Is It Bad To Straighten Wet Hair? [All About Heat Damage]

Beautiful hair with an elegant hairstyle has a direct impact on your personality and looks.  When it comes to hairstyling, heating tools especially straighteners and curlers are inevitable for sleek and lustrous tresses. Often in haste, you expose your wet hair to hot styling tools without considering the damage caused by them.


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Do you straighten wet hair to save just a few minutes? Do you use a hair straightener more often to style your hair? Are you facing brittle, damaged, and coarse hair issues? If you are unaware of the damaging effects of heating tools on wet hair then this post is for you.

Is it bad to straighten wet hair?

Straightening your wet hair without drying is like boiling your hair between the hot plates of iron, causing permanent damage to the hair cuticle by making your hair more fragile. The ultimate result would be breakage, split ends, coarse and brittle hair.

But some hair straightener brushes or wet-to-dry straighteners can be used on slightly damp hair with the least damage. Straightening your wet hair without drying is like boiling your hair between the hot plates of iron, causing permanent damage to the hair cuticle by making your hair more fragile.

Whereas adding hair protectants to wet hair can’t help, but worsen the situation by causing much harm. Let your hair bone dry, then apply a heat protectant before straightening your hair to give your hair a smooth and elegant look.

This post will help you to know what happens when you straighten your wet hair, the bad effects of heating tools on wet hair, and the right way to use a hair straightener to reduce the harms of straightening.

Let’s dive deeper into the article to explore more.

Why is Straightening Wet Hair More Damaging

The use of hot iron or curlers on your wet hair causes much harm, how?

Let me explain when your hair is wet, 30% of water is absorbed by the cortex; the inner layer of the hair next to the cuticle that contributes strength and texture to the hair strand. While the outer layer cuticle is like the scales of a fish, having microscopic pores. Usually, hair straightener heats up to 185-230 C whereas water starts boiling at 100C.

While straightening your wet hair between the hot plates of flat iron, the absorbed water starts boiling and the molecules of water pop up and burst out violently causing cracking and breakage of the hair cuticle.

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What Happens to Your Hair When Straighten Wet

Why is it so damaging to use a hair straightener on wet hair?

When you use a straightener on wet hair, the extensive hot plates of straightener, style your hair in a few minutes by rendering irreversible damage to your hair. The underlying fact is that the outer layer of your hair loses its flexibility, texture, and all essential nutrients including keratin, resulting in permanent damage.

When you are in a hurry, skip anything but not the time required for drying your hair because it can cause extensive damage to your hair and is the start of weak lifeless, and brittle hair.

Should You Straighten Your Wet Hair

You should not straighten your wet hair without completely drying it, lest you lose both the beauty and health of your hair.

While straightening your wet hair with a flat iron, the water inside the hair expands and maximizes the heat when it comes in contact with the hot straightener, water bubbles out vigorously with sizzling sounds, causing havoc to your hair strands.

The damage caused by the high heat of iron is permanent and can’t be nullified. Thinning of hair split ends frizzy, and cracked hair is a common issue with regular use of hair straightener.

Can Adding Heat Protectants to Wet Hair Reduce the Harm

No, the use of heat protectant sprays on wet hair cannot minimize the damage caused by a hair straightener.

Don’t get upset, the heat protectors are very effective to nullify the damaging effects of heating tools, but fail to provide protection when you straighten or curl your wet hair.

Therefore, heat protectants are useful to reduce the harm when used on dry or wet hair, but let your hair completely dry before exposing it to heating tools.

But adding any hair product or heat protectants to wet hair can’t lessen the damage except causing much harm to the hair shaft and the hair deprived of all of its natural moisture and nutrients.

Some hair products contain alcohol which can accelerate the damage in your hair, resulting in coarse, inelastic, and dry hair when used in combination with straightening your wet hair.

How to Straighten Wet Hair Without Heat Damage:

To protect your hair from heat damage, prepare your hair before you straighten your hair. We recommend Remington wet to dry hair straightener, this two-in-one flat iron is the best for all hair types and perfect for styling with maximum protection.

Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo, deep condition your hair, or apply a hair repairing mask to strengthen your hair. Let your hair air dry, or use a microfiber towel, apply a heat protectant and hair-smoothing cream.

Now your hair is ready to face the heat of the straightener or hair straightener brush.

Step-1 Preparation

Get started with clean and well-conditioned hair, the use of hair straightener on dirty and oily hair can fry your grimy hair.

Step-2 Dry The hair

Be cautious your hair should be completely dry before starting with the straightener.

Step-3 Apply Heat Protectants

Apply a heat protectant and anti-frizz serum on slightly damped hair to protect your hair cuticles and to facilitate the styling while using a straightener.

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Step-4 Temperature Setting

Set the temperature at moderate heat, because heat protests can’t stop burning your hair on extremely high heat.

Step -4 Use Salon Graded Tools

We recommend investing in good quality salon-grade tools with adjustable heat, according to the type and needs of your hair, as it would make your hair styling perfect with the least damage.

Step-5 Follow Straightening Instructions

Read the user manual of every straightener

  1. If you hear a sizzling sound or see smoke while straightening your hair, stop at once and check if your hair is wet or the heat is too high and burning your hair.
  2. Don’t apply oil before straightening your hair, you can apply a little bit to add weight and shine to your straightened hair
  3. Divide your hair into sections and start with slow and smooth moves while using a flat iron on your hair strands.
  4. In the last, add a few drops of smoothing hair oil or serum to give your locks a sleek and elegant look.

Note: We do not recommend regular use of hair straighteners or curlers because repeated exposure to high heat weakens hair follicles, harms hair cuticles, and makes your hair lifeless and coarse.

Most Probing Questions

Can you straighten your hair when wet?

The precise answer is no. Because straightening your wet hair without drying causes serious and permanent damage to your hair shaft, it’s like popping up your hair between the extreme hot plates of the flat iron. Even the use of a heat-protecting spray on wet hair can’t lessen the breakage and crack caused by hot iron or curling tools.

Are wet-to-dry hair straighteners safe for hair?

Don’t rely on mere advertisement because wet-to-dry straighteners are not safe on wet hair, and are only to use on slightly damp hair. Avoid styling your wet hair with hot iron or curler because wet hair is fragile and more susceptible to breakage, split ends, and frizz.

Should your hair be wet or dry when straightening?

Your hair should be dry before you slap it between the high heat of flat iron to minimize the damage. Whereas wet hair absorbs water and the heat of the straightener brings this water to boil and pop up violently causing much harm to your hair. So, always add a heat protector to your dry hair before straightening hair.

Closing Thoughts

Though styling your hair is important but not at the cost of the health of your hair. Don’t sacrifice your hair just to save some of your time. Frequent use of hot tools including straighteners is harmful to your hair but causes much harm when used on wet hair.

You don’t pay heed to sizzle and bubbling sounds coming from wet hair while straightening and keep on damaging your hair. The result is brittle, coarse, dull, and damaged hair.

To protect your hair from heat damage, straighten your clean and dry hair after applying a good quality heat-protecting spray or use a hair straightener brush on well-protected hair. Never forget, style is not everything, the health of your hair matters a lot.

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