Straightening wet hair : good or bad idea ?

Sometimes we seem to always be in a hurry that we need to style our hair in pronto after taking a quick bath. Due to some exigencies, most of us wash our hair and then straighten it immediately. But do you wait for your hair to dry before using the flat iron on it, or do you use the flat iron on wet hair? Straightening wet hair is an invitation to catastrophe. Even wet-to-dry hair straighteners are most suitable for straightening damp hair and not wet hair. Here’s why you shouldn’t straighten wet hair.


The danger of straightening wet hair

  • Wet hair is more fragile and responds to extreme heat adversely. This is because, a Straightener applies heat directly to your hair at a very high temperature and wet hair can quickly heat to scorching temperatures, burning and even breaking your hair.
  • Consistently straightening wet hair makes tresses harder to manage, producing more frizz and coarsening your hair’s texture. In a nutshell, straightening wet hair will always lead to one thing; hair damage!
  • It can also nurture a vicious circle, encouraging you to more frequently and aggressively straighten your hair there by producing more and more damage over time.
  • An average Hair Straightener heats up to 185-230 degrees Celsius which makes it to be well above the normal boiling point. So what happens when the wet inside of hair gets heated well beyond boiling point? It is very much similar to popping corn. I.e. the water explosively evaporates, shattering whatever is in its path, which happens to be your hair.

The wrong notion about wet-to-dry straighteners

Straightening wet hair : good or bad idea ?

A wet to dry straightener works by using steam to remove excess moisture from the hair. The Irons have vents to allow the steam to escape and evaporate. With a wide variety of brands some claim that their Iron will completely eliminate the need to blow dry hair while others say hair must be 90-95 percent dry. From my experience and that of many other users, I have come to realize that these Irons only work on damp hair.

Straighteners that are marketed for use on wet hair are designed for use on damp hair, not wet strands. So endeavour to protect your hair by always giving it a few minutes to dry. Even though it may be tempting to get done with your hair quickly during the morning rush and use your flat iron while your hair is still wet, all you are doing is gravely damaging your hair in the long run. While hair straighteners these days are very good quality and come with technologies never seen before, they can not prevent damage to your hair if used wrongly.

Steps to quickly style your hair without damaging it  

So instead of straightening wet hair, here’s how you can quick style your hair without causing damage to it.

1. It is a known fact that well moisturized hair dries more quickly because it’s not desperately clinging to the moisture from your shower; so always use high-quality conditioner each time you wash your hair.

2. Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb when you get out of the shower or bath. Brushing can break the strands, but a comb smoothes your hair and removes some excess moisture.

3. After combing, gently blot the hair with a thick towel, starting at your crown and working your way to the ends. Note that aggressive towel-drying can break your hair and promote frizz, so don’t rub.

4. Shake your hair to promote volume and remove excess moisture. Try flipping your head upside down a few times, then shaking your hair from side to side.

5. Spritz all of your hair from root to tip with a smoothing heat protectant. Run your clean fingers through your hair gently to spread the product evenly throughout the strands. Then clip up the hair above the horizontal part with a couple of alligator clips.

6. Separate a 1-inch-wde section of hair from the loose hair below the part. Then attach a flat nozzle head to the end of your blow dryer, and then turn the blow dryer onto a medium heat setting. Direct the heated air over the separated section of hair that is on the round brush.

7. Pull the brush down the hair shafts, keeping tension in the hair. Release the brush off the ends of the hair rather than curling the hair under; this will help you get that straight finish. Repeat the blow drying process with the rest of the loose hair, working in 1-inch-wide sections.

8. You should repeat the whole process of separating and ironing throughout all of your hair- working in two inch-wide sections to seal in the smooth finish. Then spritz the hair with a light mist of light-hold hairspray to help encourage the shafts to stay smooth all day.

*Another simple but useful trick is that, after shower, perform the rest of your beauty rituals; saving your hair for the last. This gives it a few extra minutes to prepare for the flat iron.

Scientific view about straightening wet hair 

straightening wet hair

Wet curls are very vulnerable to heat, and a smart electric hair straightener works with pretty high temperatures. When hair is still wet, it soaks moisture from the water to restore moisture balance. So using a hair straightener at the very moment will suck out all the moisture your curls need and leave them over dried and brittle. Hair straightening Irons should never be used on wet hair.

The scientific reason behind this is that, every single strand of your hair is made up of three parts- the innermost part called the medulla, the middle layer called the cortex, and the outermost layer called the cuticle. Now, when you wet your hair, it can absorb up to thirty percent of its own weight in water. Applying a heated Hair Straightener to this wet hair means that the absorbed water inside your hair turns into gas. This means it expands and needs to get out. So it bursts out explosively from the inner part of your hair, shattering the hair.

This happens to hair right up against the heated ceramic plates of your Flat Iron. Overtime, damaged hair increases, and you end up with brittle, dry, unhealthy hair which should just be chopped off.

Going forward, if you decide to go for a wet to dry Straightener; my advice to you is that don’t go for the too-cheap ones or the ones that promise too good to be true features. When it comes to Hair Straighteners, the higher the price, the greater the value and quality. Then most importantly, remember that wet to dry Straighteners are good for straightening damp hair and not for straightening wet hair.