You want waves all day and curls all night. You want to add some oomph to your hair, but you don’t want to fry it with heat. After all, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice your hair’s health for that on fleek feeling. The good news is that you don’t have to! Loving your strands the right way and protecting them from heat will let you have your dream hair without the damage.
Does Heat Styling Really Damage Hair?
Hair that is healthy and well looked after can typically withstand temperatures up to 230°C/450°F when heat is occasionally applied. It’s the exposure to consistent high heat that leads to damage. To understand how heat affects your mane, we need to take it back to biology (it will be quick – promise!).
@sophiewalker808 ✨Heat damage✨#BurberryTB #SHEINcares #suicidesquadmovie #fypシ ♬ Floor Cracking (Building Wall Ceiling Ground Concrete House Crack Noise Clip) [Sound Effect] - Finnolia Sound Effects
Each hair strand has three layers, the cuticle which is the outer layer, the cortex, which is the middle layer, and the medulla, which is the inner layer.
The cuticle is your hair’s protective layer and is composed of overlapping cells that resemble fish scales (or roof tiles). A healthy cuticle has smooth and flat cells, and hair is shiny. A damaged cuticle is when those cells are raised and rough, and hair looks dull and frizzy.
The cortex is the thickest layer which contains melanin and keratin proteins, both which give hair colour and shape respectively. The proteins in the cortex form chemical bonds that retain moisture and give strength to hair. Keeping hair hydrated and moisturised is crucial in maintaining your hair’s structure, strength and elasticity.
There are two main chemical bonds present in the cortex, disulphide bonds and hydrogen bonds. Disulphide bonds are permanent and are responsible for hair type. An example of altering these bonds would be using curl relaxers to get straight hair, or getting a perm if you have straight hair. Hydrogen bonds are easier to break and the structure can be altered temporarily with water and heat. Examples of altering hydrogen bonds are when wet hair appears to be straight, or when you curl straight hair with a curling iron.
The medulla is the innermost part of the hair shaft. It’s incredibly soft and fragile, and interestingly it isn’t always present in body hair. It also doesn’t necessarily have a function in humans, whereas it helps animals to control their body temperature.
How Heat Styling Damages Hair
When you style your hair with heat, you alter the hydrogen bonds, meaning you are temporarily changing the hair’s shape. Excessive heat styling removes the strand’s moisture which can crack the cuticle, damaging your strand’s primary protective layer and thus hair becomes lifeless, brittle, and frizzy.
This is where heat protection comes in.
@foli_q Replying to @user77486656388938 what does heat damage look like under the microscope? #haircare #hairscience #hairtips #heatdamage ♬ original sound - Sareena Karim
What is a Heat Protectant?
Thermal protectants create a barrier between heat styling and your hair, protecting the cuticle and therefore the cortex, while simultaneously injecting moisture to keep hair from drying out and becoming brittle.
Heat protection doesn’t just come in the form of a thermal spray. Heat protection comes from the shampoo and conditioner you are using, what temperate you style your hair at, and what hot tools you use.
How Mermade Protects Your Strands
At Mermade, we’re passionate about hair. And we’re passionate about having on-trend hair without sacrificing hair’s health. That’s why our hot tools and accessories are designed to protect hair every step of your styling regime.
Advanced heat technology and ionic ceramic ensure hair is always protected when styling hair with heat. It’s the Mermade difference.
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Snag-free clips and acetate combs ensure hair is protected every step of the way.
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