Flat Iron Wet Hair Damage: Why Straightening Damp Locks Is a Bad Idea

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It’s only natural given how hectic life can get at times if you sometimes have to squeeze your complete hair routine into 20 minutes. Those who like to straighten their hair with a flat iron might feel tempted to do it while the locks are still wet.

But can you flat iron wet hair? There’s a common belief that doing so will hurt your mane, but it appears that many people think of it as a myth. Stick around to find out what happens if you straighten wet hair!

Is It OK to Straighten Wet Hair?

Styling your locks when damp might sound like a viable time-saving strategy. Yet, it turns out the benefit comes at a cost, so think twice before you decide to cut down on your beauty routine by eliminating the drying step.

Can you straighten wet hair with a flat iron?

Technically, the answer to “Сan you use a straightener on wet hair?” is yes. That is, there’s little to prevent you from knocking the two steps into one… except it will likely mess up your mane. Because if you ask, “Does flat iron damage wet hair?”, the answer’s even a more definite yes. This is because moisture is key to hair structure and health.

When your hair is wet, its shaft contains an increased amount of water, which will heat quickly when sandwiched between two hot plates. It damages the hair in two ways. First, boiling moisture turns into bubbles in the innermost layer (the medulla), which interfere with how light flows through the hair, making it dull.

Second, the bubbles press on the cuticle. The outer layer thus cracks, which causes split ends and frizz, so what you get are rough strands that lackluster.

What is a wet to dry flat iron?

As the name suggests, wet to dry hair straighteners are supposed to bring together the drying and styling steps of your hair routine. This is due to built-in heat vents.

The steam that generates when you apply heat to damp hair (in fact boiling the moisture in it) can partly escape through the holes in the iron’s frame to reduce, but not completely eliminate, the damage. If you want to be really kind to your locks, the best approach is to blow dry them straight.

How to straighten wet hair the right way

The best way to smooth out your waves is only to use a blow dryer. You may start by using a straightening shampoo to make the job a little easier, and don’t skip the conditioning step. Gently towel dry your hair (no squeezing, please!) after the shower. Run a wide-toothed comb through it to help any tangled strands.

Then rough-dry your hair at a low temperature before you start sectioning it to dry each section straight on a round brush. Remember that humidity will undermine your efforts, so it’s best not to stay in the bathroom while drying your hair.

Also Read: Top Rated Flat Irons for Natural Hair

Straightening Damp Hair FAQ

Can you use a hair straightener on wet hair?

You can if you absolutely need to. However, this is generally considered a very bad practice because it ruins your hair, damaging its structure from the inside.

Even if you use a heat protectant, it’s unlikely to smooth the situation. This also applies to the so-called wet dry hair straighteners that are supposed to combine the two steps of your hair routine into one.

Also Read: Best Professional Flat Irons Reviewed

Can you use a steam flat iron on wet hair?

Steam flat irons rely on steam to make your hair even smoother and sleeker as you style it, potentially reducing the heat damage.

Yet, the steam feature does not prevent extreme sensitivity to heat in a damp state. This means you should away flat ironing your har when wet even if you are using a steam straightener.

What is a wet to dry hair straightener?

Dry to hair straighteners are relatively novel devices that have vents to eliminate excess heat and are thus less damaging when used on damp locks as compared to conventional straighteners. The design is meant to enable simultaneous drying and styling.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t fully overcome the risks associated with heating wet hair.

Take Your Time and Save Your Hair

You may like it or not, but there’s a definitive answer to whether you should flat iron wet or dry hair regardless of the straightener design you are prepared to invest in.

Styling your locks when damp is bound to hurt them, period. Although wet to dry models might reduce the potential damage, it’s best always to blow-dry your hair in a mindful manner before you start applying heat to it.

Do you always take the time to get your hair really dry when you want to straighten it? Confess your sins and share your hacks in the comments section!

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