How to Prevent Heat Damage to Your Hair

You know that amazing feeling of fresh, healthy hair, just after a cut and color or a great hair mask? If only our hair could feel like that 24-7, right?

I have a love-hate relationship with hair tools because while they allow me to achieve my signature beachy waves that I love so dearly, they have also done some serious damage to my hair over time.

Unless you've committed to going au natural with your hair, heat damage is something that we all struggle with. In today's post, I want to share some of my tips that I have gathered from my colorists, stylists and my own trial & error, on how to prevent heat damage to your hair.

How to Prevent Heat Damage


No1: Use a heat protectant

The science behind heat damage is actually pretty interesting! Too much heat can damage the keratin proteins that keep your hair strong, which in turn strips moisture from the inside of your hair strand and cracks the cuticle, leaving brittle, dry hair. Think of a heat protectant like sunscreen. You should never be without it when there's heat.

You guys know Kevin Murphy is one of my ride-or-die brands. Over the last few weeks, I've had the opportunity to try one of KM's brand new launches, which I'm so excited to share with ya! This product officially launches on November 1st, so stay tuned on socials for more information about where and when you can shop it! 

HEATED.DEFENSE is a heat protectant, which not only helps to bind the damaged regions of your hair, but also helps condition and strengthen while protecting against future damage. This easy-to-use weightless and invisible foam provides protection up to 450 degrees, and can be applied it to damp or dry hair. This has become something I use in my routine both preventatively (not just when I'm styling) and before curling, and my hair is totally thanking me for it.

No2: Lower the temp!

Most hair tools these days will have heat settings as high as 450-degrees, but do we really need something that hot on our hair?

I used to absent-mindedly turn the heat to the max, not thinking about how damaging it was to my hair, before I learned that you really only need a setting of about 200 degrees for fine hair, and between 200-350 degrees for thick hair.

No3: Make sure it's as dry as a bone

I hope this one is a no-brainer! Next to a blow dryer, don't ever put a hot tool on your hair when even the slightest bit damp. Your hair should be as dry as a bone.

When you apply heat to damp hair, you're frying it like an egg (you might even hear it sizzle). Furthermore, when hair is damp, it's much more fragile than when it's dry.

No4: Trim + nourish regularly

If we're styling with any kind of heat, dead ends are inevitable. Help keep your hair healthy by trimming it regularly. To keep my hair nourished, I'll also do a bi-monthly hair mask.


No5: Shop for tools with Ionic and/or Tourmaline technology

Ionic hair dryers generate negative ions that break up water molecules to dry hair faster. Faster dry time = less heat damage.

Tourmaline (which you'll most often see with higher-end straighteners) also emits negative ions that counteract the positive ions present in dry or damaged hair, resulting in smooth, shiny hair, while sealing in moisture and counteracting frizz.

No6: Cut down your styling time

Find a way to give your hair a break from heat as many times a week as possible. One way I cut down on heat is by air drying my hair every time I shower. The only time I blow dry is if I'm in a rush and need my hair washed and dried all at once!

When it comes to curling my hair, I try to follow an 'every other day' rule. For example, I'll style my hair on day one, and on day two, I'll use a product like Kevin Murphy's HAIR.RESORT to bring my waves back to life without using any heat. By day 3, I usually need a touch up and some dry shampoo, and then I'll start the process over again.

When it comes down to it, all it takes are a few simple tweaks to your current routine to prevent heat damage and keep your hair nice and healthy!

prevent heat damage

Thank you, KEVIN.MURPHY, for partnering with me on this post!