What Happens If You Straighten Wet Hair?

Straightening your hair is a lovely thing, isn’t it? It can totally transform your look, and make your hair feel silky smooth!

However, there are better and worse times to do this. What happens if you straighten wet hair? We’ve looked into this, and it’s not great!

What Happens If You Straighten Wet Hair?

We all know how tricky it can be, to get the balance of washing and styling your hair before leaving for work or to get on with your day.

Sometimes the mornings can be so hectic that it is tempting to try and save time by skipping a step in your routine – and you can’t skip the straightening, right?

Sometimes it can seem much easier to skip the step of drying your hair and move on to straightening it – after all, this will dry it too, surely…

Yes, it will dry it – but straightening your hair wet can also be very bad for your hair. It’s basically heating it to a very high temperature – which will dry it, but at the expense of your hair health!

  • When your hair is wet, it is at its most vulnerable, and needs to be treated as gently as possible.
  • Straightening your hair when it is wet is not treating it especially gently; think of how hot your straighteners get, and feel sorry for your hair!
  • It may seem like a time saving measure – after all, by straightening your hair wet you are skipping the blow drying stage, right?
  • However, blow drying uses a much less concentrated heat source, so it is much less likely to cause your hair too much damage.
  • The concentrated heat from straightening irons , combined with the fact that this heat directly touches your hair, can cause it many problems.
  • You may notice clouds of steam and even the odd sizzle if you use your straightening irons on wet hair, and no one wants this!
  • Straightening wet hair is the equivalent of pouring boiling water over your hair – it’s pretty much the same effect!

No one wants to pour boiling water over their hair, right? So don’t straighten your hair when it is wet, and you will avoid this issue!

This video shows you in depth what happens to your hair if you straighten it while wet, and why it should be avoided:


Can You Straighten Wet Hair?

Obviously, you CAN straighten your hair however and whenever you like – after all, it’s your hair!

That being said, it is certainly better to straighten your hair in a way that gives it the least chance of being damaged. Did you know that you don’t actually have to use straightening tongs?

  1. Grab your best heat protectant spray, and liberally spritz it around your hair.
  2. Section your hair. Starting with a smaller section while the rest is clipped out of the way is not only a good way to get a neater look, but it will also help protect your hair.
  3. Use a hair dryer with a concentrator nozzle. This will ensure the hair is dried evenly, without too much heat focusing on one area.
  4. Take a round brush and position it at the roots of your sectioned hair.
  5. As you blow dry, turn the brush slowly and run it down the length of your hair. This will ensure that your hair is drying straight.
  6. Repeat the whole process until your entire head is dry and straight.
  7. Apply a hair serum to tame frizzy flyaways and to keep your hair looking straight and sleek.

What Happens If You Straighten Your Hair While It’s Wet?

As a one off, straightening your hair while wet is not likely to cause any long term damage or ruin your hair. Doing it on the daily, however, can cause problems like:

  • No one wants their hair to be burnt, right? Straightening your hair wet can actually cause burning!
  • Too much heat damage and your hair will eventually weaken and start to break.
  • Your hair can sometimes react to heat damage by developing a coarser appearance – not what you want for your smooth, sleek look.
  • Long term damage. If you consistently straighten your wet hair, no amount of heat protective sprays will help, and your hair can become irreparably damaged.
  • Curl problems. If you are a curly girl and you straighten your hair wet, you run the risk of damaging the natural curls everyone loves so much.

If you use products in your hair before you straighten it, straightening it wet can cause even more problems.

The heat from the straighteners is so great that you are essentially boiling the product into your hair!

Especially if you are using a product that contains alcohol, this is bad news.

Is It Better To Straighten Hair Wet Or Dry?

The jury is well and truly in on this one – it is definitely better to straighten your hair when it is dry!

What’s even better is to use some protective serums as you straighten your hair, to give it the best chance of being healthy and strong.

If you are adding any hair care products, like a pre styling serum, you should apply these while your hair is damp, then let them dry out fully before you straighten your hair.

If, while you are straightening your hair, you see any level of steam, or hear a sizzling noise, you should stop immediately!

Before anyone straightens their hair, they should make sure that it is in the best condition it can possibly be.

Visit your stylist regularly, to ensure that any split ends or previously damaged areas are removed.

Straightening hair that is already damaged can cause even more damage to those areas, so ensuring that hair is as healthy as it can be before you start is essential.

Final Words

So there you have it. Straighten your hair all you like – just make sure that you protect it from the heat – and never straighten it while it’s wet!

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