If you continue to keep using hot tools past their prime, you could end up doing major damage to your hair. “Blow dryers can burn and scorch the inner cortex of the hair,” cautions Faith Huffnagle, Prose Director of Education and veteran stylist. “Flatirons can burn, pull and break strands repeatedly from overheating and friction, while curling irons can burn and break hair from overheating strands and melted product buildup.”
How long is too long?
Though it ranges depending on the brand and model, the average lifespan of a hair dryer is around 800 hours, while styling tools like flat irons and curling irons last between 500 to 1,000 hours. How often you should replace your hair dryer depends on a few factors. “If the model is inexpensive, [replace it] every two years,” Huffnagle says. “If it’s expensive or professional quality, [it will last] five to seven years.”
Give your hot tools some TLC
However, there are simple things you can do to help hot tools last longer and still ace their duties. For starters, always take care of the electrical cords and plugs. Insert and remove them from outlets gently and avoid pulling on the cord. Applying product to help shape your style and prevent heat damage helps your strands look great, but it’s bad news for your tools, since buildup and residue is not their friend. Once they cool down, clean the plates of flat irons and the barrel of curling irons with a damp cloth. You’ll also need to clean your blow dryer, so be sure to remove the back vent where dust, debris and hair can get trapped, since letting it linger breeds bacteria, and then blows it back onto you when you use it. “[It’s important to] keep the vents clean and free of lint because this can also catch fire if not cleaned often,” Huffnagle says. Always store your tools in a clean, dry place, since moisture can damage them. Don’t wrap the electrical cord too tightly, since that can strain on it. If you ignore all these care tips and abuse your tools, their lifespan will be even shorter.
The warning signs
Keep an eye out for warning signs that your hot tools are ready to be replaced. “If the temperature dramatically rises and falls during blow drying, they could be pulling too much power from the wall and overheating the motor, so I would recommend replacing,” Huffnagle says. “Flatirons should be replaced as soon as there’s visible scratches on the plates and curling irons when there are scratches or too much product buildup that is no longer possible to remove.” If the electrical cords are frayed or there are any exposed wires, it’s time to toss them, as well as if the temperature settings are no longer accurate. And if you smell something funky, that could mean the internal motor or electrical wiring is long past its prime.
Are you an avid user of hot tools? Prose has your back and will work to erase any damage you may have done to your strands. Get started with you consultation here.