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How to prevent heat-damaged hair: everything you need to know

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If you love nothing more than styling your hair with straighteners or curling tongs, then you’re probably already aware of the high temperatures you’re subjecting your locks to. Many of us are clued up on heat-damaging practices, however, we’re still guilty of some daily habits that accelerate the process. Exposing your hair to heat unprotected alters the protein bonds within each strand making it difficult to hold on to moisture. Not only does this makes our hair prone to breakage, it also makes it limp and dry - which nobody wants.

While the occasional blast with a hair dryer won’t cause too much harm, straightening your hair every day will. Your once luscious locks can become extremely dry, lose elasticity and break. Another common mistake is not using any heat protection at all.

Even though they are a whole host of products out there, The Chapel’s Colour Specialist, Symon May, points out that ‘protection is in a lot of products now but you must be aware of how much heat protection you are getting.’ To give you the lowdown on the best products for protecting your hair, our Product Specialist and stylist, Paul Larter, has recommended some of his favourites throughout this piece.

So, sit back and relax and read our straight-forward steps to preventing heat-damaged hair and remaining fabulous between your salon visits.

How do we prevent heat damage?

There is no need to give up your heat styling tools just yet, as we are here to help you prevent heat damage!

Use a heat protectant

This seems obvious but many of us skip this step: a heat-protectant should go hand-in-hand with the use of a heated tool. A good way to think of it is that you wouldn’t skip suncream on a hot day. Protectants come in the form of sprays, serums and creams - you just have to find out which one will best suit your hair type and condition. The Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique is a fabulous choice for most hair types. This is a nourishing leave-in treatment which gives you 85% less chance of breakage when you blowdry your hair and provides complete heat-protection at high temperatures.

Choose the right temperature

The thinner your hair the more vulnerable it is to heat damage. If you do have thin hair ideally keep the temperature under 200C but if your hair is very thick you can afford to set it a little warmer, or style in smaller sections.

One stroke rule

As tempting as it is to keep running your straighteners over the same section of hair you’re only causing more damage. It may feel like you are creating a sleek, shiny finish but it is unnecessary if you have chosen the right temperature in the first place.

Hair treatment

A treatment once a week can help replenish your hair’s moisture that is lost after heat styling. Combine the treatment with a salon professional shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair in optimum condition.

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Easy heat protection for different hair types

It might be obvious that different types and conditions of hair need their own specific heat protection, but to ensure you’re getting the best out of your haircare regime, we have paid a little attention to a number of hair types.

Coloured hair

Without the assistance of professional colourists, if you colour your hair, and particularly if you bleach it, your hair is more than likely already damaged. Using hot tools will scorch your locks, damaging the cuticle layer which allows more water to be absorbed. This absorption encourages hair to lose its colour, making it appear duller. Our colour specialist Symon May is super passionate about caring for your coloured hairstyle believing ‘heat protection is paramount as too much heat on the hair affects the hair colour's longevity. It will cause fade and damage the cuticle to make future services less successful.’ 

To help protect against heat try the Pureology Smooth Perfection range. This 100% vegan-friendly range has been designed to resist colour fade and fight frizz. The Smooth Perfection collection also aids blow drying providing you with smoothness and shine that will definitely turn heads.

Thin hair

Just because you have thinner hair doesn’t mean your hair is any less healthy. Annoyingly, it can mean that you’re more susceptible to heat damage. It is better for you to use a lower temperature on your styling tool and avoid lingering over the same section of hair for too long. A good heat protectant is an essential and the Redken Satinwear Blow Dry Lotion is perfect for you. It's a lightweight product which protects your hair from temperatures up to 232C. whilst also helping to control frizz without weighing your hair down. 

Afro and curly hair

When you wash your hair, do your curls go back to their normal shape? If they appear looser or frizzier then your hair is most likely damaged. As beautiful as afro or curly hair is, these hair types are naturally drier so unfortunately without extra care are more prone to heat damage which can cause breakage, frizz and even a looser curl. Try using a strengthening conditioner or a protein treatment to get them back in tip-top condition.

Straight hair

Whether you’re emphasizing your straight hair or creating bouncy curls, experimenting with heat opens up the gateway for potential heat damage. If you’re guilty of styling your hair multiple times a day then the Kerastase L’Incroyable Blowdry Heat Lotion is your haircare must have. It comes in two different types; one for fine and one for thick hair and provides protection up to 230C. This lotion allows you to restyle your hair up to three times with just one application so you can have straight and curly hair on the same day without having to wash it.

'What if my hair is already damaged' we hear you cry? Sometimes the best solution is to stop further damage and cut off damaged hair as you grow it out. If the damage isn’t too bad, then invest in a hair treatment such as Redken’s Heatcure At-Home Self-heating Mask and use to bring your hair back to life between cuts. It’s also best to find a professionally advised shampoo and conditioner best suited for your hair type as high street conditioners can do very little to help and in some cases dry out our locks. 

Still have unanswered questions when it comes to heat damage and your hair? Take a trip to or call one of The Chapel salons and speak to an expert. For more advice on the best practices for your hair explore our Expert Advice section here.

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