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Are You Flat Ironing Your Hair At The Right Temperature?

Your hair type and condition make all the difference.
February 20, 2020

When it comes to using heat styling tools, there are best practices to keep in mind in order to cause the least amount of damage to your hair as possible. For one, heat protectant is a must, but are you aware that the temperature of your heat tools is equally as important? While your heat protectant may shield your hair against high temperatures, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should be turning the dial all the way up. If you’ve ever wondered what the best temperature for straightening your hair is, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’re sharing the details on what temperature your flat iron should be based on your hair type. 


What’s The Ideal Temperature For Straightening Your Hair?

Is there an ideal flat iron temperature for achieving straight strands? Yes — and no. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to what the best temperature for straightening hair is, the right temperature will be the lowest setting that allows you to achieve straight strands with a single pass of your flat iron. There are a few factors that can contribute to how hot your flat iron should be, and we’re diving into them below.


1. Hair type 

Certain hair types are easier to straighten than others. Thick, curly hair tends to require a higher heat setting — and a bit more work — in order to be transformed into straight strands. On the other hand, those with fine or nearly straight hair can typically get away with much lower temperatures.

According to Jonathan Colombini, celebrity hairstylist and L’Oréal Paris expert, “fine hair textures should stay in the 350–375 degree range, but for more coarse or thick hair, 400–450 degrees is appropriate.” 


2. Hair Damage

If your hair is damaged, it’s a good idea to keep your flat iron temperature as low as possible and avoid straightening your hair as much as you can in the first place. Already damaged hair can become even more damaged when high temperatures are used on it. The same goes for color-treated hair — excessive heat can also cause your color to fade.


Editor’s Tip: If you do have hair damage as a result of excessive heat styling, bleaching or coloring, start the repair process with a shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for those hair care concerns. The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Bond Strengthening Color Care Conditioner work to strengthen the hair by reinforcing weak hair bonds.  


3. The Heat Protectant You’re Using 

While heat protectant is a must if you’re using hot tools, it’s important to stay in range of the temperature listed on your product. If your protectant says it shields against temperatures up to 350 degrees, your flat iron shouldn’t be hotter than that. Exceeding this number will prevent your heat spray or cream from doing its job. If you’re looking for a heat protectant that can shield against very high temperatures, go for the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Pre-Iron Spray Leave-In which protects from heat damage of up to 450 degrees. 

Next: 4 Reasons Why I Keep Getting An Annual Keratin Treatment

Edited and photographed by: Alyssa Kaplan

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