Ask Chuck: Maximum heat settings can damage hair

June 30, 2011 at 1:30 a.m.

By Charles Colson

I have been worried for quite sometime that my curling iron and flat iron are damaging my hair. Can this be possible?

More so than not. Always remember that haste makes waste. I realize that time becomes quite limited and we do things at a fast pace. If curling irons are being used continually on their highest settings, it easily can cause excessive dryness and brittleness to the hair shaft. If you can take the extra time and style your hair on medium settings, you would be surprised at how much healthier the hair will appear. One good sign to tell if hair is extremely dry is when it all of a sudden it seems to drink the conditioner.

When using curling irons with bristles, are they really safe for continuous use and is the circumference of the iron that necessary?

It is extremely important to choose a curling bristle iron that is compatible with your length of hair. How many times has it tangled on you unexpectedly? You are only getting body and more volume from their use, so choose one that easily works through the hair. To receive the most volume, curl smaller sections each time. This is especially wise when the hair is color treated. Always be careful of the tension you apply. Too much tension will result in hair breakage. Also, keep in mind that medium settings are most beneficial.

I am always running late for work and need to blow dry my hair as quick as possible. Many times my style looks blown out. Do you have a good remedy for this situation?

Again, haste makes waste. If you are using the highest speed on the blow dryer for the entire styling time, then it would be more difficult to control the style. Only use the highest speed for just 2-3 minutes. Continue with a lower speed, even if this takes longer. Your style will take shape much better. If the hair is quite short, try only using the lowest speed through the entire styling process. Remember, all blow outs have to be repaired.

I heard it was sometimes beneficial to rinse your hair in cold water at the last rinse. Is this a fact or just a rumor?

Very much a fact. Of course with hot temperatures like we have had, it sounds quite comfortable, right? What the cold rinse does is close the hair shaft and feel squeeky clean. Styling lotions will become more absorbant. Go for it. It's a great cooling agent.

Charles Colson is a local hair stylist and registered massage therapist. You may email hair or massage questions to or call 361-575-5331.



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