By Natalie Baker
Heated styling tools are some of our most-trusted assets when it comes to creating runway-ready waves or sleek, straight strands. But it’s no secret that too much heat is damaging. So how do you know whether you’re styling or scorching your hair? Here’s a look at some of the latest styling tools, along with the optimal temperatures to create the most effective results.
Flat Irons and Curling Irons
Most curling irons, straighteners, and waving wands offer variable heat settings. Adopt a minimalist approach and opt for a double-duty styling tool that straightens and curls. The BaBylissPRO PRIMA3000 comes with controllable heat settings from 300°F up to 465°F. For normal hair in good condition, 380°F is sufficient. If your hair is fine, stick to the lowest possible setting, and for very thick, coarse, and resistant hair, up to 465°F will create desired results.
“It is important not to set your styling tools too high because if it’s not the right setting for your hair, you can really affect its integrity,” advises professional Bay Area hairstylist Shelly Grover. “As a general rule of thumb, the coarser your hair, the higher the setting; however, that’s not always the case.”
The condition of your hair also plays a role in choosing a heat setting. When hair is a healthy balance of moisture and protein, it holds its style well and has little to no breakage. But if it’s dry, damaged, chemical or color-treated, too much heat is a quick route to frazzled ends.
“If you have fine hair, never put your tool to the highest setting because your hair can’t withstand it,” Grover says. “Coarser, thicker hair generally needs more heat because the hair cuticle is thicker. It essentially has more of a barrier, so it won’t be as compromised at a higher heat.”
For regular heat styling, investing in quality tools is a must. A professional product such as the BaBylissPRO PRIMA3000—which features a dual-ceramic heating system and titanium plates for effective and even heat distribution—adds smoothness and shine as it styles. The PRIMA3000eliminates the need for multiple tools, thanks to its ability to create sleek straight styles, loose waves, and tight curls.
BaBylissPRO Rapido Blow Dryer
Many hair dryers offer only the standard high and low heat settings, making it tricky to take control of the air temperature. But the BaBylissPRO Rapido dryer comes with six heat/ speed settings, allowing you to tailor the temperature and speed specifically to your hair type and condition.
To keep hair in the best condition, opt for a blow dryer with a powerful fan speed to dry hair quickly. Blow dryers that offer high heat but a low fan speed can cause split ends and breakages due to prolonged heat exposure.
The BaBylissPRO ion generator creates shiny, healthy-looking hair while the increased air power dries hair faster than high heat alone. In fact, it dries up to 50 percent faster compared* with a standard blow dryer, so hair is exposed to heat for a shorter period of time—which means less potential for damage.
No matter which tools you use, heat protectant is a must to maintain beautiful hair. While spray formulas are better suited to flat irons and curlers, a balm evenly distributed throughout damp hair should be your go-to ahead of blow drying.