If You Have Curly Hair, Think Twice Before Using Hooded Dryers

If you're lucky enough to be blessed with curly hair, you should own it. Curly hair is beautiful, bouncy, and flat-out gorgeous. There's no shortage of hairstyles to be found when you're ready to try something different, which makes styling curly hair incredibly fun—but maintaining perfect curls? That's another story. Girls with curls know just how difficult it can be to keep their curls fluffy and styled throughout the week. While co-washing and other hair hacks, such as the pineappling technique, will help curls keep their flair, taking the wrong steps in your haircare routine could lead to devastating consequences.

Even something as simple as the comb you use could wreak havoc on your curls. Per WebMD, anyone with curly hair should stay far, far away from combs that aren't wide-toothed when detangling. Wide-toothed combs give curls plenty of space, unlike narrow combs that can catch, snag, and cause knots where there were none before.

Opting to use heat tools is another choice to be cautious of when you have curly hair. This couldn't be more true than when it comes to hooded dryers. While hooded dryers might be great at setting a new hairstyle in place, you should think twice before using them because of the potential harm they could cause your hair.

Hooded dryers could cause heat damage

We know what you're thinking: Why in the world should I be wary of one of the most popular salon tools out there? It's true; you'd be hard-pressed to find a hair salon that doesn't have at least a few hooded dryer stations. Even though hooded dryers are a popular choice when setting hairstyles and drying hair evenly, people with curly hair would do best to steer clear of them. They could be causing your strands some serious problems.

Speaking with Martha Stewart, celebrity hairstylist Justi Embree warned that too many trips under the dryer will leave your curly hair brittle and dry. Brittle hair often leads to hair damage, which can be difficult to reverse.

Not only can hooded dryers cause damage, but they're also nearly useless when it comes to styling naturally curly hair. "Hooded dryers are designed to evaporate moisture and are therefore ineffective for styling moisture-loving hair," Embree pointed out. She asks those with curly hair to instead let their curls dry naturally, so their hair retains the moisture it needs to thrive.

How to tell if you have heat damage (and how to prevent it)

There's nothing worse than looking at your curly hair and noticing some strands are stick straight while others are their naturally curly selves. If you've noticed your hair looking like this, you almost certainly have heat damage, especially if you recently used heat tools like a hooded dryer on your hair.

Dr. Rolanda Johnson Wilkerson, the senior beauty scientist at Procter & Gamble, describes heat damage as similar to getting a chemical relaxer. "When you add too much heat to your hair, you are completely breaking those bonds the same way you would as if you were [chemically] relaxing your hair," she told Self.

Heat damage is often a result of using excessive heat on your hair. However, you can still use heat tools if you take the proper steps to prevent damage. During an interview with Glamour, celeb hairstylist Gabriel Samra explained that curly-haired girls should limit their use of heating tools to just once or twice a week if they want healthier hair. She also vouches for using a heat protectant before applying heat to your hair.