolas encourages you to work very quickly. “Applying irons for too long can burn the hair,” he says.

Tip #5: See Your Stylist

“A good haircut is the only way to really treat very damaged hair,” says Papanikolas. “ If you don't want to cut, oil treatments the night before you wash your hair like Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Replensih Oil Mist and Biolage R.A.W. Re-Hydrate Clay Mask can help treat and prevent further dryness.”

Biolage R.A.W. Re-Hydrate Clay Mask

Tip #6: Give it a Break

While you don’t have to give up your hot tools permanently, it can be helpful to air dry your hair on occasion. To style hair without heat, we like using wave sprays and anti-frizz styling products.

Photo: Jasmine Burnside

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