As I’m still nervous about using a curling wand for fear of hair breakage, I asked Lina from Michael Van Clarke, to advise me on the difference between tongs and straighteners and which one is the most damaging to hair. The answer was surprising, but made perfect sense.
When we straighten our hair with irons we tend to make more than one pass along the hair length to get hair super straight (guilty as charged!). We’re creating more damage with each pass as we’re subjecting hair to further intense heat.
With curling tongs however, once we’ve done one wave/curl, we move onto the next one. We’re not re-doing the same piece again and again. Result? Less damage to the hair shaft. Simple really!TEMPERATURE
The optimum ‘safe’ temperature for hair is 180-185°C. After 185°C, hair doesn’t become any straighter, the excessive heat opens and damages the cuticles, resulting in split ends and dryness.
The Babyliss Boutique Soft Waves temperature settings range from 165°C to a hair frying 210°C. It’s advisable to set it to 180°C because 165°C won’t hold the curl, and you may be tempted to do it again.
I’m not sure why, but I’d always thought my GHD Gold Straighteners heated up to a steady 210°C, but that’s not so, it’s actually 185°C, which really surprised me. This is the reason the temperature’s fixed – a lower temperature wouldn’t straighten and would need more passes.
HEAT STYLING SPRAY
Of course, the one step you can’t skip when using any type of heat appliance, is a good heat defence product. Here are three of my favourites:
TRESemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray £5.25 Review
Kérastase Resistance Ciment Thermique Heat-Activated Reconstructor Milk £14.62
It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product £16.49 Review
If you have over done it with heating appliances and sucked out all the moisture, then I recommend this easy (but admittedly, time consuming), home steam treatment for damaged hair.