When you get out of the shower with wet hair, what’s the first thing you do? If the answer is “get my hair dryer”, you’re not alone – but you might want to reconsider. Heat can seriously damage your hair; and as you get older, this damage can get worse and worse. Before you panic, just know that you won’t have to completely ditch the hairstyles you love…because it’s possible to recreate them without a hair dryer! There are several easy ones, without heat hairstyles you can do for strong and healthy hair. So if you want to reduce the overall damage, keep reading for some tips on how to get your locks the way you want without heat.
How does hair change with age?
Like any other part of your body, hair undergoes changes as we age. Everyone’s hair is different, so these transitions may not be the same for everyone, but here are three of the key changes to watch out for:
Hair loss: As we age, natural fluctuations in hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, especially during menopause, can cause us to lose hair, according to hair and scalp specialist Dr Bridgette Hill for InStyle.
Hair Thickness: According to MedLinePlus, a single strand of hair has a typical lifespan of two to seven years. When it falls out, a new hair usually grows in its place. But as we age, the rate of hair growth slows down and the hairs that grow are finer and finer than before.
Hair Texture: Not only is our hair getting finer and finer, but its texture is also changing. As we age, our scalp produces fewer natural oils that keep hair hydrated, resulting in thicker, frizzier hair.
How does heat damage hair?
The natural changes to our hair as we age are inevitable and out of our control. What we can control, however, are some measures that can mitigate further damage. One such measure is to limit the use of heat styling on our hair. Heat, even from excessive sun exposure, can weaken hair at the molecular level, causing breakage and permanent damage. The Hairstyle Camp website shares some symptoms of heat damage:
Loss of natural texture
Loss of elasticity
When our hair is already going through some of these aging changes, it’s best not to aggravate them with excessive heat styling.
How can I style my hair without heat?
There’s a reason heat styling is popular: it’s quick, easy, and effective. There are certainly times when no other substitute will do; but on a daily basis, it’s a good idea to switch it up and give your hair a break from the heat. Below, find some nifty methods for safe, heat-free hairstyles.
If you want it straighter
Oprah Daily’s beauty pros recommend several ways to straighten your hair without heat:
The overnight method: Brush wet hair and style it by wrapping it around your head, using bobby pins to secure it, and covering it with a silk scarf. When you wake up, your hair will be smoother and smoother.
The milk method (yes, seriously): This method works best for wavy hair. Distribute the coconut milk evenly through your hair and leave on for 10 minutes. After rinsing it out, let the hair air dry.
The roller method: It seems counterintuitive, but it should work for curlier hair. When your hair is damp, apply a detangling spray or mousse, then roll in, placing the large rollers at the top of your head. Hair should be completely dry before removing the rollers.
If you want it curly
If your hair is already straight, it’s fun to add a little bounce. Put away your curling iron and check out these no-heat tips from the pros at Ogle Beauty School for getting pretty coils:
The blindfold method: For loose waves overnight, put on a stretchy elastic headband and wrap your damp hair around it. When you wake up, gently loosen the hair from the headband and comb it with your fingers to separate the curls.
The halo method: For tighter curls, make a “halo” by twisting a soft t-shirt into a rope and securing the ends with a hair tie. Put it on your head and, working from the front, pull up sections of your damp hair, wrapping it around the halo. Remove the halo when the hair is completely dry.
The toilet paper method (again, yes, seriously): Because this one takes time, it may work best for thinner, shorter hair. Take small sections of your hair and wrap them in pieces of toilet paper (you can also use baby wipes or even pipe cleaners), tying them back when you reach your desired curl height. If you’re having trouble visualizing this one (and we don’t blame you), check out the video below from beauty influencer Nicole Skyes,
How can I protect my hair if I can’t avoid the heat?
You can’t always avoid heat styling. When nothing but your hair dryer is enough, there are steps you can take to protect your hair during heat styling. Try spritzing on a heat protectant spray before blow-drying, like this popular one from CHI (Buy on Amazon, $11.29). All Things Hair experts recommend towel-drying hair before drying (to reduce the amount of time your hair is exposed to heat), and also investing in quality heat styling tools with temperatures nozzles and nozzles to distribute the heat more evenly.
Our hair will keep changing, but as long as you take good care of it, it’s entirely possible to keep your hair looking luscious for the rest of your life.
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