Can I Straighten Wet Hair?

Picture the scene: it's Monday morning. You overslept, have a big day at work, and are dashing out the door with wet hair. Or maybe you've darted home from work for a quick shower before a date and need to style your hair pronto. Pop quiz: can you use a straightener while your hair is still wet?

You can, of course. The hair police won't break down your door and stop you mid-straightening. But you may live to regret the decision. Straightening wet hair is a recipe for hair catastrophe. Here's why you shouldn't do it—and what you should do instead.


model with hair straight half curly hair 


Why You Shouldn't Straighten Wet Hair

'It's safe to blow-dry my hair,' you might be thinking, 'so why can't I use a straightener on wet hair?'

The answer is simple: a straightener applies heat directly to your hair and at much higher temperatures than a blow-dryer does. Wet hair can quickly heat to scorching temperatures, burning and even breaking your hair.

If you're lucky, you won't destroy your hair the first time. Persistent wet straightening, though, will inevitably damage your hair. This makes tresses harder to manage, producing more frizz and coarsening your hair's texture.

This can nurture a vicious cycle, encouraging you to more frequently and aggressively straighten your hair, producing more and more damage over time.


model with wet hair applying styling product


Straightening Damp Hair

If you're eager to save time, take heart: you can straighten damp hair. So how can you tell the difference between hair that's too wet to straighten and hair that's ready for a flat iron? If your hair feels cold to the touch, is dripping, or looks darker than it is when it's dry, it's still too wet.

L'Oreal Professionnel Steampod Hair Treatment Styler works by allowing continous steam to slow through their hair while styling resulting in 50% smoother and 50% faster styling.


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Quickly Styling Hair Without Damage

Blow-drying your hair and then straightening it is a recipe for dry, damaged hair. But no one wants to wait for hair to air-dry. Particularly if you have long, thick hair, you might wait for hours. To quickly get your hair dry enough to use a straightener, try the following beauty hacks:

  • Comb your hair with a wide-toothed comb when you get out of the shower or bath. Brushing can break strands, but a comb smooths your hair and removes some excess moisture. We like evo Roy Wide-Tooth Detangling Comb.
  • After you comb your hair, gently blot it with a thick towel, starting at your crown and working your way to the ends. Aggressive towel-drying can break your hair and promote frizz, so don't rub.
  • Shake your hair to promote volume and remove excess moisture. Try flipping your head upside down a few times, then shaking your hair from side to side.
  • Use a high-quality conditioner each time you wash your hair. It might seem counterintuitive, but well-moisturised hair dries more quickly because it's not desperately clinging to the moisture from your shower. Neuma NeuMoisture Conditioner includes heat-protectant ingredients.
  • For added moisture benefits, or if your hair is very dry and damaged, try a hair oil. Lighter formulations work best if you want your hair to dry quickly, since these products are easier for your hair to absorb. Check out Moroccanoil Original Oil Treatment Light.
  • Perform the rest of your beauty rituals after your shower or bath, saving your hair for last. This gives it a few extra minutes to prepare for the flat iron.


Ultimate Guide to Straighteners

Learn more about Straighteners

What Straightener Plate Size Is Best for My Hair?

Straighteners aren't a one-size-fits-all deal. The right plate size depends on your hair texture and length as well as your styling goals.

What's the Difference Between a Straightener and Flat Iron?

All flat irons are straighteners, but not all straighteners are flat irons. Learn more about your hair-straightening options here.

How to Straighten Your Hair Without Damaging It

Flat-ironed hair doesn't have to be dry, frizzy, split, and broken. Here's how to achieve straight hair that's blissfully damage-free.

How Long Will My Straight Hair Last After Using a Straightener?

You might not be able to permanently iron out the kinks in your hair. But when you use the right straightener, a single styling session can last longer than you might expect.

Can I Straighten Wet Hair?

Flat irons are safe for damp hair, but even products marketed for use on wet hair shouldn't be used on sopping-wet tresses. Here's why.

Can I Use a Hair Straightener as a Curling Iron?

You don't have to invest in multiple pricey styling tools. That flat iron you haven't used in months can easily double as the perfect curling tool, especially for elegant, beachy waves.

Hair Straighteners: What You Need to Know

In a sea of material choices, it's tough to determine which straightener is right for your hair type. When you crave stick-straight locks, a little knowledge goes a long way.

5 Tips for Choosing a Hair Straightener

The right hair straightener will last for years and protect your hair from unnecessary damage. It's worth spending a little time choosing the right appliance for your mane wants and needs.

Do Hair Straighteners Damage Hair?

The heat of a straightener can wreak havoc on your hair, but this doesn't mean you have to resign yourself to straight, damaged locks. You really can have gorgeous, healthy, straight hair.

What Heat Setting Is Right for My Hair?

Love your locks? Give them some TLC by setting your hairdryer and styling tools at the right temperature. Here are the details on how to protect your hair from heat damage.

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