Wet Hair & Waving IronQ: Is a waving iron used on wet hair less or more damaging to hair than blow drying? Thanks!
A: In short, it would be far more damaging. This presumes that you are using the waving iron on its usual styling-temperature setting for the purpose of trying to dry and curl the hair at the same time.
The surface temperature of the hair when heated by a blow-dryer for the purpose of drying the hair is mitigated by the cooling effect of the water evaporating from the hair. The hair is warmed, but it never comes into contact with the levels of heat that are used by the waving iron to curl the hair.
Styling irons are meant to be used on clean, dry hair (except in specific, carefully monitored situations by trained technicians for specific purposes or services) because of the risk of damage to the hair caused by the "flash boil" effect of water being contacted by the heated elements of the tool.
We've all seen curling irons that have been allowed to heat up and then had water dropped onto them, or misted onto them with a sprayer. The water contacts the heated appliance and begins to sizzle, steam and be boiled away. Now, imagine that process going on with the moisture in your wet hair and what would happen to the hair as a result. It would be something akin to boiling or poaching your hair. It's really not a good idea.
Always use your styling tools appropriately according to the directions and recommended methods. Your hair WILL grow back, but it can take years depending on how much you have to replace.
Heat styling basics
Is a waver the same thing as a triple barrel?