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Brunette straightening hair

Flat ironed hair – does straightening your hair damage it?

While all hair types, textures and curl patterns should be celebrated, it’s no secret that many people still own a pair of flat irons, preferring a sleek, straight style over their natural texture. But how damaging is straightening your hair, and can it ever be repaired? We’ve got all the answers, plus tips on how to minimize the heat damage caused by your daily flat iron habit.

Can you straighten your hair without damaging it?

The truth is, not entirely. High heat is hair’s arch-nemesis, breaking its hydrogen bonds and rearranging its proteins in order to reshape strands into the desired style. While it does this, essential moisture is stripped away and, over time, the outer cuticle layer can start to raise. With a compromised cuticle comes more moisture loss, brittleness and breakage. In layman’s terms: frizz. And how do we counteract frizzy hair? We use our flat iron on it, continuing the heat-hair damage cycle. But wait, it’s not all doom and gloom.

How to protect hair from heat-damage when straightening

Heat and hair are not friends, we’ve established that, but there’s no reason for you to put your flat irons in the trash. Heat protectant products, although not a magic potion, can reduce damage dramatically by protecting the cuticle layer we mentioned earlier. Our Dove Style+Care Smooth and Shine Heat Protection Spray is infused with lightweight conditioners – nixing frizz and fly-aways while boosting the hair’s defenses against damaging heat exposure. And if that weren’t enough, it provides an injection of shine, as well as extending the life of your freshly-straightened style. Remember to always dry your hair with a blow-dryer before using your flat iron, and start at the lowest temperature possible when using your flat iron.

How to repair damaged hair from straightening

Just like there’s no miracle cure for preventing heat damage, the same goes for repairing existing damage. Unlike your skin, hair can’t regenerate, so it’s up to you to trim split ends, nourish and strengthen with the right products, and futureproof your strands before heat styling. Invest in a shampoo and conditioner that deliver nourishment while they cleanse, such as Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner which leave your hair looking and feeling healthy. If you chemically color your hair, then this guidance is particularly important, and you might want to lean towards products designed to keep your color vibrant, such as our Dove Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner. Armed with the right products, you can continue to straighten, but with your hair’s long-term health still in mind. Now get swishing.

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