Help! My hair is breaking!

Question:
"Hi. I have a question about flat irons. I have a CHI right now and I have used every major brand of heat protectant, including the CHI brand. Nothing seems to work. My hair is breaking and splitting even though I only use my flat iron once or twice a week. I am wondering if it is my iron, which is only a year old or my protectant? I visited your website and saw a lot of different irons, and they all seem to have the different benefits. Could you suggest a really good protectant and possibly a really good iron. My CHI cost well over $100 but if I can get better results with a different iron that would be great. If I have to pay a little more, that's okay too. Thank you for your help."
- Keoika via emailAnswer:
If you are experiencing breakage, I can definitely recommend some tips for you to help with your hair straightening:

1 – I notice that if you can get your hair as straight as possible before using your flat iron, that helps a lot. Try using a smoothing shampoo and conditioner first to relax your hair and prevent any frizz. We have a few brands you might like, Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner (left), or try L’anza Strait-Line Smoothing Shampoo and L'anza Strait Line Smoothing Conditioner.

If you can conquer any dryness and frizz before adding heat, it's a GOOD thing.

 

2 – If you blow dry your hair straight first with a brush, try to use a quality ceramic brush that reduces breakage and also helps to smooth the hair’s cuticle and prepare it for straightening such as the HAI Ceramic Boar Bristle Brush (left).
Bonus points - this brush is Ceramic, Ionic and Tourmaline, all important for keeping hair smooth without damaging while brushing and you'll love the gentle boar bristles!
Your brush could be contributing to the breakage - no one wants that!

3- Use a restructuring treatment to strengthen your hair from the inside, we have many of these, Redken Extreme CAT Treatment (left) sounds like it would work well for you.

I’d also suggest a nutritive leave in serum such as Kerastase Nutritive Oleo Relax Leave-in Serum.

Bonus Points: Kerastase Oleo Relax is one of my favorite frizz-fighters! It's also an InStyle Magazine Best Beauty Buy Winner "Best Straightening/Anti Frizz Product" so of course I know you'll love how it works on your hair. 

4- Definitely invest in a good thermal protectant, CHI is for ‘normal’ hair but if you hair is already delicate and damaged I’d suggest going with something stronger such as:

Redken Smooth Down Heat Glide or Joico K-PAK Leave-in Protectant (left).

Look for these buzzwords: Leave-in, treatment, reconstruct, strengthen, repair, damaged hair, intensive... you understand. It's best to find a treatment dedicated to treating and repairing the damage. Once your hair is in better condition, you can use a daily product like CHI Silk Infusion, but for now with your hair in such a weakened state, I'd go for something restorative for a few months.

5- You probably need a different flat iron. Not all flat irons work the same for everyone because everyone’s hair texture is so different. I think these three might be good for your particular hair concerns:

GHD MK4 1" Ceramic Flat Iron (above left) – it’s a higher price point than the CHI Original, but in my opinion is a superior iron for your hair type, and has a 1 year warranty. The ceramic, ionic technology will help smooth your hair without snagging, or causing breakage. I also find the GHD irons grip your hair better and smooth the strands, not just 'flatten' them.

Babyliss Nano Titanium 1-1/4" Flat iron

This has brand new technology to smooth up to 40% faster and a 4 year warranty, which is unheard of in this industry. Plus the larger plate width makes straightening longer hair a breeze. With hair like yours, you want to straighten fast, in one pass, and Nano Titanium is a killer new material that does just that! You'll be seeing a lot more irons with this technology in the future, it's THAT good.

Maxiglide Flat Iron 

This has ceramic plates and steamburst technology to protect the ends of your hair before you smooth and straighten which would be good for you, plus a 1 year warranty. This is my third choice, and I like the steam feature but I'd be very careful of the ceramic detangling pins, make sure you comb  your hair before you straighten each section.

In general, you want to keep your hair healthy and protected, so any product that says ‘leave-in’ is a great step in the right direction towards reducing the breakage and improving the overall health of your hair. If you only use your iron 1X a week and you have breakage, all signs indicate that your are using the wrong flat iron for your hair type. I'd try switching flat irons and investing in a stronger, more protective line of hair care that is better for your delicate, broken strands.

Let us know how it goes.

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