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It’s a common question I hear: “What products should I use to protect my hair?”

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Posted on December 27 2016

This very question comes from my Beauty Guests who regularly use heat styling tools, including curling and flat irons, and the hair dryer. Hair trends come and go, but heat styling remains a key to achieving the latest in-style look.

It’s been a long-standing marketing technique for companies to come out with heat protectant products. These conventional products are loaded with silicones and plastics, which are meant to cosmetically add shine to hair, yet consumers don’t realize the true effect these ingredients have on hair.

Unfortunately, these ingredients don’t protect hair at all. They are designed to coat the hair and secure it, much like saran wrap secures your food. Hair is unable to absorb any moisture. Instead of protected, hair is dehydrated and starved for nutrients, while next it is blasted with heat, which further dehydrates and damages hair. It’s a recipe for unhealthy hair, which is the exact opposite of what the consumer wants.

The vicious cycle continues as consumers have the false impression that their desired product will protect hair. Heat styling continues compounds the problem. Hair continues to be starved and thirsty.

To stop this unhealthy cycle, and allow hair to breathe and absorb nutrients and moisture, I like to speak in terms of preparation. It’s the idea that hair is like plant energy, and needs hydration, water and nutrients. Hair can withstand a certain amount of heat application on a regular basis with proper preparation.

One of the first steps I ask my Beauty Guests to do: take inventory of hair, health and hair care. These questions include:

  • Are you color treating your hair, or using another chemical process?
  • What status is your hair currently in?
  • What’s your general health and nutrition?
  • Are you drinking enough water?
  • What’s your stress level?
  • Are you taking vitamins, including Vitamin B and Biotin?
  • Do you use one or more heat styling tools?

Healthy hair care starts in the shower with the proper shampoo and conditioner. Consumers often don’t realize many conventional shampoos and conditioners do contain silicones. Be sure to check your labels.

The next step: hydration, hydration, hydration. This includes lots of water while also selecting the right products for your hair. Here are the recommendations I make to my Beauty Guests based on hair texture:

Fine Hair, Minimal Chemical Treatments

Medium Hair, Minimal Chemical Treatments

Coarse Hair, Heavy Chemical Treatments

When your hair is fully hydrated and moisturized, hair has the nutrients it needs and is properly prepared for heat styling. Plus, every hair type can enjoy heat styling, too.   Now that you’re a savvy consumer, you have insight on how to keep your hair healthy while showing off any hair trend currently in style.

Joanne Starkman, Founder Innersense Organic Beauty and Stylist

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