Using a heat protectant when styling is ESSENTIAL to keep your hair looking healthy and happy... as opposed to frazzled and sad. Whether you're using a flatiron, a curling iron, a blowdryer or even a crimper, heat protection is necessary for all kinds of reasons. Heat styling can damage hair by drying it out, resulting in breakage, split ends and generally making any kind of hairstyle look more scarecrow-chic than was originally anticipated.
Like little superheroes, heat protectants - especially the kind that are built into products which also promote volume, tousling, straightening and curls - can be used to protect against heat damage.
If you aren't doing so already, make heat protection a part of your styling routine. Keep your chosen protectant near or in the same place as your heat styling tools and/or brush. That way, you'll see it before you reach for the blow-dryer, flatiron etc. and remember to use it every single time!
For damp hair
Heat styling with wet or damp hair is only a good idea with certain products. Protective mousses for curls and volume are tailor-made for it. Apply them evenly to damp, towel-dried hair and blow-dry as desired.
Using flat or curling irons on damp hair, however, could be a less than brilliant idea. Although heat styling with totally dry hair can cause major drying out and potential damage, styling with damp hair can damage the strand structure, breaking the shaft and making hair appear unusually coarse. Before you straighten anything, make sure your tresses are at least 95% dry AND apply a generous amount of heatspray!
For dry hair
As you might expect, when heat styling with dry hair, you need to apply a protectant, too! No arguments.
Take a break
If your hair is feeling a little overworked and dry to the touch, you might want to consider taking a little break from heat styling. Treat your locks to a little TLC and indulge them with an ultra-hydrating mask and allow them to dry naturally as often as possible. You should also be getting regular trims to help keep hair as healthy as possible and to remove split or otherwise damaged ends.
When you do jump back into the heat styling saddle, however, make sure you use a protectant every single time.
Moral of the story: Healthy hair is happy hair!