If you regularly straighten your hair, you are probably wondering, does straightening hair make it thinner? The simple answer is yes, straightening your hair can make your hair look thinner at the moment, and may even cause more thinning with excessive use.
However, the answers and variables are a bit more complicated than just a simple yes or no. Let’s take a closer look at the effect straightening has on hair and how you can protect your hair and prevent it from thinning out.
Since their introduction into the world of hair and beauty, flat irons and straightening irons have been a basic part of any curly-haired girl’s routine. Straighteners are known for taking wild, frizzy hair and making it straight and smooth.
While having straight hair can make it easier to work with, less tangled, and less frizzy, it can also do some damage if you’re not careful to protect your hair. Heat, excessive product use, and neglecting to moisturize your hair can all lead to hair damage, so it’s vital to know how to make sure your hair stays healthy while still getting that perfect look.
Is Straightening Good for Thin Hair?
If you’re wondering whether straightening is good for thin hair, the answer is no. Straightening your hair doesn’t provide any benefits to thin hair as it applies heat to the hair, which can damage it instead. Straightening hair can work wonders when it comes to how your hair looks, but it doesn’t provide any benefits in terms of the health of hair.
However, this doesn’t mean straightening thin hair is necessarily bad! With the proper precautions, you can straighten your hair every day without worrying about it thinning or becoming damaged. Don’t worry, we will break this down later.
How Heat Damages Works
Let’s take a closer look at the science behind how heat damages hair. Using heat products on your hair frequently and without any protectant can damage the cuticles of your hair, alter the chemical structure of your hair’s proteins, and lead to thinning and even hair loss.
Hair strands are fragile and can easily become unhealthy with too much heat and not enough moisture. If you notice split ends, hair breakage, dryness or flaky scalp, rough hair texture, or that your hair is more tangled than usual, these might be signs of heat damage.
Does Permanent Straightening Damage Hair?
Permanent straightening is a similar process to permanent curling and is also known as a type of “perm”. A perm is a professional, chemical treatment that permanently alters the chemical structure of your hair follicles.
If you have curly hair, a perm can make it straight, and if you have straight hair, a perm can make it curly. A topical solution is applied to your hair that changes the proteins in your hair and the way they are structured.
Another solution is applied that gives the proteins in your hair a new structure, making it straight or curly. After these are applied, your hairstylist will style your hair and give you aftercare instructions. While this treatment can work wonders when done correctly, it can also lead to a variety of side effects.
Perms use chemicals like formaldehyde and others that can lead to hair breakage, making it dry, and even leading to irritation on your scalp. Split ends, hair loss and breakage are common side effects of perms as well.
So, in short, permanent straightening can damage your hair, especially if you’re not careful about protecting it.
Can You Lose Your Hair if You Straighten it Every Day?
Hair loss is common if you straighten your hair every day without using heat protectant or moisturizing products. This is because heat can permanently damage the structure of your hair follicles, leading to breakage, split ends, and worse hair health overall.
Your hair may not grow back as quickly or as full and healthily, and you can deal with more hair falling out than usual.
Does a Flat Iron Thin Hair?
Using a flat iron on your hair can also thin it. A flat iron is a type of straightener that involves two metal plates that heat up and press your hair together to straighten it. However, of all the straightening methods there are, flat irons tend to be the worst for your hair.
Flat irons are also the most thinning of all straightening methods. They squeeze hair together, straightening it and thinning it all in one, so your hair will lose volume, body, and dimension for the sake of being straight.
All the damages of hair such as split ends, breakage, hair loss, and thinning, occur most commonly with flat irons. Straightening brushes and other straightening products aren’t quite as damaging for hair, but flat irons can definitely thin hair and lead to heat damage.
Does Straightening Your Hair Stop It from Growing?
Straightening your hair can stop it from growing and slow the growing process down. When hair is dry and damaged, it won’t be able to grow as easily as if it were healthy. On top of hair loss and breakage, your hair can slow down its growth or stop altogether.
How Can I Straighten My Hair Every Day Without Damaging It?
Even though there are side effects of straightening your hair every day, this doesn’t mean you can’t do it. As long as you incorporate a few habits into your hair care routine, you can protect your hair while still straightening it every day!
Here are the best tips and tricks to take good care of your hair and prevent damage.
1. Use a Heat Protectant
A heat protectant is one of the easiest ways you can protect your hair from heat damage, especially if you want to straighten your hair every day. There are many benefits of using a heat protectant.
This product creates a barrier between your hair and the heat, so whether you’re curling, straightening, or heat drying your hair, the protectant will create a kind of shield around your hair. It also helps tame frizz and makes your hair easier to style!
2. Avoid Other Forms of Heat Damage
Another way to protect your hair from heat damage while straightening your hair is to avoid other unnecessary forms of heat damage. If you are going to straighten your hair every day, avoid blow-drying it on high heat or curling it too. Pick one heat method and only use that one if you must.
Piling heat on top of heat will worsen the effects of heat damage and lead to worse breakage, split end, and hair thinning.
3. Care for your Damaged Hair
If your hair is already damaged, here are some helpful ways to care for it!
Wash your hair with cold water! This not only avoids excess heat exposure, but it helps your hair retain the products more effectively.
Use an old soft t-shirt or a microfiber towel on your hair instead of a regular rough towel. This is gentler on your hair, doesn’t break your hair like a rough towel can, and helps keep your hair soft and healthy.
You can also sleep on a satin pillowcase to help protect your hair and keep it healthy. If you’re using a straightener or flat iron every day, your hair is likely already prone to breakage. Rough pillowcases made of cotton or harsher materials can lead to more breakage. However, sleeping on a satin pillowcase is soft and can help protect your hair from breaking in the night!
4. Use Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioners
Lastly, it’s important to use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Straightening your hair leads to dryness, which leads to breakage and thinning. So, supplementing your hair with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners can make the damage to your hair minimal.
While finding the right hair products is important, be sure to avoid using shampoo and conditioner every day! This will strip your hair of its natural oils which add a layer of protection against heat and protect it. Shampoo should only go on your scalp and condition on your roots and scalp.
You can also use conditioning hair masks to take care of your hair and restore its health after damaging it with heat use. You can find a conditioning mask at your local convenience or beauty store. As a bonus tip, look for masks with avocado oils, shea butter, argan oil, and other moisturizing ingredients as these will speed up the healing process.
To Wrap Up
If you love to straighten your hair, don’t panic. You can still achieve the straight, frizz-free look you want while avoiding a lot of the heat damage that can occur. Remember to use a heat protectant on your hair, supplement it with lots of moisture, and keep other heat styling methods to a minimum if possible.