This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Does flat iron damage hair? [Facts + Tips]

does flat iron damage hair

If you are in this article you might be wondering, does flat iron damage hair?

The reality is that the level of damage depends on many factors like the temperature you use, or the quality of the straighteners. But even with the best ones, heat is never good for our hair for different reasons.

The reality is that the flat iron does cause damage to the hair whenever you use it due to the high heat it generates. When high temperatures touch the cuticle of your hair, they will sensitize it and dry it out. For this reason, it is important that you always use the flat iron at a low temperature and with thermal protection to minimize the damage as much as possible.

As you can see, the flat iron always causes damage to the hair. However, is the same as if you use the dryer or the curler. In fact, if you use the flat iron properly, you could have less damage compared to other tools. The most important thing is that you use a proper heat protector, that you don’t use them every day, and that you have the best quality ones.

Let’s see in this article the causes that damage the hair with a flat iron and how to prevent it.

Does flat iron damage The hair?

The reality is that whenever you use a heat tool on your hair, your cuticle suffers slight erosion, which can turn into damage if you don’t take proper care of yourself. If you don’t use your flat iron with caution, you can easily burn your hair.

Every time your hair is subjected to high temperatures with the flat iron, its cuticle wears down. Therefore, the more you iron your hair, the more damage you will cause (especially if you do not use thermal protection).

The level of damage will depend on how careful you are when straightening your hair.

Sadly, most people damage their hair a lot with flat irons. But do not worry, here you will learn how to reduce the damage to a minimum so that your hair is always healthy and radiant. There are several details that you must take care of so that you can use your flat iron without worries.

There are 4 important points to keep in mind when using your flat iron to prevent damage:

  1. How often do you straighten your hair?
  2. The quality of the flat iron you have.
  3. Use adequate thermal protection.
  4. The way you straighten your hair.

If you follow these 4 tips you will see that you will greatly reduce the damage caused by straightening your hair. Let’s see them in detail:

#1 Take care of the straightening frequency

does the flat iron really damage hair

How often you straighten your hair will largely determine how much damage your hair will suffer.

The truth is that if you straighten your hair many times a week, you will cause so much damage to your cuticle that you will over-damage your hair. Ideally, you should use the hair straightener a maximum of one to two times a week.

But keep this in mind!

  • If your hair is fine and brittle, it has less resistance to withstand heat damage. And this means that you should take extra care with your hair when straightening it! The most you should use the flat iron is once a week.
  • On the other hand, if your hair is thick, this means that it is more resistant and can withstand heat better. However, in thick hair, the ideal would be to use the iron twice a week maximum.

And remember, if you have difficulty maintaining your hairstyle because your hair gets dirty easily, you can always use a dry shampoo like this to extend the life of your hairstyle. The less you straighten your hair, the better! It also would be very helpful to use a weekly hair treatment for damaged hair, because it will help your hair to gain the strength it needs.

#2 Use a good-quality iron

buy a good flat iron

The quality of your straightener is the most important factor in preventing damage to your hair! If you use a poor-quality straightener, you will easily burn your hair. Especially if you are styling damaged hair, you need to be very careful with the quality of the straightener you use.

The truth is that low-quality flat irons get too hot and their surface doesn’t regulate heat in a healthy way. Therefore, by straightening your hair you can cause up to x5 more damage than with a good straightener.

You should use a flat iron that has a good quality plate, and that distributes the heat professionally (that does not overheat). As a professional hairdresser, I’ve tried most of the straighteners! The best irons that I have seen give the best results and that damage the hair the less are:


steampod loreal

This flat iron is steam-based, which seals your cuticle beautifully, so your hair looks shiny and smooth. This is one of my favorites because it is one of the irons that least damage your hair due to its heat distribution with steam.

It is perfect for all types of hair, from the curliest and most resistant hair (including coily hair) to the finest. It has several temperature levels that you can adjust depending on the thickness of your hair. You can make waves with it too, but its best function is to straighten your hair.

Ghd gold

ghd gold

GHD straighteners are ideal if your hair is thick and resistant. They straighten the hair in a very simple way, and in a few passes, you will have your hair ready. This brand is one of the most used by professionals by far!

Here you will not be able to regulate the temperature, so it is super important that your hair is thick, I do not recommend that you use it if your hair is fine. The great advantage of this straightener is that it is ergonomic, making it perfect for both straightening and making waves.


revlon flat iron

If you are looking for a low-budget flat iron, I highly recommend this Revlon straightener. What’s more, if you have fine and fragile hair, this is your perfect iron. The plates are made of ceramic, which takes great care of your hair and will distribute the heat very carefully.

It is the only one that has a low-temperature regulator to be able to program it from very low heat, which is the recommended temperature for fine hair. In addition, it is super fine and light, which makes it super easy to straighten or curl your hair in a few minutes.

SUGGESTIONS FOR YOU: Does heat damage hair? The truth

#3: Always wear a heat protection

It is useless to have the best iron in the world if you do not use a heat protectant! If you do not want to damage your hair, it is not recommended at all to straighten your hair without heat protection!

The function of the thermal protector is that at the time of straightening, the heat does not penetrate so much into the surface of the hair to avoid eroding your cuticle. The thermal protector creates a kind of barrier on your hair that protects it from heat damage by up to 80%.

My best recommendation is that you buy a professional heat protector since they are the only ones that can really provide you with good heat protection. Avoid buying a heat protectant from the supermarket or drugstore! They are practically useless and sometimes because they have oils they cause even more damage when using the straightener.

I’ve tried many heat protectors, and the best ones that I recommend the most are:

Ciment thermique kerastase

ciment thermique kerastase

My favorite heat protectant if you like creamy texture is kerastase ciment termique. This product will fell extremely creamy, and it protects you from damage while fortifying hair. I love this product because it is not greasy, and it is super light. This will be perfect for you if you want a healthy texture in your hair with a lot of shine.

Serum therapiste kerastase

serum therapiste

This is the best heat protector if you have super-damaged hair. It protects you from damage to the maximum and closes the split ends of your hair. One of the main benefits is that it melts very softly into dry hair and makes your hair stronger and very silky. This product has two formulas in one, it is between a cream and a dense oil, which is perfect for a smooth effect.

#4: Care tips when straightening your hair

does flat iron damage hair best care

Now that you know how often to use the flat iron on your hair, as well as the best tools and products to straighten your hair, it is time for you to know which is the best way to do it.

If you follow these tips, I assure you that you will minimize the damage to your hair when straightening:

  • Make sure your hair is always 100% dry when using the straightener.
  • Pass the straightener a maximum of three times per wick relatively quickly.
  • The thicker the section, the less damage you will do to your hair.
  • Never use the flat iron if you have styling products in your hair like mousse or hairspray.
  • Try to use the flat iron fewer times on the ends of your hair.

In summary, use the straightener quickly on your hair without giving it too many passes (in thick sections), and always keep your hair dry so as not to overheat your cuticle.

Let’s get better hair!

I hope you liked this article, and that it has been helpful so that you do not damage your hair with the flat iron.

Remember that you damage your hair when you straighten your hair incorrectly and too often. Always invest in a quality straightener and thermal protector, they will really change your life! And as a general rule, the less times you straight your hair, the better!

Until next time.