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View Full Version : Will using heat damage your hair/stunt hair growth?



lilenz
May 17th, 2016, 08:03 PM
SO..to make a long story short, I foolishly cut off my beautiful long hair (it was down to my hips) In November...however, the hairdresser made a mistake and ended up cutting it about an inch below my chin..

Needless to say, I lost my mind.

It has grown a few inches since then and now it is about 0.5 inches below by collarbone...I'm looking to grow it out down to my ribs (slightly shorter than it was before).

I used to use heat on my hair all the time, but about a month ago I cut it out of my hair routine all together (the growth rate of my hair has remained the same - it grows about 0.5 inches a month) ...but since my hair looks disgusting without some sort of styling, I've just been wearing it in a bun all day every day for a month (to the point where I have a headache at the end of the day). I've tried blow drying my hair on cool, but I have extremely thick hair and I only have about 45 minutes every morning to get ready and leave....it takes 45 minutes just to dry one side of my head, hahaha.

I wash my hair every 2 - 3 days with an all natural shampoo, I use an ACV rinse every time I wash my hair, I have a wooden brush to prevent static breakage when I brush my hair, and I have a very "hair healthy" diet..I've also started putting a "heat protecting" mask in my hair every night (even though I'm currently not using heat on my hair).

I'm really sick of wearing my hair in a bun all day every day because its the only hair style that actually looks good without heat.. I was wondering if I went back to using a flat iron every 2 - 3 days (on 350 degrees) if it would stunt the growth of my hair/damage it?

Any thoughts? Thanks! :)

Adorkable One
May 17th, 2016, 08:12 PM
It won't stunt growth. A flat iron doesn't have any affect on your hair's ability to grow unless there's some bizarre instance where you somehow burn yourself and damage your hair follicles. :P You just might find yourself having to trim your hair more often as damage builds up, thus making it appear as if your hair isn't growing.

I don't mind heat styling my hair, I only do it about once a month. Typically after I retouch my roots, because I like getting to enjoy my color. In some ways I feel like having my hair straight is beneficial when wearing my hair down because it doesn't tangle, and the texture is very smooth, hence it reduces friction. However that comes at the cost of heat, and the heat is definitely damaging. Once I wash my hair after having my hair straight all week, I can see new split ends already in my hair. So heat is definitely one of the fastest ways to damage your hair.

lithostoic
May 17th, 2016, 08:13 PM
It did for me. I couldn't grow my hair past APL until jyst recently when I was able to cut off the rest of my heat damage to collarbone length. My ends just kept breaking off and wouldn't allow my hair to get longer.

Horrorpops
May 17th, 2016, 08:14 PM
Hey, so curling wands and straightening irons can and will damage hair. Its just the nature of the beast.

Blow drying on a cooler temperature is better for your hair, and you can limit any damage by heat styling on the lowest temperature possible. But it'll still cause damage.

At collarbone length I did a lot of braids (http://hairstylesparlor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Long-side-braided-hairstyle-for-medium-length-thick-hair.jpg), half-ups (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/9a/8a/20/9a8a205312fffa77551c9b983b543768.jpg) and top knots (a (http://cosmouk.cdnds.net/cm/14/30/53d53b8f22990_-_hair-how-to-topknot-de.jpg) or b (https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/87/33/b0/8733b099d05d0aa83ccd8adc8e2c5590.jpg)).

These aren't the most protective styles in the world but they are cute and mean that you can make your hair look good without as much heat styling. :o The other thing to look into is heatless curls - the results can be a little unpredictable but they last wayyyyy longer than curls made by hot styling. But that would be another nice way to style your hair without damaging it.

Hope this helps!

teddygirl
May 17th, 2016, 08:51 PM
It doesn't stunt growth. Growth comes from your scalp. What happens is that it damages the rest of your hair, and it can break off so it seems like it's never growing. It's growing just fine, you just aren't seeing the length!

Have you tried washing and drying your hair at night? My hair takes a while to dry as well, so this is what I usually do.

Entangled
May 17th, 2016, 08:56 PM
It will damage your hair, but how much depends on your hair. Lots of things damage it, so don't let it scare you off if it helps you keep it manageable. Just keep in mind it should be used in moderation or minimally.

Heat won't stunt your growth. It can, however, stop length gain. Your hair will keep growing from your scalp, but if it's really damaged, it might be tricky to get past BSL because of breakage at a constant or higher rate than your growth.

Qz
May 17th, 2016, 09:57 PM
I'm not sure that it's fact that blow drying damages all hair, although some people certainly feel it damages theirs.

I've blow dried mine when it's been short and now that it's long again, and it doesn't seem to damage it at all. It may be that my hair is just tough or something, but it also looks better when I blow it dry, shinier, more body, etc. than when I air dry it.

The damage I had before cutting it all off and growing it out again fresh was from dyeing the stuff. And I do use my curling iron once in a while also, no damage there either that I can see. I just don't do it every day, or even every week. Mostly for those times I want to dress things up a bit when wearing my hair down.

Nique1202
May 18th, 2016, 05:26 AM
As has been stated above, heat won't stop your hair from growing at the roots but it will cause damage that builds up over time toward the ends, so you may end up getting a lot of split ends, white dots, or breakage to the point that it looks like it's not growing. All curling irons and straighteners will do this, but you can avoid heat damage with a blow-dryer on a low heat setting. Put it this way: if the air coming out of the blow-dryer is comfortable to your skin then it won't damage your hair either, but if it's so hot that it hurts your skin then it's likely to cause damage to your hair too.

As for wearing a bun, I suspect it's giving you a headache because your hair is still too short so you have to make it too tight. What is it about "every other style" that you don't like the look of? Why not ponytails now and then, since they have a little more give than most buns? Or even a half-up ponytail if you don't like hair around your face but can deal with the back being loose? You could also start to play with dutch and french braids at your length, one down the middle or one on either side or as a crown braid. There are styling options open to you, but some of them will take practice to get right.

Stepo_NiNha
May 18th, 2016, 07:28 AM
It doesn't stunt growth. Growth comes from your scalp. What happens is that it damages the rest of your hair, and it can break off so it seems like it's never growing. It's growing just fine, you just aren't seeing the length!

Have you tried washing and drying your hair at night? My hair takes a while to dry as well, so this is what I usually do.

This. What happens to your hair is not the growth that stops (since your hair grows from scalp and the folicles don't know what's happening out of them) but the incapicity of retaining length

This might not happen to everyone though, especially if your hair is coarse and thick. But I would not recommend either.

My recommendation is air drying but...

...I understand that you want your hair to behave. Try to wash your hair at night and blow dry in a cooler setting in the morning even if it means waking up half an hour earlier.

spidermom
May 18th, 2016, 07:57 AM
Another vote for blow-drying rather than the flat iron. Even on the hottest setting, blow dryers don't put out 350 degrees (yikes!).

lapushka
May 18th, 2016, 08:21 AM
Heat has nothing to do with growth.

A hot tool is not fine, but a blowdryer on cool/warm is. As long as you can hold your hand in the airstream for a *long* time without it burning your hand, it's *fine*!

Beborani
May 18th, 2016, 10:05 AM
What is your hairtype? Following some version of curly girl (even if you are slightly wavy) may give you the 'styled' look you want. I understood your question to mean effective growth-- in most cases poeple can grow upto a certain length while using flat iron--but if you ever get the bug to grow to even longer lengths then you may regret the damage or at the point you can cut it out and regrow.

molljo
May 18th, 2016, 08:51 PM
I'm curious about you mean by your hair looking "disgusting" without heat styling? This makes me think you have some curl or wave that you're trying to treat like straight hair, and if so, I agree with Beborani that you might benefit from some curly girl styling methods to work with your texture rather than against it.

lilenz
May 23rd, 2016, 10:01 PM
I'm curious about you mean by your hair looking "disgusting" without heat styling? This makes me think you have some curl or wave that you're trying to treat like straight hair, and if so, I agree with Beborani that you might benefit from some curly girl styling methods to work with your texture rather than against it.


My hair type is actually really hard to describe...the best I can put it is "generic witch hair" (I've had this hair type my entire life)... it's slightly frizzy (even though my scalp is oily) and it has a really bizarre cow-lick kind of wave to it....if that makes any sense. When my hair was long, it actually took on a nice wave sometimes; but now that it's short, it looks like I just got off of a windy/rainy broom ride, hahaha

Qz
May 24th, 2016, 10:56 AM
My hair type is actually really hard to describe...the best I can put it is "generic witch hair" (I've had this hair type my entire life)... it's slightly frizzy (even though my scalp is oily) and it has a really bizarre cow-lick kind of wave to it....if that makes any sense. When my hair was long, it actually took on a nice wave sometimes; but now that it's short, it looks like I just got off of a windy/rainy broom ride, hahaha

Haha, that's exactly what mine does, and why I do blow dry and curl it a bit to tame it into submission when I want to wear it down for something special!

It helped me growing it out to take a scrunchie and tie it up in a loose bun when it was still pretty short, around collarbone length I think. Got it out of the way and sort of fought the frizzy wildness thing, and it is very simple to do, no pins needed. Now that it's getting fairly long I braid it a lot which tames down the frizzy thing too and at least keeps it under control.

Betazed
May 26th, 2016, 10:55 AM
Have you tried heat-less styling? I know someone up there ^ mentioned heat-less curls, but there's also a way to do heat-less straightening. It doesn't turn out perfectly pin-straight like the effects of a flat-iron (at least, in my experience. It may be a technique issue on my part, though), but it can take out most waves. It's kind of a time consuming process and requires a lot of bobby-pins but anything is better than heatstyling, right?

Also, braids are always a good option. I couldn't have made it to hip length without the various braided styles I've learned from YouTube tutorials! (Thank you, TorrinPaige!! :p )

wispywinnie
May 26th, 2016, 04:19 PM
I know exactly how you feel! What I've come to learn is that heat damage keeps you from retaining length because either: a) you need to constantly need to trim off a lot of damage or b) because the damage is so bad that your ends keep breaking. My hair was in-between CBL and APL when I cut it NL a few weeks ago, and I've just been putting it in braids all the time. I do two french braids and sometimes I pin the ends because my hair curls on the end and I don't want to look like a child!

Give your hair some good love, I'm sure it doesn't look disgusting without heat! It's been taking me a while to find my perfect heat-free look!

lilenz
May 30th, 2016, 09:54 AM
I've actually tried a few heatless straightening styles, but because my hair is still kinda short, they end up just adding to my weird cowlick wave :P. But what's the way you were talking about? I haven't tried anything with a lot of bobby pins yet :D

YESSSS I love braids! They're sooo difficult to do when your hair is just below shoulder length though (with layers) but I absolutely love the way they look :)

kganihanova
May 30th, 2016, 10:42 AM
You will have more splits but it won't stop growth

Complexity
May 30th, 2016, 12:27 PM
I love braids! They're sooo difficult to do when your hair is just below shoulder length though (with layers) but I absolutely love the way they look :)

French/Dutch braiding should help keep the layering in better than your average English braid :)

Goatcraft
May 30th, 2016, 12:52 PM
Ironing, curling, blow drying.. All damaging. The least damaging way to style is blow drying, but it still dries out your hair - resulting in breakage. My sister is a hair stylist, and I got this information from her cosmetology books. I personally choose to blow dry, but if you can live without it - you should. Also, when you use heat it's recommended that you regularly trim to avoid split ends. Sadly, there's no way around it. Heat styling is damaging. Even blow drying cool causes unnecessary damage.. But fortunately this won't cause your hair to stop growing. It'll just break off, appearing as if it hasn't grown.

Goddessa
May 30th, 2016, 01:13 PM
I failed growing my hair out a long time ago almost primarily(secondarily due to dye) because I flat ironed it DAILY. It literally got to the point where it would look nasty if I didn't heat style it and it just made the problem even worse. I knew I had to do something when it literally broke off into clumps into my hands. There was no way I could have continued to grow my hair that way.

lapushka
May 30th, 2016, 03:45 PM
Ironing, curling, blow drying.. All damaging. The least damaging way to style is blow drying, but it still dries out your hair - resulting in breakage. My sister is a hair stylist, and I got this information from her cosmetology books. I personally choose to blow dry, but if you can live without it - you should. Also, when you use heat it's recommended that you regularly trim to avoid split ends. Sadly, there's no way around it. Heat styling is damaging. Even blow drying cool causes unnecessary damage.. But fortunately this won't cause your hair to stop growing. It'll just break off, appearing as if it hasn't grown.

If you blow dry sensibly, there is *nothing* wrong with it. I'm classic+ and the diffuser goes through my hair weekly. If you keep the air cool/warm and not keep the dryer on one spot for too long, it's all good. As long as you can hold your hand in the airstream for a long time without it burning, it's *fine*. I have never noticed the dryer "drying" my hair out. Maybe it's all YMMV.

MINAKO
May 30th, 2016, 04:22 PM
Throwing my two cents in on the oh so diabolical heat. If used with caution, which means at the right temperature and not too frequently ot's absolutely fine, at least it can be for some hairtypes aka my own, for example. everyone's gonna raise their finger on heat while i personally find the use of shampoo a zillion times more drying/damaging. It's really just a question if your hair rolls with it and to get the technique down. I flatiron at 200 celcius and all i need to do is deep condition heavily. I have no breakage, no white dots, not a single split end and my hair is as healthy and shiny as it can possibly be at upper thigh.

lilenz
June 2nd, 2016, 06:06 PM
I failed growing my hair out a long time ago almost primarily(secondarily due to dye) because I flat ironed it DAILY. It literally got to the point where it would look nasty if I didn't heat style it and it just made the problem even worse. I knew I had to do something when it literally broke off into clumps into my hands. There was no way I could have continued to grow my hair that way.

OMG that's awful!! I used to flat iron my hair daily - thankfully it never really got to that point, but I was getting more split ends than I realized :P

By the way, your profile picture is the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

lilenz
June 2nd, 2016, 06:29 PM
ALSO...sorry about my incorrect "hair length terminology"; I'm still really new to all of this and I'm still learning :)