What Heat Setting Is Right for My Hair?

You really can heat-style your hair on a regular basis without damaging it. The trick is to educate yourself on temperatures. Here’s a quick and easy guide to heat styling that leaves every hair type glossy and healthy.

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How Low Can You Go? Heat-Styling Fine and Processed Hair

If your hair is naturally delicate and fine, you need to treat it like precious silk. This is doubly true if your hair has become ultra-fragile due to processing. Whether you’ve bleached, relaxed, or permed your mane, you need to treat it with extra care.

When you're styling fine, processed hair with heat, 350°F/175°C is a safe bet. Anything over 370°F/190°C is going to cause serious damage to your hair.

PRO TIP: Prepare delicate or damaged hair with a top-notch protectant. Try ghd Unplugged Heat Protect Spray.

Proceed With Caution: Heat-Styling Colour-Treated Hair

Make your hair colour last longer by keeping appliance temps under 390°F/200°C. Just turning down the heat a little bit can make a major difference in keeping your locks vibrant. This is doubly true for red shades that are notoriously prone to fading.

PRO TIP: Look for hydrating heat-protectants that are formulated specifically for coloured hair. Check out Shu Uemura Colour Lustre Thermomilk .

Take It Easy: Normal Hair

Have fairly run-of-the-mill locks? They still need protection! Bargain hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons are way too hard to control—and hard on your hair. You don’t want to damage your healthy strands. Unless your hair is exceptionally thick and hard to style, always keep your heat styling tools under 400°F/200°C.

PRO TIPCeramic heat-styling tools really do work better and cause less damage. For smooth and shiny waves, we love the BaBylissPRO Ceramic Black Conical Wand - 32-19mm.

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Fire It Up: Heat-Styling Natural and Textured Hair

If your hair is ultra-dense, curly, or thick, you need a lot of heat to penetrate it. Start out by styling at 450°F/ 232°C. Once you get your hair styled, reduce the heat to 370°F/ 187°C.

PRO TIP: Hard-to-style strands need a professional-quality blow dryer. The Parlux Power Light 385 Ionic & Ceramic Hairdryer - Aquamarine is the gold standard.


If you want to know more about GHD and Cloud 9, be sure to read our BeautyIQ article What’s the Difference Between GHD and Cloud Nine?


Sleek, Snatched Hair Tutorial [Natalie Anne Masterclass]