View Full Version : Damaging treatment for one evening - what consequences will it have for my hair?

December 10th, 2009, 02:19 PM
So, I've got school prom coming up. I really want to have nice, soft, staying curls, but the only fool-proof way of getting those that I know about is with heat styling. I never use that normally - how much damage will this one time cause my hair?

Edit: My hair is between waist and hip length, for the record.

December 10th, 2009, 02:22 PM
Not too terrible. Its not an everyday thing so it shouldnt be really super bad, you might want to deep condition it after but I think damage would be minimal.

December 10th, 2009, 02:26 PM
No damage as long as you dont leave iron in one place too long. Just to bring up an alternative- RAG CURLS turn out very beautifully! I know that there several threads on this website and tutorials, however I do not have time to look them up right now. :)

Sara Smile
December 10th, 2009, 02:43 PM
I had my hair done for my wedding, it took hours of curling and pinning and spraying. The stylist got this expression when she saw me coming -- my hair is tailbone length.

While it probably damaged my hair a bit, it was only one night. My hair's fine now. ;)

December 10th, 2009, 04:25 PM
Well it IS pretty damaging, even one time will cause permanent damage - that's just what heat stylers do. I also vote for considering rag curls or other non-heat/less heat curl styling if you are worried.

December 10th, 2009, 04:43 PM
As a one-time special occasion thing, I would think it's okay. Damaging somewhat, but so are most things. I could never get my hair to hold a curl with heat styling the couple of times I tried it, rag curls or those foam rollers worked great though.

December 10th, 2009, 06:37 PM
I find that rag roll curls hold even better than a curling iron on my hair. The key is to roll just washed and dried hair at night and then leave them in all night.

December 10th, 2009, 06:42 PM
If you decide to heat style and use hairspray etc., just make sure you wash everything out and detangle as gently as you possiblu can, and follow up with a deep treatment.

Those measures will help reduce mechanical damage and damage from dryness, but you'll still get some damage from the heat, which you can't do much about. But hair is there to be enjoyed, and if rag curls won't cut it, just use the curler on the lowest setting you can, and as briefly as you can, and enjoy the results! I very much doubt that one time will wreck your hair. There are plenty of LHC folk who heat style on occasion and have gorgeous, long locks.

Enjoy your prom!

December 10th, 2009, 07:39 PM
My vote would be rag curlers, setting lotion, and a warm (not hot) blow dryer, with either a diffuser or a bonnet attachment to help the set dry in time. And some freezing hairspray to keep it in place during the dance. Then wash all the product out, slather on a bunch of conditioner, and only then comb through it to remove the tangles.

I would think a warm blowdryer would cause minimal damage when used only occasionally, but a curling iron much more. Also a curling iron doesn't set my hair nearly as solidly as rolling it up damp and either air drying or warm drying it.

Shermie Girl
December 10th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Sounds like a good plan. Another thing to think about, don't brush or comb your hair once you have it all sprayed and frozen. That is a great way to cause damage and break your hair. When I use hairspray I always jump in the shower and wet it and shampoo and condition before I ever touch a comb to my hair. :)

December 10th, 2009, 08:53 PM
Give the rag curls a trial run and see how you like the results. If that doesn't work go ahead with the heat styling. One time isn't that big of a deal if you are careful. It's your prom and that's a huge big deal. I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Heavenly Locks
December 10th, 2009, 10:09 PM
Try this! :)

It's by our own lovely Torrin Paige :D


I want to do it too!

December 12th, 2009, 02:31 PM
Thanks for all the advice! :)
I've tried something similar to the rag curls before and it didn't work too well, but I thought I'd give it another try tonight to see if I do better this time.
I also looked at Torrin Paige's video - those are gorgeous curls! I'm not sure if there are soft rollers in the shops over here, but I'll look for them tomorrow. Also, what kind of paper is she using on the ends?

December 12th, 2009, 09:38 PM
Those are perm papers or "end papers" used when rolling hair onto perm rods. They are thin, but they stand up to water. They put a section of hair onto the paper and spritz it with water, then fold the paper over, squeezing and sliding it down to the end before rolling it onto the roller. This gets all the end pointing the same way for less chance of frizz and tangles.

December 13th, 2009, 03:35 AM
Oh, I see. I just used newspaper instead, so that might be why I pretty much failed. Took out the rags this morning, and was faced with a bunch of frizz(and crooked ends):
Frizz! (Also, please excuse the pyjamas, shiny skin and general "just got up" appearance...:o)

Apart from the wrong paper use, what do you reckon went wrong?

December 13th, 2009, 07:33 AM
I think your curls look lovely, but I see what you mean about the ends. You might want a larger diameter curler or thicker rag so the ends of the curls start out larger and looser. Also, if you want a smoother curl at the end, maybe no twisting before rolling, or try rolling the ends onto the curler smoothly for a turn or two before twisting and rolling the rest of the way.

Or take a look at this article on deep waves and see if it might work better for you- http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=82

December 13th, 2009, 07:48 AM
RE: frizzy ends.

In my experience, the secret to not getting the poufy frizzy ends with a rag set is to leave 1-2" sticking out of the roller. Leaving the ends sticking out not only produces a better result (if you are after sexy wavy tousled) but is MUCH easier to roll up as you don't have to fight with the papers.

Below is a link to a thread in which I showed how I did a loose tousled look with some foam and fabric rag curlers. These curlers are long fabric-covered foam tubes that snap together. I roll my hair in a spiral fashion but leave the ends sticking out. On the day I took the pictures, I just used a small amount of product and only left the curlers up for a couple of hours. If you use setting lotion and a bonnet dryer on warm you can get more hold.


edited to add: Another fix for over-curled frizzy ends is to wet your fingers and pull out the curl on the last couple of inches of your hair, working in sections. Don't soak the ends, just get them damp enough so the frizzy curl falls out to a gentle wave. Before a dance performance, I forgot the ends-sticking-out trick and rolled my clip-in extensions all the way to the tip. They frizzed out and I just damped the ends and pulled them into waves.

December 13th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Ah, those are all very good tips. Leaving the ends out does seem like a good idea, but wouldn't they be a bit too straight in comparison to the rest of the hair? I think I'll also use thicker rags next time. Or soft rollers, if I find any. They didn't have any at my local shops, but perhaps there are some at the city shopping centre.

December 15th, 2009, 06:03 AM
Okay, so I've tried the rag curls once more and got better results (this time I twisted a bit more loosely, used bigger rags, left the ends out and didn't use paper), but still not quite the curls I want. Getting better with practice, though :)
But, for the prom tonight I've decided to use a straightener to curl my hair, with help from a friend. Hopefully it'll turn out all right.

Oh, and related to that matter I have another question: Should I S&D before the heat treatment (to keep splits from getting worse) or wait until afterwards (since they might split anyway?)?

December 15th, 2009, 06:43 AM
Personally, I'd hold off on the S&D until afterward. You might get new splits anyway.

You might want to pick up a silicone-based heat protective spray for your hair, to pre-treat it before you straighten it. Go fairly quickly, over the hair, too, if you can, to minimize damage.

heidi w.
December 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM
You'll be fine.

Other options to try when life allows:

Look into snap'n'go curlers. This can be done on dry hair. These are relatively inexpensive for a set.

Steam curlers produce reliable stay-for-the-haul curls, especially if your hair easily accepts curl. Steam while heat is not the same as high heat applied right on top of hair for a duration as is done with a curling iron.

I've even curled with setting lotion/gel and chopsticks. If ever try this, this is an older model of setting hair, but take it easy on the gel/lotion application. Too much makes the hair too wet and you can end up with a bit of a mess. Just a little bit is needed. Really old school is setting gel, papers and old plastic rollers in different sizes.

heidi w.

heidi w.
December 15th, 2009, 08:00 AM
And there's rag curls but I've never done that.

heidi w.