How To Protect Your Hair When You Style with Heat


You know from my Curly Girl Method posts that I am pretty against the use of heat on my own hair. I’ll use a flat iron or diffuser from time to time, but mostly I let my hair air dry in order to keep it healthy and whole. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to protect your hair when you style with heat. From years of straightening my hair when it was cut short and when I hated my curls, I’ve got a few suggestions on how to protect your hair when you straighten it or blow dry it frequently…

How To Protect Your Hair When You Style with Heat

Use heat sparingly. Flat ironing your hair, even blow drying it every day will quickly dry out your hair and create brittle strands and slip ends. You’ll end up with straw-like hair. UGH! I’ve been there, don’t that. It’s not pretty. Think of your schedule. When do you really need your hair to be on point? Apply heat that day and then come up with other ways to style your hair on the other days. (braids, twists, pony tails, etc…)

Use a high-quality products. I know, I know. It can feel like a waste of money to spend a lot on a hair dryer, flat iron or curling iron. BUT it isn’t and here’s why – a good quality styling tool is usually made with the latest technology. It is made with the best materials. Those things aren’t just to sound good, they are to protect your hair. Do the research. Find out what tools are rated best for what you need. (In separate posts, I’ve reviewed a great hair dryer, and the only flat iron I will use on my hair.)

Don’t use the hottest setting. We tend to think that the hottest setting will get the job done quicker and better. But all that heat is bad from your hair, and especially for your ends. Turn it down a notch or two. On lower heat, it’s okay if it takes a couple more swipes to get your hair flat, in fact it’s better.

Always use a heat protecting spray. There are dozens of these on the market right now. Do the research and figure out what will be best for your hair. It might take a little experimentation to figure out the one that works best for you and your hair type, but it’s worth it. Or ask your stylist to suggest something!

Stay away from the ends. Whether you are flattening or straightening your hair, you want to stay as far away from the ends as possible. The more you slides over them with heat the more they will break and split. For the most part you can entirely avoid those pieces of your hair without any adverse effects to the hairstyle you are trying to create. If anything avoid the ends, and then at the very end give them a shirt quick swipe.

Moisturize. From the Curly Girl posts you know this is my mantra lately. But it’s especially needed when you are going to be drying your hair out with a blow dryer or straightener. For the most part, you can apply more conditioner than you think you need and still see no negative effects in terms of greasy hair. Stay away from your scalp area, but always apply a leave-in conditioner to the ends of your hair at the end of your shower before any styling begins.


Interested in the products I swear by? Here’s my post on the Curly Girl Method Approved Products I’ve tried and loved.

Have curly hair and want to know how to protect it? Here’s a post on 6 ways we ruin our curls.

Last week I got this multiple-paragraph text from a cousin asking about the best flat irons and how to protect her hair from all the heat. As I responded back in another long text, I realized this was the perfect post. So kudos to Maggie for the text that prompted this post.

Katy Rose
Filed In: Beauty , How-To