Why You Should Never Straighten Dry Hair

Re-straightening and re-curling dry hair is a common cause of major damage, says leading hairstylist

Honestly, you’re better off starting again. Here’s why.

Hands up if you’ve re-straightened or re-curled your hair a day or two after your original styling? Besides re-zhuzhing your style, it feels like a more efficient way to get back to a great hair day than dedicating time to a whole wash, dry and style routine. I get it. 

The issue, though, is while it’s a good time-saving technique, it’s also doing much more damage to your hair than you realise. Applying heat to already heat-styled hair (no matter how good your rationale) can cause compound damage, resulting in brittle, dry hair that breaks easily. Not what we want at all.

“If you need to refresh your hair on the days between your hair washes, try not to re-heat-style already heat-styled hair. This puts extra pressure on the bonds of your hair and can cause much more pressure than just rewashing and starting again,” says leading hairstylist and Evo international creative director Tom Smith

“Try an up-do, adding a little serum or oil or changing your parting to refresh your hair, rather than going at it with heat again.” 

Hair bonds (a buzzy term thanks to cult damage-reversing products such as Olaplex and the K18 hair mask) are layered in vertical and horizontal structures along the hair shaft. When these chemical bonds are broken – by heat, chemical or mechanical damage – hair loses its elasticity, strength and resilience. 

Repairing them requires abiding by hairstylist-approved heated-tool rules, which include going slower and making fewer passes over the hair with straighteners or curlers and letting less-than-perfect sections rest before trying to reset them. 

If you’re in a real pinch, a claw clip, some hair oil or a targeted amount of dry shampoo should see you through one more day. It might not feel as good in the moment but it’ll save you trying to U-turn dry, unhappy hair in the long run.

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