Most of the good things in life are bad for you.
As much as I admit to having a hair straightener addiction, there’s no denying that they can be pretty terrifying to use at the best of times.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be using your irons pretty much every day of the week. If you’re in the know, you’ll be aware that this can result in quite a heavy amount of damage being inflicted onto your locks.
Even if you use your straighteners sensibly and take precautions while using them (I.E. using a heat protectant spray, not making multiple passes through each section of hair, making sure your hair is in good condition before styling), there really is no way to avoid frazzling your hair a bit.
So, like every other good thing in life, isn’t it nice to have a break now and again so you appreciate it more?
However, if you’ve gotten used to life with perfectly pin-straight locks, it can be difficult to drag yourself away. If you feel like you need to give your hair a bit of a break from heat styling, here are a few tips and tricks to help you do so – if they work for me, they’ll work for anyone!
What are the warning signs?
If you’ve ever had to run your straighteners through a section of hair more than once, you’ve probably found that it left that piece hair looking and feeling dry or crispy. If you’re straightening your full head a couple of times a day, or straightening multiple days in a row, you’ll get exactly the same effect – just even more so.
Here are a few more signs that your hair might be feeling a bit under the weather;
- Split ends- grab a section of your hair and twist it. If any bits stick out awkwardly, these will be the culprits.
- Your hair isn’t responding well to heat styling- if you find that straightening or curling your hair isn’t giving you the same effect that you usually get, it could be a sign that your hair has had enough. It could be that a section of hair refuses to curl, and instead becomes crispy and unmanageable, for example.
- Lack of shine- no one likes dull-looking hair. If your hair is looking a bit lifeless, it’s probably a sign that it’s time to put the straighteners down.
It’s time for a big decision – either drastically reduce how often you use your straighteners, or start being more mindful of your hair’s condition.
I understand that it can be near-impossible to go totally cold turkey with your straighteners – so I’ve devised a few ways that you can cut down your use of them, without compromising having amazing hair.
Learn to style your hair better, not more often
If you visit a hair stylist often, you’ll know how amazing it feels to walk away with a flawless hairstyle that seems to last for days on end.
The key element of making sure your style lasts is perfecting the art of blow drying your hair. Ask your hairdresser to show you, or learn from an online tutorial. If it’s perfectly straight locks you’re after, ensure that the nozzle of the hairdryer is pointed downwards – it’ll smooth your hair out much better. The same goes if you tend to use your straighteners to fix your fringe or any cowlicks – a hair dryer will do the same trick if used correctly.
When/ if you do use your straightener, put more thought into your styling. Many people will quickly run their straightener through large sections of hair at a time – it’ll look ok for a while, but you’ll be lucky if your look lasts through to lunchtime.
The slower you move the straightener through your hair, the longer your style will last. As long as you aren’t clamping the iron over a section of hair and holding it there, you should inflict a fairly small amount of damage compared to if you ran the iron through the section of hair multiple times.
The same goes if you choose to wave or curl with your straightener – the slower, the better.
Learn to live without
Honestly – what may seem like a major hair catastrophe to you will be unnoticeable to others.
Find ways to cut back on how often you use your straightener – no matter how small, it’s worth it to save your hair slightly.
If you find that you need to re-style your hair before going out on the night time, for example, why not give it a miss? If you’ve styled your hair fairly well that morning, there’s a good chance that it’ll still look ok later on in the day.
Or it could be that you save heat styling purely for nights out, and choose to leave it natural and tie it up for work – it’s all about what works for you.
If you really can’t bear to be without your straighteners, make sure that you treat your hair just as much as you heatit.
It could be anything from letting your conditioner sink in for half an hour, to making a DIY hair mask, to splashing out on a professional treatment – find what suits you and your budget best; your hair will thank you!
If your hair is particularly bad, visit a trusted hair stylist. They’ll know exactly what needs to be done to start bringing some order back to your hair – be it a trim or a deep conditioning treatment.
Happy styling, as always!