My flat iron at home lets me heat it up to all kinds of ultrahot temperatures, but according to trichologist Iain Sallis, you should never heat an iron up above 180 degrees Celsius (or 356 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond that you can potentially damage your hair's cuticle. Cuticle damage roughens your hair, frizzes it out, and exposes the hair shaft's internal structure, leading to split ends and eventual breakage. But keeping your iron low isn't the only way to save your hair. Want to see more clever tips from Sallis and other professionals for keeping your hair in good condition when you're straightening? Then just keep reading.
- Avoid flat-ironing wet hair: Unless you specifically have a wet-to-dry iron, never iron wet hair.
- Don't use heat-protecting products as your crutch: "Heat defense sprays are not a magic potion. They do reduce the damage, but the hair will still be affected if you use straighteners every day," Sallis tells the Daily Mail.
- Switch to satin or silk pillowcases: They don't absorb moisture like cotton, and because they're smoother, they don't snag hair as much.
- Trim more than you normally would: Giving yourself a tiny trim every month will help prevent split ends if you're committed to everyday straightening.
- Use a natural bristle brush: Metal and plastic pins tend to be more aggressive on hair.