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Improper Use Of Flat Irons May Lead To Accelerated & Chronic Hair Breakage

At the American Academy of Dermatology's Summer Academy Meeting in Chicago last summer, dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, presented evidence that when ceramic flat irons are used improperly or too frequently, hair breakage can occur.

(Image of Conair - Ceramic 1 5/8" Ultra Slim Straightener - - All Rights Reserved).

How?  According to Dr. Mirmirani "The newer flat irons that have a ceramic coating instead of a metal one are marketed as providing more rapid and uniform heat transmission.

While this allows for quicker straightening of the hair with less damage, it is really a classic case of buyer beware," said Dr. Mirmirani.

Dr. Mirmirani continued by stating "we're seeing that when these ceramic flat irons are used at the highest heat settings and on a daily basis to achieve straight hair, they can really take a toll on the structure of the hair and cause very noticeable problems that can be hard to repair."

Put Down That Flat Iron & Step Away

Hair weathering or damage, according to Dr. Mirmirani is usually characterized by dry ends or flyaway hair. However, if flat iron breakage occurs, it can happen anywhere along the length of the hair and cause a shaggy or skimpy appearance to the hair.

When this occurs, flat iron users may use the device even more frequently to try to tame the broken or uneven appearance of their hair - which can lead to more damage.

A vicious cycle may occur with the flat iron user working harder to style their hair to camouflage the breakage but accelerating and intensifying the existing breakage by continuing the destructive ironing schedule.

What's the hot iron styling addict to do?  Step away from the iron is the first and best step.  When damage has occurred continuing to use the hot iron to try and hide it will only make matters worse.

(Image of BaByliss Pro - Nano Titanium 1 1/4" Straightening Iron - - All Rights Reserved).

The next best course of action is to visit your hairdresser and have them trim the damage, if it can be done without cutting off too much hair.

Other options include undertaking a routine of deep conditioning treatments to try and strengthen the remaining hair and look into styling options such as wet or air-dry hair sets which give hair a chance to rest and recover.

The best approach to avoid hot iron damage?  Prevention is the key and involves avoiding irons that are too hot, used too frequently or may be incompatible with your hair type, texture and current condition.

More About The American Academy of Dermatology Academy

Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations.

With a membership of more than 15,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails.

For additional information, contact the Academy at 1-888-462-DERM (3376) or

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