Can Straighteners Be Used on Colored Hair? How to Use Them Safely.

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How can we use straighteners in a way that’s safe for colored and dyed hair?

We all know that using hair straighteners is bad for our hair, whatever condition it’s in.

The damage that hair straighteners can do is well-documented. The irony (geddit?) is that we use hair straighteners to make our look shiny, glossy and fabulous! 

Today, the sad news is that using hair straighteners regularly can also dramatically fade out hair color.

That’s why it’s important to only use the Best hair straighteners for colored hair to give your color the best chance of looking luscious for longer.

Here’s an easy guide on how to use straighteners on color-treated hair safely.

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Are straighteners bad for colored hair?

Yes. It’s a fact that straighteners can make your hair dye fade faster.

This amazing video by Californian hairdresser Guy Tang went viral a couple of years ago for showing the effects of straightener heat on colored hair.

It’s worth a watch to see the dramatic effects of a flat hair iron turned up to 400 degrees!

Why are straighteners bad for colored hair?

There are a few reasons hair straighteners or flat irons are considered bad news for color-treated and dyed locks:

  1. Color Fading: The high heat from a straightener can cause your hair color to fade faster. It’s like stepping out into the sun without sunblock.
  2. Dryness: Straighteners can remove the natural oils from your hair, leaving it dry and brittle. This is especially damaging for colored hair, which needs all the moisture it can get.
  3. Breakage: The intense heat from straightening tools can weaken the hair shaft, leading to breakage. This risk is amplified with colored hair, as the color treatment process already puts a lot of stress on your hair.
  4. Loss of Shine: Straightening can make your hair look dull over time. That glossy shine that you loved right after coloring? It might become a thing of the past with excessive straightening.
  5. Altering Hair Structure: Heat appliances like straighteners can alter the protein structure of your hair, making it hard to revert to your natural hair texture. If you’ve got a cool hair color, this could be a double whammy!

Remember, every hair type reacts differently. What’s most important is that you listen to your hair and give it the care it deserves.

Can Straighteners Be Used on Colored Hair?

Absolutely, you can use straighteners on colored hair!

But it’s important to take some extra precautions to keep your hair healthy and vibrant.

Colored hair can be a bit more vulnerable to heat damage. So, before you start, apply a heat protectant to your hair.

This will form a defensive barrier between your hair and the straightener, minimizing the risk of heat damage.

And remember, don’t crank that heat setting up too high!

Lower heat settings can work just as well without causing unnecessary harm. Your colored hair can look sleek and straight without losing any of its fabulous color.

“I recommend to ALWAYS use a thermal heat protecting spray, never turn your iron above 350° (because let’s face it, you cook raw chicken at 350°) ; and only use a blow dryer when necessary.”

Chandra Robbins, Owner, Head Stylist

Keep your colors bright and long lasting.

With the recent trend for vibrant hair color ideas such as blues, lilac and reds – that tend to have a shorter lifespan than natural colors – it’s more important than ever to know how to care for colored hair.

And this mean learning to use hair straighteners or flat irons in a way that will do the least damage to your hair.

How to safely use straighteners on colored hair.

So without further ado, we’re going to show you how you yes, you CAN keep using your beloved straighteners with colored hair, but there are a few steps you can take that will mean less damage.

What you’ll need.

Let’s go!

Time approx: 30 mins.

Step one: Warm up straighteners

Turn on your hair straighteners and leave them to warm up while you move onto the next step.

Luke warm straighteners will pull and rip your hair so wait until they’re at the right temperature before you start using them.

Step two: Protect your hair

Before you pick up the hair dryer, give your hair a few squirts of your heat protection spray of choice.

Make sure it is absorbed from end to end. Protecting your roots is just as important as the frizzier ends. Now you’re ready to blow dry your hair.

Step three: Dry your hair

Next, you’ll need to dry your hair and make sure it’s completely free of moisture before you put the irons anywhere near it. 

Leave your hair until it has air dried 80% of the way and then finish with a blow dryer.

Step four: Section your hair

Now your hair is completely dry, divide it into manageable sections with the clips.

How many you have depends on your hair type and your skill! If you have thick hair, you’ll need more sections to get the best results.

Can Straighteners Be Used on Colored Hair - hair in sections

Step five: Spray again

Now your straighteners should be ready and hot.

Why we love the ghds for colored hair is the straighteners use a maximum temperature of 185 degrees to straighten your hair. Some hair straighteners go up to 400 degrees! 

While these may save time when it comes to styling, in the long run the heat will totally frazzle your color and damage your hair. 

Grab the first section and give it another spritz with the hair heat protection spray. Wait a couple of seconds for it to sink in before moving to the next stage.

Step six: Comb and straighten

This is the tricky part. With your comb, comb the section downward while placing the flat iron on the section behind it.

Now, slowly and carefully slide both the comb and the straighteners right down to the ends of your hair. 

Repeat this as few times as you possibly can to get the desired result.

The fewer times the better so be careful not to overdo it. If there’s any smoke or burning smell coming from your hair, stop and wait for it to cool down.

Step seven: Shine spray!

Once you’ve completed your whole head, seal in the shine with your smooth and shine spray to keep it protected and looking glossy!

You can also apply some serum to the ends to seal them and set the whole look with hairspray if your hair is prone to flyaways.

Can Straighteners Be Used on Colored Hair - straight hair results

Can I use straighteners to curl my hair?

The wonderful thing about straighteners is that, despite their name, you don’t just have to use them to make your hair straight.

There are a few tips and techniques you can learn to put curls or waves in your hair.

TOP TIPS!

DO:

  • Wait until your hair is partly dry before using the hair dryer to dry it.
  • Always use a hair heat protection spray.
  • Try out how to use straighteners to make curls or waves.

DON’T:

  • Don’t straighten your colored hair every day.
  • Don’t EVER put straighteners on wet hair.
  • Don’t over-iron. If your hair smokes or smells of burning STOP.

Follow our advice on how to use straighteners with colored hair and you’ll keep that color locked in and fabulous for longer.

Which are the best hair straighteners for colored hair?

Thankfully today, there are a growing range of hair straighteners that are kinder to colored hair.

With temperature controls, keratin infused plates and special conditioning properties, here’s a round up of the best.

You can read more about each one in our best hair straighteners for coloued hair reviews.

Best straighteners for colored hair at a glance.

StraightenerLooks likeBest forRatingBuy now
Dyson Corrale

Dyson Corrale™ Hair Straightener, Fuchsia/Fuchsia

Cordless wonder. five star icon Edited 1
Remington Colour Protect

Remington S8A900 Pro 1” Flat Iron with Color Care Heat Control Sensing Technology and Ceramic Color-Lock Coated Plates, Straighten Color Treated Hair While Protecting from Damage and Fading

Budget. three star icon Edited 1
Cloud Nine The Original Iron Hair Straightener.

CLOUD NINE The Original Iron Hair Straightener Gift Set (Black)

Thicker hair. five star icon Edited 1
ghd Gold Styler Professional

ghd Gold Styler ― 1" Flat Iron Hair Straightener, Professional Ceramic Hair Straightening Styling Tool for Stronger Hair & More Color Protection ― Black

Eveything! five star icon Edited 1
ghd Platinum + Smart Styler

ghd Platinum+ Styler ― 1" Flat Iron Hair Straightener, Professional Ceramic Hair Styling Tool for Stronger Hair, More Shine, & More Color Protection ― White

Poker straight hair. four star icon Edited

TOP PICK!

ghd Gold Styler Professional Ceramic Hair Straighteners.

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Best hair straighteners for: Every day use.

The ghd Gold Styler Professional Ceramic Hair Straighteners are a real game-changer, especially for those with color-treated hair.

These are the straighteners that all other straighteners want to be.

Unlike other straighteners, they maintain a steady, optimal temperature that minimizes the risk of heat damage, meaning you can style your hair with peace of mind. These straighteners are fabulous for giving your color-treated hair the love it deserves while keeping it sleek and stylish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does straightening hair make color fade faster?

The answer is yes, it can.

When you apply heat to colored hair, it can cause the dye molecules to break down and fade faster.

The high temperature of the straightener weakens the hair’s internal structure, making it more susceptible to damage and fading.

So that’s why it’s crucial to use the right temperature and techniques to prevent color fade and maintain healthy hair.

What temperature should a flat iron be for dyed hair?

The best temperature for hot tools with colored hair is between 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

You don’t want to go any higher than this range because excessive heat can damage and break down the cuticles, leading to frizz, split ends, and hair breakage.

Using a heat protectant spray or serum can provide an extra layer of protection for your hair.

Can you use heat on colored hair?

Yes, but with caution!

You can use heat tools to style colored hair. But it’s essential to use the right temperature and protect your hair from excessive heat by using the appropriate heat protection products.

Don’t use them too often either – this will reduce protein loss and prevent excessive damage.

What heat is safe for colored hair?

As we mentioned earlier, the safe temperature range for colored hair is 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.

This temperature range provides enough heat to straighten or style your hair without causing excessive damage.

If you have thin hair or damaged hair, it’s best to use a lower temperature setting to prevent further breakage, damage, and color fade.

Does heat ruin color?

Yes, it can. The high heat of flat irons, curling irons, and other heat tools can break down the dye molecules and fade color faster.

Heat causes the cuticles to open up, leading to color fading, hair damage, and split ends. To prevent heat damage, it’s essential to use the right temperature, heat protection sprays, and limit how often you use them!

Parting words.

In conclusion, it’s okay to want to use hair straighteners – when done correctly, they can help achieve a fabulous and glossy look.

It’s important that you take into account the steps needed to protect your colored and dyed hair.

By following this guide, you will be able to reduce the chances of damaging your hair much more efficiently, and still get a result that’s better than ever!

Investing in high quality tools like the best hair straighteners for color treated hair is worth it: not only are they safer for your locks but also more durable, giving you many years of excellent results before needing to be replaced!

Ultimately, by being responsible about how you use straighteners on colored and dyed tresses, you’ll have gorgeous looking hair year-round without putting its health at risk.

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!