HOT or NOT … Your Haircare Appliance Guide

hair appliance temperature guide

Remember when you were young and cooked your very first dish on the stove? Did you overcook it? Or how about learning to do your laundry as a child. Everything, no matter the material, was put on high heat. How about discovering the clothes iron for the very first time? High heat again, regardless of the garment. Yes, growing up we learned through trial and error. Sometimes the mistakes were fatuous and other times perhaps more severe. But now, as adults, we realize the significance of temperature control in more areas than one. Knowing the correct settings for your haircare appliance is arguably as important as grilling your favorite dish. Here are the three most commonly used hair care appliances and a temperature guide to know whether to choose hot or not.

hair appliance heat temp guideBlow Dryer

When blow-drying your hair do you immediately opt for high a heat setting? While it’s true your hair may dry quicker, this approach may not be the best for your specific hair type. For thin or compromised hair use a medium setting, while thicker more coarse hair types can handle higher temperatures. Always remember to keep the dryer moving. Too much heat in a concentrated area can create unwanted damage. If your blow dryer has a cool shot feature, switch it on when your hair is about 95% dry. Doing so will help to shut the cuticle down and create more shine.

Flat Iron

The right iron temperature is the difference between achieving a lovely style or creating an unwelcomed disaster. To know exactly what temperature your iron is set at your appliance will need to have a guide or heat control setting. Most irons with an on/off only button are automatically set to a very high temperature. If your hair texture is thin and fine, or if you have chemically damaged hair, you’ll want to keep the heat on a lower setting between 200° and 300° F. For normal to medium textured hair you can increase the heat up to 350°F. Thicker more coarse hair types can withstand the highest temperature setting up to 375°F. Never go over 400°F regardless of your hair type or texture.

Curling Iron

While the same general temperature settings apply as with the flat iron, here the type of curl you want to achieve may cause you to adjust the temperature. You may find yourself holding the iron in a position trying to lock in the curl, but this can be achieved with proper sectioning. If your goal is tighter curls, use smaller sections, while looser curls call for larger sections. Smaller sections also mean less heat, 225° F to 325°F. For larger sections, you can increase the heat up to 375°, while keeping the iron continuously moving.

From the kitchen to the laundry room, to the vanity, understanding temperature control shows up in a lot more areas in our lives than just a thermostat on the wall. Yes, too much heat can cause us to overcook our steak, or shrink our favorite cotton T-shirt, but too much heat on our hair, however, is far from one of life’s little plights. So next time you turn on your favorite hair care appliance you should ask yourself do I go hot or not!


Jyl Craven
About the author

My love and passion for the hair industry started when I was very young. I have always felt very fortunate in knowing that being a hair designer/educator was my future. I constantly strive to better educate myself and my design team. Making others look and feel their best is what I strive to achieve. My specialty is hair color, but I love cutting as well. To be the best artist you can, I feel you must be well rounded in all of your skills. That is why I also train other salons across the country in all of L ´Oréal Professionnel color and cutting techniques. I have been privileged to work with the most talented artists in the industry. Thank you for visiting our site and I hope to see you in our salon.