World-renowned hair stylist Manolo provides expert advice on using heat styling products.When it comes to hair care, we tend to believe that heat is a necessary evil. We know that heat is one of the primary causes of hair damage. Blow drying, flat irons, curling irons and hot rollers can weaken or destroy your hair’s vital proteins and deplete the natural oils, but it is also needed to reshape and style hair. So how do we style our hair using heat but minimize the damage to our tresses?
“Heat is not a hair care ‘don’t,’” says Manolo. “But you must know how to control it and protect your hair from the possible damaging effects when using heat.”
Always apply a significant amount of heat protecting hair care products like serum, mousse or cream when using heating tools on your hair.
Manolo recommends professional hair care products such as Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique. Thermique is a leave-in crème that protects hair from harmful effects of heat styling tools, moisturizes hair, and gives it optimal shine. The use of a mousse provides blow drying protection and an anti-static effect that gives fine and vulnerable hair volume and control while reinforcing the strength and shine. A good product will also protect your hair from outside heat sources like the sun, acting as a “sunscreen for your hair.” Manolo also cautions that hair care products are not one-size-fits-all; be sure to use the right product for your hair type.
Invest in quality hair devices.
Hair devices for home use have made styling convenient and inexpensive, but it is important to use well-designed products that will preserve the natural oils in your hair. Invest in a professional flat iron with high quality tourmaline-ceramic plates that will create a microscopically smooth surface without pulling, dragging or catching. A good flat iron will reduce static and eliminate frizz by optimizing the ionic potential of the plates.
For blow drying hair, Manolo also recommends salon quality dryers. These tools are designed with the latest, cutting-edge technologies necessary to improve moisture and reduce static electricity to create beautiful, healthy hairstyles. The use of negative ionic heating helps protect hair and dries much quicker so the exposure to heat is lessened when blow drying.
A quality hair device should always offer adjustable temperature control and allow you to maintain optimum heat temperatures between 240°F-410°F. There is no universal temperature setting that works for all hair types, and most people will never need a temperature higher than 400°F. Never begin with the highest heat setting on a device when styling your hair; begin with a lower setting and work your way up as needed. The highest settings are really only needed for extremely curly hair. Medium heat is almost always sufficient.
Use the right shampoo and conditioner for your hair type.
It is also essential that you shampoo and condition your hair accordingly. For those with curly, dry hair, shampooing daily is a bad idea. Deep conditioning at least once a week is necessary, and always moisturize your dry hair if you use heat styling devices.
René Furterer of Paris offers an extensive line of premium hair treatments rich in essential oils and plant extracts that treat both the hair and scalp, providing it with new vitality while transforming hair in the process. Manolo agrees that hair regains its beauty by using hair care products that contain necessary nutrients and provide comfort and hydration to the scalp.
Salon quality product lines include shampoos and conditioners for all different types of hair and scalps: dehydrated or dull hair; unruly, rebellious hair; curly hair; aging, weakened or thinning hair; oily hair and scalp; sensitive, irritated scalp; oily hair and scalp; color-treated, highlighted or bleached hair; fine, limp hair; and in and after sun care. Manolo and his stylists always advise clients on which specific treatments and hair care products are best for their type of hair.
Give your hair a break.
Let your hair rest on days when you don’t really need heat styling. If you can air dry your hair, do so to allow your hair a break from blow drying. Do not style your hair with heat if it is not necessary. No matter how expensive your devices and products are, your hair could still use a day off from it all. Instead of using a thermal straightener, you can wear your hair in its natural waves occasionally. After all, “Beauty is natural and natural is beautiful,” says Manolo.
Don’t apply a hot curling iron, hot roller or flat iron to even slightly damp hair.
This can cause irreparable damage to the hair.
Don’t overload the flat iron or curling iron.
Trying to pass too much hair through the iron creates uneven heating and uneven tension. Keep strands at sections no thicker than 1/8” when using heat styling tools.
Don’t make basic blow drying mistakes.
Over drying hair and using the highest heat setting on the dryer can lead to frizz and tangles. Don’t blast the air going against the direction the cuticle layer grown in; always direct the air flow in the same direction. Avoid higher air-flow speeds; they simply mean that you will have less control over your hair.
For those with fine hair or who have curly hair and want to leave curls intact, a diffuser attachment is a must for blow drying. For long, dense hair, it is best to divide hair into three horizontal sections so you don’t just dry the outer edges. Dry the bottom section first, then the middle, then the top to provide even dryness without over drying the outside.
When you know the truth about your hair and heat, you don’t have to be afraid of the damaging effects of heat styling tools. You can buy the devices and hair care products that will protect your hair and leave your tresses silky smooth, hydrated and full of body.
For more information or to consult with a professional stylist about your own hair care needs, contact Manolo Salons.