Is it safe to straighten wet hair?

It’s morning and you’re in a rush–again. What’s the harm in jumping out of the shower and killing two birds with one stone by using your flat iron to both dry and straighten your hair?

This is one area where multitasking won’t do you or your hair any favors. The truth is: flat ironing wet or even damp hair can fry your strands and cause irreversible damage.


Straightening wet hair is a recipe for hair catastrophe. Here's why you shouldn't do it and what you should do instead.


When you use a tool like a hot flat iron on wet hair, the wet hair will actually maximize the heat to dangerous levels.

'It's safe to blow-dry my hair,' you might be thinking, 'so why can't I use a straightener on wet hair?'


The answer is simple: a straightener applies heat directly to your hair and at much higher temperatures than a blow-dryer does. Wet hair can quickly heat to scorching temperatures, burning and even breaking your hair. If your hair is not dry when using a straightener, it draws out the hair’s elasticity and vitamins, causing severe breakage and brittleness.

When your hair is coated in water, you’re legitimately boiling your hair! The close contact heat creates genuine bubbles inside the hair shaft, which are then pushed upwards resulting in split ends, cracks, roughness, you name it.


If you happen to have added a product to your wet hair–and this is especially true if the product contains alcohol, which is incredibly drying. You’ll be “boiling” that hair product right into the follicle, causing double the damage.


If you're lucky, you won't destroy your hair the first time. Persistent wet straightening, though, will inevitably damage your hair. This makes tresses harder to manage, producing more frizz and coarsening your hair's texture.


This can nurture a vicious cycle, encouraging you to more frequently and aggressively straighten your hair, producing more and more damage over time.


Yikes! You should be using a heat protectant and blow drying your hair to get it fully dry and to do most of the smoothing before touching it with a flat iron.


To minimize the damage that flat irons can inflict, always make sure your hair is completely dry before straightening your hair and spray your mane with a heat protectant before, which protects against heat damage and humidity and prevents frizz.

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