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Heat damage can leave your hair brittle, dry and unmanageable. Heated styling appliances, blow dryers and strong sunshine can all damage your hair. Taking steps to protect against heat damage is important for keeping your hair healthy. Follow these five steps to protect your hair from heat damage.

Dry Your Hair Before Styling

Heated styling appliances, such as straighteners and curling tongs, are extremely hot and, when used on wet hair, the sudden change in moisture and heat can cause severe damage to the hair follicle. Blow dryers use warm air that is far less damaging to your hair, especially if you use the coolest setting.

Blow drying your hair or allowing it to dry naturally before using your heated styling appliances significantly reduces the risk of damaging your hair. In addition, you should avoid towel drying or rubbing your hair while it’s wet, as this can damage the cuticles. Instead, wrap your hair in a towel and allow it to soak up the moisture.

Apply Heat Protection Products

Heat protection products coat the hair follicle and help to prevent damage, including split ends. Heat protection serum, cream and spray can all be used before styling your hair. Heat protection spray is ideal for use on sunny days, as you can reapply it at regular intervals to protect your hair from the sun. Some styling products now contain added heat protection, so it’s worth checking the labels before buying new products.

Choose the Coolest Settings

The higher the heat setting on your appliance, the more damage it can do to your hair. Always use the lowest heat setting possible to achieve your desired hairstyle. The length of time the heat is in contact with your hair is also an important factor for preventing damage. Try to avoid using your appliance on the same section of hair for long periods of time.

Use Hair Masks Regularly

Hair masks help to nourish and repair your hair. Using a hair mask at least once or twice a week helps to moisturize the cuticles and prevent your hair from drying out. Look for hair masks that contain vitamin E, keratin or egg albumen, as these can all help to repair damaged hair.

Take Care of Your Scalp

Excessive heat can damage your scalp and lead to skin irritation, dandruff and even fungal infections, all of which affect the health of your hair. Applying a natural oil such as coconut or olive oil to your scalp at least once a month helps to keep your scalp healthy. Leave the oil on for at least an hour, or preferably overnight, before washing out thoroughly.

Heat damage can make your hair brittle, dry and difficult to manage. Drying your hair before styling, applying heat protection products, choosing the coolest settings on your styling appliances, using hair masks regularly and taking care of your scalp will all help to protect your hair from heat damage.

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