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View Full Version : Tell me, is it REALLY damaging?



Indigostreams
May 13th, 2013, 08:42 PM
So today I got a trim at the salon.I told the hairdresser to please not use a flat iron on my hair, as I do not want to damage it, since I'm growing it long. She listened. But what she did do however, was use a round bristle brush and a blow dryer on high heat on it. And she put that magical conditioner whatever-it-is that hairdressers use to make your hair so shiny, bouncy, and soft. And my hair looks so nice! It makes me want to do it like that everyday! But I know my goal is to ultimately have long, healthy hair. It's just that I am in such an awkward shoulder-length stage right now, and my hair looks rather pathetic without styling it. Or at least now that it has been styled, It does to me. So my question is, would it really cause damage and destroy my dream of having long healthy hair if I just blow dried my hair with a round brush every so often?

bradlea
May 13th, 2013, 09:03 PM
As far as I know, it really depends on your hair. I would say that you'd be incurring some major damage if you do it every day, but once in a while is fine for most hair! I think it's a matter of what else you do to it that is damaging. Like for me, I grew out my virgin color and heat style it maybe twice a month. If it's the only damaging thing you do and you take really good care of your hair otherwise, I don't see why it can't still be long and healthy with occasional blow-outs.

panffle
May 13th, 2013, 09:05 PM
Yes, it would... Try to keep the hairdrier on a cool setting, if possible. Damage will not show up right away, but when it does it's not so good as your hair feels at this moment. :(

alexis917
May 13th, 2013, 09:09 PM
That depends. Heat is damaging, but certain hair types are more resistant.
It all varies according to your hair type. If you have super thin, fine hair, braids- widely considered awesome around here- could cause breakage.
Technically, the friction of your hair swishing against your clothes is damaging.
That aside, if you compensate for occassional heat you should be fine!
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Every time you touch your hair, it's "damaging." Just don't heat style daily.

blondie9912
May 13th, 2013, 09:39 PM
I honestly wouldn't recommend it, unfortunately. I'm in that awkward shoulder-length area as well (cut my hair into a long bob to get rid of dye and am now growing out my natural colour) and my hair looks INFINITELY better when straightened. Seriously, if I let it air dry I look like a soccer mom with over-layered, poofy curls (even though I don't HAVE layers in my hair!). I'm wearing my hair up all the time now, and only straightening it every few weeks/once a month when I feel I *really* need to look nice. Nothing against the occasional blow-dry, but you will incur damage by heat-styling on a regular basis (unless you have incredibly coarse, resilient hair). To compound that, you will get used to how sleek and shiny your styled hair looks, and will feel even worse about your natural texture.

Stick it out and keep it natural! :)

cowgirllong
May 13th, 2013, 11:20 PM
Styling is really tempting, but I wouldn't. When your hair gets to hip length, you'll start regretting it. I think there are a lot of really cute things to do with hair your length that don't involve heat and nasty chemical laden products. Visit Youtube.

jacqueline101
May 14th, 2013, 02:14 AM
The high heat can be damaging.

Fantak
May 14th, 2013, 02:41 AM
Have you tried steam curlers? They might give you the bouncy shiny hair you crave without the heat damage..

I also second the YMMV opinions. My hair doesn't mind being bleached and coloured but it is incredibly prone to mechanical damage so much so that I can't wear it down because the rubbing against clothes and chairs break it off at BSL :( (and that was when it was all virgin on colour no heat hair!)

MaryO
May 14th, 2013, 03:18 AM
I used to blow dry my hair every second day and when I moved to a few warm climate I didn't blow dry it for about 6 months (just too hot!!) I have to say I didn't really see such a big difference in my hair; I have since started blow drying again on a cool setting as it's getting to winter time and again didn't notice a change in condition (monitoring it carefully!)

But I have to agree with bradlea: it depends on your hair and I seriously believe that few thing work the same way for everyone.

Just to mention- I have also been at a weird length for quite some time and velcro rollers have really helped me with styling. I have also seen a wrapping technique on this site to straighten hair without heat, which you might want to try?

Mesmerise
May 14th, 2013, 03:46 AM
I agree that it depends on your hair type. Some hair is remarkably resistant to damage, while other hair needs to be treated like antique lace (or so I've heard!). The worst thing I EVER did to my hair was straighten it with heat... honestly, I've done a lot to my hair, and it's withstood a great deal before it was badly damaged, but just straightening it with heat (not very frequently) was enough to make it a frizzy messy disaster. Honestly, heat did to my hair what dye, bleach and perming or straightening (chemically) never did!

ghost
May 14th, 2013, 03:50 AM
It really depends on your hair. Some people can grow their hair pretty long, at least to waist or hip, and it's strong enough that heat styling isn't a problem for them. There was a girl at my high school who had hair like that -it was somewhere in between hip and tailbone, and she said she blew it out every time she washed it (every other day or every day) and flat ironed a few times a week. It might seem weird that I've committed that to memory, but it's because I was stunned/impressed...that would never work for me.

Personally, I don't think blow drying is the root of all evil. It's probably better not to do it every day, and to use a warm setting rather than a hot one (not to mention a lower speed, if you have that option) even if it takes more time to dry. I'd say if you really want to blow dry, get your hair to about 80% dry first via towel drying or air drying, then blow dry til it's about 90-95% dry, then let it air dry the rest of the way.

spidermom
May 14th, 2013, 07:39 AM
I think pulling/stretching wet hair with that round brush is more damaging than the blow dryer itself. I use a shower comb to control my hair, avoid pulling, and keep the blow-dryer on warm at the scalp, cool at the ends. I don't think that does much damage.

door72067
May 14th, 2013, 07:41 AM
giving up blow drying was probably the best thing I've done for my hair

straightening with the dryer and a brush caused me much breakage/damage (I didn't realize this at the time, this is hindsight)

that said, I do use and InStyler at times, and I've honestly not seen any real damage from that (unlike a flat iron, which killed my hair)

when I use the InStyler, the straightening lasts me until I wash again and I only do it every few months or so, just for something different (when the humidity is low, if the humidity is up, there's no use in trying for *straight* for me)


as others said, your hair may be ok with the dryer, but you won't really know for a while and by then it could be too late and you'd be needing to cut off the damage

Indigostreams
May 14th, 2013, 08:10 AM
I think pulling/stretching wet hair with that round brush is more damaging than the blow dryer itself. I use a shower comb to control my hair, avoid pulling, and keep the blow-dryer on warm at the scalp, cool at the ends. I don't think that does much damage.
Yes Spider mom, this is what I'm most worried about. I have read a few times around here that using the blow dryer on a cool setting has not caused any damage for many LHCers. I bet I could achieve a good look to my hair if I did that, but I think the brush is what really gets the look. But I know it's not good to brush through wet hair! Many of you have mentioned that it depends on what each person's hair can personally handle...and although I'm just beginning to learn about my own hair's needs, I'm pretty sure it is pretty fragile. My hair is baby fine, and thin. "as others said, your hair may be ok with the dryer, but you won't really know for a while and by then it could be too late and you'd be needing to cut off the damage." Right, maybe it's just not worth the risk. And I just might look into the velcro rollers thing. Or I might just continue to wear my hair up until it gets longer, and it looks better down in it's natural state. Thanks again to all of you, for your great advice! I also have one last thing that I'm wondering though....

If you do not happen to have super resilient hair, couldn't it just take ONE TIME of heat styling to cause permanent damage? Now I'm paranoid that letting her do that to my hair may have ruined all of my hard work at just letting it be! I haven't used heat on my hair for almost a year until now. :(

Anje
May 14th, 2013, 08:13 AM
In general, it adds up and becomes more and more necessary for you to do the heat styling for your hair to look presentable. Styling on healthy hair = Wow! Styling on damaged hair = OK. Lots of folks here have gotten sucked into that cycle, and while we all want you to be thrilled with your hair all the time, none of us want to see you show up in 6 months or 2 years with fried hair, talking about how nice it once was and how devastated you are that little pieces are breaking off every time you brush.

As everyone above me has said, some people have more luck with avoiding damage than others, but no matter what, your hair will be better off if you save such things for special occasions.

Indigostreams
May 14th, 2013, 08:17 AM
as others said, your hair may be ok with the dryer, but you won't really know for a while and by then it could be too late and you'd be needing to cut off the damage I meant to quote this in my last post...

meteor
May 14th, 2013, 12:19 PM
In general, it adds up and becomes more and more necessary for you to do the heat styling for your hair to look presentable. Styling on healthy hair = Wow! Styling on damaged hair = OK. Lots of folks here have gotten sucked into that cycle.
This!

I don't recommend blow-drying regularly. It depends on how resilient and coarse your hair is, if it's damaged or not, and how often you do this. But it IS damaging.
Besides, you mentioned the "magic" leave-in conditioner the hairdressers use. It's probably a coney serum, and it could be one of the big reasons why the hair looked so good after the blow-out. I say: leave the blow-dryer alone and get the serum!
If you do choose to turn to this blow-drying practice, please always remember to apply a heat protectant.
If you want to use a natural heat protectant, you can turn to oils with high ceramides content: grapeseed oil is great. Safflower oil, sunflower oil are some other alternatives.

Syaoransbear
May 14th, 2013, 12:26 PM
It damaged my hair and made it more unmanageable, that was that whole reason I took up straightening and then damaged my hair even more. Whenever I would blow dry my hair, it would blow dry completely straight and sleek. Then slowly my hair began to look frizzier and curlier even after I blow dried it because of damage. Then I started straightening my hair and the damage from that made it even MORE curly and frizzy until my hair was this short blob of frizz.

ravenreed
May 14th, 2013, 12:58 PM
I dyed my hair for years, but almost never used heat. I got to waist before I ran into trouble growing. I suspect that most hair can handle some abuse, but as you grow longer, such things will be harder for it to survive. Now that I switched to Elumen dyes, I have to sit under a hair dryer on hot for about 45 minutes. I do this every 5-6 weeks and my hair is just fine.

spidermom
May 14th, 2013, 01:47 PM
You might have gotten a little damage from one time, but I doubt you'll notice more than a few extra split ends. It's the time after time after time damage that becomes a major problem.

ravenreed
May 14th, 2013, 02:15 PM
What you need to decide is what your long-term goal is. Some people want to grow as long as possible as fast as possible. Those folks should avoid damage as much as they can. Others, like myself, want to enjoy their hair at every stage along the way. I took my time, did things that I knew might be damaging, and trimmed more often to deal with any splits or hair unhappiness. Overall I have been pretty happy with my hair, and there have been few stages that made me miserable.

Indigostreams
May 14th, 2013, 08:27 PM
Thank you everyone, such great advice. I think I've decided to just leave it alone. I really do like my natural waves. And although it was nice having Jennifer Aniston hair for a day, I don't wanna put my hair at risk. Just gotta keep my goal in mind to stay strong. I'm glad that I can see pictures of gorgeous natural hair from you all to inspire me to keep on keepin on. :)

Bagginslover
May 15th, 2013, 03:29 AM
I think you've made a good choice. You can always keep the styling option for special events, once in a blue moon won't cause so much damage that you'd have to chop :)

4C4rly4
May 15th, 2013, 03:46 AM
Honestly, I don't think it's THAT damaging as people here say it is. Of course it damages your hair, but it's not like you'll never have soft, shiny hair again. Ever since I cut my hair to chin length in December, I've been straightening it with a 375 degree iron practically every day and my hair still looks and feels shiny, healthy, and very soft. I even get compliments on it every now and then. And I've kept my hair care routine the same as before, too, so it's not like there is something else that's keeping my hair this healthy. All I do is shampoo, condition, ACV rinse, and use a leave in conditioner. That's it. So I think you have nothing to worry about. Style your hair however you want it! Just don't back comb or use TOO many products, cuz that will eventually cause a lot of damage.

Anabell
May 15th, 2013, 04:43 AM
I think that you don't have to damage your hair to style it. There hair dryers with warm and cool options (in addition to the hot option). This ones will be less damaging (or not at all- I don't think that the cool one cause damage) and can give you the same effect. You also can do heatless curls and waves in different methods (sock buns, sleep with french braid or paranda, sock curls and etc.). Try put some oil for the shine. The damage for your hair from heat styling really depend on your hair type. There some hair types that prone to splits and there some that not. Course hair strands (most of the time) get less damage than fine hair. I know that my hair always look fabulous after visiting hair salon. But this is illusion. It is temporary effect. people that visit often hair salons (for heat styling and bleaching)- their hair will be in a bad condition and eventually they will be dependent on this treatments (to make it look at least presentable) which make their hair look even worst.

Quahatundightu
May 15th, 2013, 11:37 PM
I also think it's a better idea not to heat style too often. If your goal was waist or shorter, it wouldn't be such a big deal, but for many, if not most people, to get to TB or longer it is necessary to take really good care of your hair.

Syaoransbear
May 16th, 2013, 12:50 AM
Honestly, I don't think it's THAT damaging as people here say it is. Of course it damages your hair, but it's not like you'll never have soft, shiny hair again. Ever since I cut my hair to chin length in December, I've been straightening it with a 375 degree iron practically every day and my hair still looks and feels shiny, healthy,nd very soft. I even get compliments on it every now and then. And I've kept my hair care routine the same as before, too, so it's not like there is something else that's keeping my hair this healthy. All I do is shampoo, condition, ACV rinse, and use a leave in conditioner. That's it. So I think you have nothing to worry about. Style your hair however you want it! Just don't back comb or use TOO many products, cuz that will eventually cause a lot of damage.

But to be fair, you have shoulder length hair. You can do whatever you want to hair that length and damage probably won't show up. Hair that is longer like waist length and beyond is much more fragile and some people have issues with splits even without using ANY heat at those lengths. I just know that I had obvious damage and a visible change in hair texture after about two years of blow drying and my hair was BSL. Then my hair got so damaged that it looked bad when it air dried AND when I blow dried it, so I started using a straightener. Then obviously it started to look even more terrible and I had to keep cranking up the heat. It really can begin a vicious cycle of needing to damage your hair more and more just to make it look okay.

ravenreed
May 16th, 2013, 12:59 AM
I agree with Syaoransbear. At shoulder I could do anything to my hair, but when I grew longer, I had to treat it much more carefully. Every stage longer it goes it gets more difficult to keep healthy. Again it comes down to someone's long term goals. For some that means avoiding all potential damage.


Honestly, I don't think it's THAT damaging as people here say it is. Of course it damages your hair, but it's not like you'll never have soft, shiny hair again. Ever since I cut my hair to chin length in December, I've been straightening it with a 375 degree iron practically every day and my hair still looks and feels shiny, healthy, and very soft. I even get compliments on it every now and then. And I've kept my hair care routine the same as before, too, so it's not like there is something else that's keeping my hair this healthy. All I do is shampoo, condition, ACV rinse, and use a leave in conditioner. That's it. So I think you have nothing to worry about. Style your hair however you want it! Just don't back comb or use TOO many products, cuz that will eventually cause a lot of damage.


But to be fair, you have shoulder length hair. You can do whatever you want to hair that length and damage probably won't show up. Hair that is longer like waist length and beyond is much more fragile and some people have issues with splits even without using ANY heat at those lengths. I just know that I had obvious damage and a visible change in hair texture after about two years of blow drying and my hair was BSL. Then my hair got so damaged that it looked bad when it air dried AND when I blow dried it, so I started using a straightener. Then obviously it started to look even more terrible and I had to keep cranking up the heat. It really can begin a vicious cycle of needing to damage your hair more and more just to make it look okay.

HintOfMint
May 16th, 2013, 10:03 PM
The way she did it with HIGH heat and the nozzle right up against your hair in usual hairdresser style, yeah that's going to be damaging. Maybe not right away, and maybe not after even a few times, but do it often enough, and the damage will show.

chen bao jun
May 17th, 2013, 02:46 PM
I think you made the right choice, considering your eventual goal. If you are keeping your hair short, you can do what you like, the damage will get trimmed off every six weeks. As someone above said, most people can get away with it probably up to bra strap (though not those whose hair is extremely fine) and coarse people can get away with it past that, but if you're planning on extremely long hair, those ends are eventually going to be very old and if they're ALSO very fragile from abusive treatment, you will either have breaking hair or unattractive hair. I think most people in real life don't even recognize when their hair is damaged a lot of the time, since its the default. 9 out of 10 women I see in real life, once they are past teenaged have damaged or fried looking hair, but so long as its past shoulder length and has some silicone on it to make it look shiny, people don't recognize this. People no longer know what healthy hair looks like and I hear women all the time saying how its too bad we grow out of having pretty hair like children do, not realizing that children are not fried!