How to Use Thermal Styling Tools Without Damaging Your Hair

We all wish we could leave our house every morning looking like we do when we leave our stylist’s chair! Aside from the professional skills and training they have, your stylist also follows certain industry guidelines when it comes to quality and temperature setting of their tools. We’ll give you some tips and advice on how to keep from damaging your hair when using over-the-counter (or even salon quality) hair products and tools.

Watch That Heat!

damaged-hairHair styling tools don’t need to cost a fortune but they do need to have some basic features. Some of the inexpensive tools have one temperature setting or are “plated” with materials that can damage your hair. Heat settings can range from 175 to 410 degrees. NEVER use a heat setting of 400 or higher!

That much heat should only be used by professionals for certain services and are rarely used in the salon at that. 400 degrees or above can damage or break the hair beyond repair. The temperature you should use with flat or curling irons on your hair is determined by your hair texture, (fine, medium, coarse) and the condition that your hair is in.

A good rule of thumb is that fine, chemically treated or damaged hair should never be ironed above 300 degrees. Normal hair can be ironed at 300-360 degrees and thick, coarse or curly hair can be ironed at 350-390. Start a lower temperature and increase as needed.

Use Protection

Another helpful tip is ALWAYS use a protective product to protect your hair from the heat of the styling tool. We recommend and carry Unite Shina Liquid to protect from flat-ironing and Unite U Oil to protect from curling irons or blowdryers. We always start all services with Unite 7 Seconds Detangler to add protection, sunscreens and detangle the hair when wet. 

As far as purchasing irons, solid ceramic, titanium or tourmaline irons are you best bet. They all emit negative ions. When you put negative ions into the hair, they neutralize positive ions that are caused by chemical damage, heat damage and static electricity. Be sure to buy solid and not “plated” to avoid a thin plate that wears off and exposes the cheap plastic or metals underneath that can damage your hair. 

Blowdryers can be confusing as well. We recommend that – regardless of your hair type – you use an ionic dryer for the negative ion properties. Look for blowdryers with air concentrate nozzles so you can focus the air right where it needs to go.

Fine Hair

Fine hair does best with a low-wattage dryer with minimal heat and pressure.  For fine hair blow-dry products we recommend Unite Boosta volumizing spray, Blow and Set, or Lazer Straight depending on the result you are going for.

Coarse Hair

Coarse hair needs some serious power, so look for a high heat and strong airflow to tame the unruliness, straighten and keep frizz down. Look for a dryer with a cool shot button to finish your blowout which help to lay the cuticle down and add shine.

For Coarse hair we recommend Unite Blow and Set, Lazer Straight or Moisture and Shine to help deliver the results you desire.  Medium hair benefits from a powerful flow and gentle heat. Medium hair should also use a cool shot button.

Medium Hair

Medium hair can benefit from any of the above mentioned products.

For more information or a consultation to find out what products and tools are best for your hair type, call us at (530) 272-2557