Why Straightening Wet Hair Is A Huge No-No

Straightening wet hair is a huge no-no. When you wash your hair, water is absorbed by your strands and stored in the cortex, per Lab Muffin Beauty Science. Then if you use your flat iron on it before letting your mane completely dry, the moisture will heat up past boiling point. This occurs because water only needs to be warmed to 212 degrees Fahrenheit to boil. Meanwhile, the average straightener reaches between 365 to 446 degrees. Since your styling tool is so hot, the moisture in your hair doesn’t have enough time to evaporate safely, which causes your cuticle to burst open like “popping corn” because the water within grows bigger as it changes to a gas.

“Hair is weakest when it’s wet, and high heat from a straightener can turn the water in the hair into steam, leading to hair breakage and damage to the cuticle,” hairstylist Dawna Jarvis told Byrdie. “This can result in frizz, split ends, and sometimes even a burnt smell.” The steam and crackling sound that occurs as you run the flat iron down each strand is a warning to stop what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, the damage only worsens the more times you straighten wet hair. When your strands are broken, they’ll hold on to even more moisture, which then creates a greater amount of damage when it boils. 

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