Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hot tools: Switching Technologies and the Danger

Of course, a roller set service is the best option for curl and body in the hair. However, if you have to use heat at home, then the older model hot tools with ceramic plates and adjustable temperature dial are the best choice! I have been really leading the push toward discontinuing the use of "ionic" (infrared heated) tools. Repeatedly, the ionic tools such as the FHI Heat Runway iron deliver great shine and long lasting curls with the flip of your wrist, but after two or three usages, the hair seems to become more resistant to holding curls no matter what your hair texture. By the second day, the hair is flat and limp. I believe that the infrared heat which heats from the inside out actually is permanently "cooking" the internal structure of the hair. The damage can not be seen immediately, but with continued use, within a year to three years depending on your hair texture, it may break all of a sudden. Also, without extra protein support, hair will break sooner than later. However, the extra protein support plus dry, hot weather can cause breakage without the use of a hot tool. Using the ionic flat irons leads toward a "no-win" situation. So you have bought the most expensive ionic flat irons plus your flat iron serums, and you have been flat-ironing for months because the flat iron manufacturers told us that the "ionic flat irons smooth the hair better and help retain moisture." So have you seen all the frizz and flyways that people are experiencing? Then they are sold on the $250 "Keratin Treatments" to calm down the frizz? However, a 450 degree ionic flat iron is used to infuse or "cook" the solution on to the hair. Then hair breakage caused by "whatever causes" forces all races to look at hair extensions as a way to look glamourous. Then removal of the hair extensions could potentially cause even more damage. Okay. It is time to stop the madness. The tools that have been around for generations before all of the "new technology" did not cause so much damage. Did it? It is time to go back to what was working. Historically, we all have to cycle back when it comes to trends, shoes, clothes, style, and now hair.
Okay. Now that I may have your attention, I have to also warn you. The old school tools heat the hair from the outside in. This is called direct heat. The ionic tools heat from the inside out. This is called infrared heat. So their technologies are completely opposite. You probably are thinking exactly where I am going with this statement. Switching the technology may cause the hair to become more vulnerable to breakage because the hair strands would have experienced heat application from both directions. So if you can avoid heat for about six months to a year by just roller setting or just trying more textured looks without the heat until the hair that has been possibly damaged by the infrared heat is trimmed off. Pictured are some more old school hot tools with adjustable temperatures. These are more home friendly than a "stove and marcel iron." Almost forgot what these tools looked like? Applying heat on soiled hair is never a good thing. Limiting hot tool usage is a must toward maintaining length. This article is "food for thought." I have seen enough consistent results in all hair types and in all age ranges to without a doubt say that I personally refuse to use another "ionic" flat iron on my own hair, and I was a "flat iron queen." I had all sizes, varieties, and brands from Paul Mitchell to Chi to FHI Heat to Croc. Over$1500 in tools only to go in storage . . . better late than never. Please encourage your hair stylist to read this article; clients do not need to be salon hopping between hair stylists using the ionic flat irons and the stove/marcel irons without understanding the potential challenges associated with the switching. If the hair is destined to break from the prolonged ionic flat iron usage; then that destiny may not be avoided even with switching back to the old technology. You may go backwards before you go forward. Prepare for long-term results and some short-term challenges. Hair grows a half inch a month on average. A biotin supplement can give hair growth an added boost. Please see separate article on biotin. Hopefully, the beauty industry as a whole can get back on track with long-term healthy hair versus short-term style.

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