Heat styling tools such as curling irons, curling wands and flat irons operates on high heat with direct contact with hair. They dry out your hair and can be damaging with frequent and prolonged uses, these include causing split ends and breakages.

Hair dryers, on the other hand, are held a little away from the hair at lower temperatures. Check out our article “letting hair dry naturally may cause more damage than using a hairdryer” for tips on how to protect your hair when using a hairdryer.

Here is a list of steps you can take to protect your hair from curling irons, curling wands and flat irons:    

Choose a good quality tool

Choose a good quality tool to limited damage to your hair. Ideally, the heat-styling tool should heat up quickly and emits even heat.

The best barrel materials to conduct heat on your hair are:

  • Ceramic – Ceramic barrels heat up evenly, glide easily on your hair and avoid static to your hair. However, ceramic barrels do not support high-temperature setting.
  • Tourmaline – Tourmaline barrels heats evenly and produces negative ions and leaves hair frizz-free.
  • Titanium – Titanium barrels heat evenly and quickly. They can support very high temperatures.


Ideally, get a tool with different heat setting. A lower setting is suitable for thin hair while thicker hair required higher settings to achieve the desired curls. Temperatures vary, roughly from 185°C onwards. Avoid very high temperatures, temperature above 450°F or 232°C burns and causes damages to your hair. Hair products on your hair may make heat feels hotter. It is more prudent to avoid the maximum mark before hair burns and settle for a lower range.

Limit each section of the hair to less than 5 seconds with the tool

To limit damage to your hair, spend 3-4 seconds only for each section of your hair.

Section your hair

Take a section of your hair and make sure you do not take a large section whereby it does not take the curl.

Do not re-visit done sections

To limit heat-damage, do not re-visit done sections of hair.

Use only on Dry Hair

To avoid a ‘sizzle’ on your hair, avoid using the heat-styling tool on wet or semi-wet hair. Only work the appliance on dry hair to limit the damage.

Use a hair heat-protector

Use a heat protector containing silicone on your hair before using the heat-styling tool. A spray form will be more convenient. The silicone-based protector coats your hair, which forms a protective layer to seal in moisture and insulate against heat.


Style as desired and use a hair spray on your hair to keep the look.

After care

Keep your hair in a healthy state by regularly conditioning your hair and ensuring your hair gets all the help it needs to keep dry hair at bay.