Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Hair Feeling Like Straw

Q: I am in my early fifties and have developed an extremely dry, coarse, frizzy part of my hair near my crown, which is of a different texture than the rest of my hair, which tends to be wavy. My new hairdresser gave me a great shag cut, but uses a flat iron and told me I should do that everyday. Well, I have a tourmaline, ceramic flat iron and use it a few time a week, but also blow dry my hair every day. Now the crown of my hair feels even worse, but my stylist says it is just the texture of the hair, not the flat iron which causes it to feel like straw. What is your opinion of the ongoing use of the flat iron and how - or is it even possible - to restore the texture of the hair.
A: As long as your hair is already healthy and in good condition, and you use protective products to prevent damage to the hair from heat styling, you should be fine to use the flat iron as often as needed. However, the extremely dry, coarse, frizzy section of hair sounds to me like you already have some measure of styling damage (or damage from the elements). It could also just be a sign of aging and the scalp producing less of the emollient oils which would help to keep the hair healthy and protected.
My first advice to you is to start using deep conditioning treatments once or twice a week as you see fit. You should remember that you only need to shampoo the hair when it is dirty, but you should condition the hair every day. In most cases, using a rinse-through conditioner in the shower is sufficient to remove the daily soil that would accumulate on the hair. If you blow-dry and heat style the hair, you should also use a spray-on, leave-in conditioner to give your hair added protection against heat damage. I also recommend using a smoothing serum, especially on the problem areas (such as your coarse patch of hair, and the hair ends) to keep them smooth and leave the hair looking healthy.
The results of daily conditioning and deep conditioning treatments may not be immediate, but you should start seeing a marked improvement over the next couple of weeks. If you don't intend to use the flat iron, you can even leave the hair slightly damp and let it finish drying naturally which should help you get softer, smoother hair. Be sure to check out our articles on using heat styling appliances for more information on using flat irons safely.
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