Now you are kind of worried. Will I be able to heat style my natural gray hair?
Do I need to switch to different heat styling products?
Don’t worry even I was surrounded by these questions. And I came up with some surprising facts that I never knew.
I am sure you wanna know them all..So keep on reading girl!
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So first thing first!
Gray Hair is more prone to heat damage, as its porous and don’t have its own color. Chances of showing the damage from heat is more than pigmented or colored hair.
So shall I give up styling my hair ?
Its just we need to be a bit more careful while applying heat on our natural gray hair so that we may not loose/damage our hard earned silvers.
Consequences of using heat tools on gray hair:
Above are the only points of concern while using hot tools on gray hair.
So let us see how can we continue heat styling our natural silvers reducing the damage.
The most common symptom of damage from using a flat iron or a curling iron on natural gray hair is hair turns either green or yellow.
Color green is a sign of mineral deposits on hair that can be due to the presence of calcium in the water that turns green due to the application of heat on gray hair.
To get the green out, use a mineral/hard water shampoo. It works well on hard water.
If gray hair turns yellow after heat styling, it can be due to the burning of residue or the products we have applied on our hair or it indicates that the heat is burning the hair.
So this is the difference between using hot tools on pigmented/coloured hair and natural gray hair.
To avoid the discoloration and the damage to our natural mane we need to invest in good heat tools and also good products.
So let’s start with heat styling products and know more about them…
If you have been using a very good quality of heat protectant on your hair prior going gray, carry on with it.
Else its time for you to switch for a trustworthy product that may provide insulation for high temperature.
Its merely impossible to imagine using heat on our hair without a guard to minimize the possible damage.
This makes use of heat protectants vital before heat styling gray hair.
Before buying a heat protectant for gray hair:
Always check the label before purchasing!
Generally quality heat protectants contain humectants( like propylene glycol), amino acids( keratin), natural oils and extracts. Also silicones ( like Cyclomethicone) for providing insulation for high temperature.
For gray hair we need to be extra careful before purchasing any product as gray hair is naturally dry, brittle and coarser in some cases than pigmented hair.
The product must not contain any harsh chemicals that may harm our fragile hair like sulfates and alcohol that may lead to loss of moisture and increase frizz and dryness further.
Best suitable heat protectant for your hair:
There are different types of heat protectants like sprays, serums, oils, lotions and creams.
Women with thin and fine hair mostly prefer to go for a spray as it doesn’t weigh down their hair.
Others who have thick or coarse hair prefer to use serums, oils, creams or leave-in-conditioners along with sprays.
Heat protectants are both silicone based and non silicone based.
Silicone Based Heat Protectants:
Although it is suggested not to use silicone based products on natural gray hair as they tend to coat the hair cuticles. It may result in looking gray hair lifeless and dull.
But the truth is that there is no other ingredient that can protect our hair from heat to a maximum temperature of 300℃ .
Silicone rubber is generally non-reactive, stable, and resistant to extreme environments and temperatures from −55 to 300 °C (−67 to 572 °F) while still maintaining its useful properties. (Wikipedia)
Silicone does not have a melting point and remains solid until combustion occurs.
Silicone based heat protectants are generally resilient to mild shampoos.
For us with natural gray hair where we avoid build-ups, it can be a deal breaker.
To get rid of the residue, a good clarifying shampoo wash is a must in a week or two, depending on the frequency of use of heat on our hair.
The temporary solution to disguise the yellowness is ofcourse a purple shampoo/conditioner. But to get rid of the residue from hair is clarification.
Its not necessary to use clarifying shampoo every time to remove impurities from your hair. There are other methods too like ACV rinse or kaolin clay wash.
Silicone-Free Heat Protectants:
If you have made a switch to sulfate and silicone free products then these are the protectants that are for you.
Silicones have a property of weighing down hair if used frequently.
So if you have thin hair or don’t have much volume in your hair, go for silicone free heat protectants.
Or if you have oily hair, silicones can add some extra burden to your hair. So silicone free heat protector can keep your hair and scalp lighter.
If gray hair is fragile and can be damaged by heat, so do I need to invest in new hot tools?
Answer is NO!!!!!
Until and unless your hair don’t need very high heat to be styled.
High heat is the only point of concern with hot tools as the chances of damage are highest.
Here flat irons or straighteners made from high quality materials like titanium, ceramic and tourmaline are good for gray hair as they can serve hair shafts better by even distribution of heat.
Also the plates of these tools emit negative ions which works great on frizzy hair, that’s what we need for our natural gray hair.
Negative ions capture moisture of our hair, minimize static and promote its shine.
Generally ceramic irons are suitable for normal and thin hair whereas titanium for coarse and thick hair
Tourmaline flat irons are also good at reducing frizz and static. Works well for coarse, wiry or tightly coiled hair.
Flat irons suitable for gray hair:
Our second point of concern is to strengthen and restore the lost moisture and elasticity to help prevent breakage and dryness on gray hair.
Switching to protein rich shampoo and conditioners is vital but to maximize the strengthening results, Here are a few ways to get the life back-
If hot tools is your addiction, it may damage the tips of your hair over a period of time.
In that case you may need to cut off the damaged section of hair.
Or you may use temporary colors to the tips of your hair or even apply it all over.
It’s a fantastic way of hiding the damage without compromising the length of hair.
Something like these-
The best way to prevent damage caused by heat tools is avoiding it. If you are heat styling addict learn to take care of your natural gray hair with strengthening products.
Its better to invest and pay high price on branded tools rather than wasting money on cheap low quality tools that may damage your silvers.
Its good to take a break from heat styling every once in a while.
Trim dead/split ends from time to time to get rid of the damaged part of hair.
Turn down the temperature. Most hair can be styled using temperature between 300 to 380 degrees.
Have a safe styling!