“In order to love the hair you have, regardless of the length, is all on how you style it”
For the last 20+ years I’ve tested and researched many different ways of caring for your hair and today I’m going to teach you why leaving your hair to dry naturally or going to bed with damp hair could actually be hindering your healthy hair goals.
I’m definitely not saying heat doesn’t damage your hair, but I am saying when used correctly it is the lesser evil when it comes to your hair health from a cellular level.
SO, Here is my guide to your perfect blow wave starting with the science.
Let’s start with a hair structure, you have your outer layer called the cuticle which is like a shingled roof overlapping each other forming a protective barrier between the damaging environmental and chemical elements that weaken the hair. It protects your cortex which is a more flexible structure, the cortex gives the hair flexibility and strength so if you have a damaged cuticle your cortex which is the building block of the hair is exposed and this is when the integrity of the hair is compromised.
Let’s talk more on why leaving your hair to dry naturally can be more damaging than heat.
Most people come to me saying they aren’t using heat so why is my hair still so damaged? People think that air drying is the best thing for the integrity of their hair, but… I’m sorry you are wrong.
Why you ask? It all comes back to water and why the natural higher pH changes the molecular structure of the hair straight away. The pH of water has the ability to open the cuticle, because low pH closes it, a high pH opens it. That’s when your cortex absorbs the water, causing your cortex to swell, when your cortex is swollen it instantly weakens the hair.
Hair has the ability to absorb 30% of its weight in water, so the longer it’s wet the longer your hair is swollen the more damage that is done. This is because of something called cell membrane complex which is when your hair is continually swollen and it essentially puts cracks permanently in your cuticle this causes your hair to look dull, frizzy and brittle. So already we can see heat out ways drying naturally as we know we can protect our hair from heat.
Now you can also understand why we incorporate Hydrated Halo Pre-Treat into our routine every time our hair is exposed to water. As prevention is always better than cure.
Conditioner is also very important as it causes slip reducing the risk of damage caused by friction on the hair.
Next building block to the perfect healthy blow wave; Don’t rub your hair with a towel. Scrunch the excess moisture from the hair with preferably a cotton towel. Rubbing causes friction which results in frizz and breakage.
Never brush the hair when wet, only use a wide tooth comb and preferably do this when you have conditioner in your hair. A brush has the ability to tear the cuticle from being in it’s wet, weakened state, causing instant breakage. As remember your cortex is flexible and your cuticle is weakened when wet, its vulnerable to damage.
Going to bed with wet hair… stop this now!
Why? You already know that when are her is wet it’s in a weakened state. So, if you toss and turn the friction that is caused is similar to rubbing with a towel, causing you to wake up with frizzy hair and even has the ability to cause breakage.
Same thing when you go out with damp hair. Why? Because your cuticle is exposed meaning to more prone to environmental damage. Pollution, dust and oils are absorbed causing your hair to look dull.
Now we know that the risk of damage caused by heat is far better than leaving our hair to dry naturally now let’s look at the tools of my trade and products for protection…
Hydrated Heat Halo works by infusing the cortex with a nourishing array of ingredients which provide flexibility and strength (important because this is what water has just taken out) then we seal it providing a heat protective layer between you and the heated devices. Hydrated Heat Halo protects up to 225 degrees.
Hair dryers - I’m currently loving my hairdryer with ionic plates, because this helps to flatten the cuticle causing less frizz, it works by transferring negative ions to the hair, which attracts the positive ions in water. Bonus it helps to dry the hair faster and retains the moisture in by sealing the cuticle.
Start on a low setting as remember our hair is more vulnerable when wet. Then drying section by section and once you feel your hair start to warm up (about 80-90% dry) you can turn up your heat and speed to help create shape with your chosen blow waving tool. Then a cool shot at the end helps to seal your style in place.
If you are after shine, use your nozzle placed in downward position this helps to keep your cuticle flat.
Curls? Use a diffuser to give body and bounce to your hair using the same cool, low setting until hair is nearly dry, then a little heat before a final cool finish. I also love using the method of placing curls in the diffuser while hair dryer is off then turning on and not moving until curls are dry, cool shot then turn off dryer, wait a few seconds then release. This technique gives a frizz free finish, it may take a little longer but the longevity of the results is worth the extra few minutes.
Heated tongs and straighteners; it’s not just what use, it’s how you use them.
Never rush your blow wave and leave a wet patch before straightening. This can be extremely damaging, because when water heats up it turns from liquid to gas meaning it expands and where does it expand, it expands inside the cortex causing it to burst through the cuticle causing damage.
It’s worth investing in a heated tool with a temperature setting so you can pick the ideal temperature for your style and hair type. I like to use mine on the lowest setting and I use it over directed in my roots to seal in body and give a curve to ends for extra volume.
Have you heard the term ‘Glass Transition Phase’ in hair? It’s the equation of where a temperature of 144 degrees and below will help to retain the shape and can be done without damage. Anything above acts like hot glass so you can easily re shape or form the hair this is why anything above this can break the di-sulphide bonds causing the hair to become weak.
So, we now know thanks to science that blow waving your hair not only is better for your hair health but you actually love the look of your hair when blow waved so we don’t tie our hair up as often which can cause tension damage, it lasts longer due to environmental particles not drying in to our hair. You don’t have to wash as often meaning your hair isn’t exposed to water damage.
Remember to use our Hydrated Halo Pre-Treat to protect from water, never be rough with the hair when drying it with a towel or heat. Always use out Hydrated Heat Halo. Never brush hair when wet. This guide will bring you one step closer to healthy hair.