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Heat from styling appliances can and do damage hair unless you use a heat protectant like the Olaplex #7 Oil.

First, heat can weaken and destroy the proteins that hair is composed of.

Second, heat can disrupt the natural oils in hair that help hold it together.

Third, heat can dry out hair by boiling off internal moisture.

After this kind of heat exposure hair can be damaged much more easily which leads to split and broken hairs.

Hair Heat Protection?

Can heat activated/heat protectant products really help? First, you must understand that these terms don’t mean the same thing. Heat activated is more of a marketing term that doesn’t really mean much. It just means that the ingredients in the formula do “something” different when exposed to heat. Fragrance, for example, can be encapsulated so that it releases when exposed to heat. Styling products can be heat activated because certain polymers they contain melt and spread better when heat is applied. So, just because a product is heat activated doesn’t mean it offers heat protection.

Heat protection, on the other hand, is a “real claim” or at least as real as a hair care claim can be. Heat protection products work by coating the hair and lubricating it during heat styling. This conditioning effect reduces the amount of damage caused by blowdryers, curling irons and flat irons.

Heat tolerance (in this case measured by smoke point of the oil) is only one factor to consider. You also need to look at how the product lubricates hair. You can experiment with oils if you want DIY heat protection but be careful: oils alone can create drag which could slow down the flat iron as it passes through your hair, so it could end up doing more damage.

Good heat protectants should also help offset the drying effects of heat. Ideally you want a combination of dimethicone, glycerin or other moisturizers to lock in water and a low molecular weight polymer that can penetrate and help prevent heat from cracking the cuticles.

Oils behave very similarly to silicones by creating protective barriers from bad things like heat

Some oils can remain intact at extremely high temperatures, but they are often the heavier oils that can weigh the hair down. Formulating chemists will combine synthetic ingredients like silicones with the natural goodness of oils to provide an improved customer experience when using the product. Therefore, silicone-based heat protectants are more likely to give you the benefits you originally wanted out of oils.

Many heat protectant products contain silicones like dimethicone, or cyclomethicone and which work extremely well at coating the hair and creating a thin, water repelling, heat-resistant protection.

There are natural oils that act like silicones and will protect the hair from heat

Only a few oils make good heat protectants like Argan oil, Linseed oil, Zea Mays (corn oil), Granatum Seed oil (pomegranate Seed Oil) and Obliphica Berry Oil.

The biggest thing is to turn down the iron settings when styling.

Fine Hair- 200 to 275 degrees

Medium Hair - 275 to 325 degrees

Coarse Hair - 325 to 400 degrees and never any higher unless you are doing a Keratin Treatment which usually requires a 450 degree iron. Hotter is NOT better!

Most stylists flatirons go up to 450 degrees and if you are using it at that high temp then you need to use a heat protectant that is rated to 450 degrees, not all heat protectants are and not all oils are heat rated to that high of a degree.

Olaplex #7 is heat rated to 450 degrees.

Special thank you to:

Perry Romanowski, Erica Douglas and Mags Kavanaugh


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