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The Girl ...
Tigi girl, 21.
Dedicated to Andrew Kalapaca & Steve Tcherkezian

Andrew at Toni & Guy
180 Bloor Street West
Steve at Other sites

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hello everyone,
I hope that my last post was of benefit for clients and beauty industry professionals alike. I hope you all found it interesting and helpful as well, I really enjoyed writting it. Tonight I am going to be posting about a topic that I am sure will cause some controversy. It was brought to my attention that there is a flat iron that claims it can "flat iron the hair while wet without causing damage" that it "makes hair healthier and shinier". I do know about this flat iron and I have commented on irons that claim they are okay to use on wet hair, but I thought that maybe I should expand a bit more and give the topic a post all it's own. I am aware that sales of these irons are on the rise, and I'm sure hair stylists are cutting a lot more hair because their clients are coming in with so much damage to their hair. So let me deal with the topic and give some clariffication on these irons and the claims that are made.
Again the views expressed in this post are those of tigigirl (me)and or the respected author where noted.
*Just a note...When I say wet irons I am speaking about irons that claim to be safe to use on wet hair or irons that claim to straighten and dry the hair in one step.

The Secrets of the Iron
I know that you have seen these new irons that claim to "straighten and dry the hair in one easy step without damaging the hair" The ones that make you think "oh look at this! It can be used on wet hair, hello new iron bye bye blow-dryer!" But before you throw out that good old blow-dryer and purchase this ridiculously priced iron that WILL damage your hair, read what I am about to write....The ads that seduce you into thinking the iron is great make you want to buy it, make you feel that you are justified in spending $200 Canadian dollars (or whatever the price is in your country, it's pretty expensive) for this iron....after all you think it's okay. It claims that it's safe for the hair, and that it improves the hair's look and condition. It makes you believe that the tourmaline crystals are good for your hair and do make your hair healthier. You see the models picture and think "wow her hair looks great" and the price tag makes you think it's gotta be good to be expensive right?
All the above....wrong! Companies obviously want you to purchase their product so of course they will bend the truth and they want you to think their product is better than the competition so they "sweeten the deal" They don't tell you the truth they omit oh that heat regardless the iron is going to damage your hair. Of course they are going to say it makes your hair look better, you are in effect "styling" the hair, so of course hair looks better when it's styled. Oh and the models hair, she had a hair stylist do her hair....and for those of you that still think Beyonce colours her hair at home with L'oreal's boxed colour, please wake up and get with it! She PAYS people to colour her hair, she'd never do it at home.
Let's get deeper into these claims shall we
Claim #1 "Make your hair look and feel better"
For those of us with thick curly hair, or curly hair in general our hair tends to be a bit on the rough side....and doesn't have much of a lustre without product, so why does it look so good and why does it feel so soft when we iron it?Our hair tends to be rough because of our hair's natural texture, you have to remember that the curls tend to be overlapping eachother, and the humid weather doesn't help it. It is also important to note that many of us with curly hair have an abundance of strength and lack of that's why it tends to be rough, lack of moisute and natural texture. Curly tops tend to lack lusture because of how light works...really...think about this...look at your ceiling, seriously look at it. Your ceiling is either texturized (what are those funky bumps called, where they spray some stuff on the ceiling and it looks like little dots or bumps?, whatever there called that is what I'm talking about) or without it, just plain dry wall. Now look at how the light reflects off of it....if you have the texturized ceiling with the dot's/bumps then the light is not bouncing off of it well is it? It's not shiny and alot of light is not reflected right? But if you have the non-textured or flat ceiling then you will notice that the light reflects better off of it....the ceiling has and imediate shine close to the light fixture that is very bright. Now take that and apply it to hair....straight hair has no bumps or ridges so the light reflects off better therefore we see shine, but if your hair is curly then the light does not reflect off it well and you in turn don't see shine. (or as much as you do when you straighten it)But have no fear....there are products out there intended to boost the hair's shine...Bedhead's Shine Junkie! Way to go TIGI! I love that stuff!
Claim #2That tourmaline jewels actual do anything
The companies tend to make the addition of tourmaline jewels(one particular brand) to their iron a big deal...that it emits more negative ions than other irons because "tourmaline jewels are the world's most potent ionic mineral" Here's my dilemna and other well respected hair industry professionals do is difficult to tell just how many negative ions are emitted and how effective it is on the hair's condition. What are ions....this I got from Hitoshi Lance, a friend of Steve Tcherkezian and a well respected TR industry professional. " all ions do is break water molecules which help water pentrate hair more effectively" thus it just reduces drying time. But Hitoshi mentions that "it is difficult to measure the amount of water penetrating the hair" (courtesy So in turn what do we really know about negative ions and tourmaline jewels? not much besides the fact that tourmaline jewels emit negative ions, but then again so do ceramic irons..
Claim #3 It's okay to flat iron your hair wet
I mean this is the big claim of these wet irons, that it is okay to flat iron your hair while it is wet. Oh and let's not forget they tell us that we are saving time by using their wet iron because hey look it straightens and dries the hair in one step. I feel for the peope that fall for this....this is why I'm glad that I'm spending the time to talk about it, this way you all don't get taken. Okay I remember one day while at the salon I was talking to my stylist and I asked Andrew what it meant when the iron sizzled or smoked (also what people refer to as steam) and he told me that I was burning my hair....made sure to dry it better after that day :) So in essence is the same thing not happening to the hair when you flat iron it with this wet iron.
Remember the iron makes NO claim in saying what exactly the iron does to protect your hair from it burning or "frying" all it talks about is this "negative ion" garbage...and they think since you are a consumer that you won't care to know what these tourmaline jewels really do (which is nothing but emit negative ions as do ceramic irons, which claims to speed the drying process) or what is protecting your hair from that extreme damage.
So what prevents your hair from burning? Nothing! Unless of course you are using a heat protectant which will protect the hair but minimally. Now what exactly does happen...scientifically when we flat iron wet hair. "Water boils at 100 °C. If a hot [flat iron] is put on to wet hair, it boils the water inside the hair. The boiling water softens the keratin of the cortex; then the steam from the boiling water expands and forms tiny bubbles inside the hair. Eventually the hair breaks off, either at or somewhere near a bubble" Copyright Dr. John Gray and the P&G Hair Care Research Center 2005. When you see a little white dot on the ends or close to the ends of one of your hairs that is bubble hair! (cool that we can see it's effects isn't it?) Now of course there are people out there who just think "it happens" but I have stated strong independent research that has been done by a respected industry professional, and any industry professional with knowledge of the structure and behaviour of hair would agree with the aforementioned quote. But I will also provide a real life experience of the affects of these wet irons later on in the post.
Just a note on the vents that allow steam to escape, I assume it's there to ensure that the steam can "go up" which is important if not the heat from the steam may be felt on the scalp and that can cause you have seen if you have ever ironed a part of your hair you accidently did not full dry, steam comes through and you will feel heat. It has happened to me before I missed a small piece of hair that was not dried and when I went to iron it steam came out and it was so hot it was burning my hand! Thankfully I didn't get burned :)
Another note...heat is heat and no matter what type of heat styling tool you use you will damage your hair....but that is why there are heat protectants out there...for example Bedhead's Control Freak Serum (my fav. product in the world) they will minimize the damage from the heat styling tools, but it is important to keep in mind that the hair should be dry before it is ironed...again remember that when you apply that hot iron to wet hair you are causing the water inside your hair to boil and that will cause it to expand and possibly are seriously damaging the internal structure of the hair~Remember once you damage the internal structure of the hair you cannot repair it, only thing left to do is cut it off, seriously. If the cortex is damaged no product can help you and ironing your hair wet as I mentioned causes quite the trama to the hair, including the cortex...see if it's dry there is no water to boil, and you are only affecting the hydrogen bonds (the weak bonds of the hair)therefore minimizing overall damage.
Now I presented my view, the view of science and now for a real life story.....I do remember using this post before on my site when I previously talked about and warned about these wet irons, This quote was taken from and JenBen (the one who tells the story) posts this in reply to a question about wet again I am using this with permission.
"Hi there, I work in a salon in Toronto and I have a client that comes to me once a week now for blowdrys. Now she had purchased one of those iron that you can use on dry or wet hair. Now when she sat in my chair I didn't know where to start.Her hair was so damaged from flat ironing her hair wet. Now when you do it on damp hair you have to go over that section a number of times to get it dry and flat. When I did a porosity test on her it faled. There was no moisture left in her hair and the protien was fryed right out. Its like boiling your hair (for a lack of betters words)and to top it off she wanted to get an x-tenso done on her hair.. If your not familure with this its a soft curl relaxer. Now I told her I would not do the service on her but what I could do is do many teatments on her hair to fix this, as well as cuts. Now a year later I am booking her an apointment to do x-tenso. Her hair is so healthy, compaired to last year. So my advice to you is dont' buy a flat iron that claims you can flat iron on wet hair.. Spend the money right and buy a professional one. JenBen " Copyright JenBen and
Now you see this is coming from a stylist who had a client use one of these wet irons and look at what happened to her hair...DAMAGED so badly that she could not even receive a chemical hair service...Now many recipients of chemical relaxers or straighteners have used (dry only)flat irons in the past and for many it was used regularily prior to their chemical straightener/relaxer service, but many were okay to have the service done, but not the one who used the wet iron! See the damage? See what it does to your hair? Now will people listen?We live in a world that is full of marketing games and strategies, we have all fallen for one in the past or thought "hey this sounds cool" only to be disappointed in the end, or have the product not turn out to be as advertised. These wet irons are ridiculous and so damaging to the internal structure of the hair.....the reason why so many people don't actually catch on is because we cannot really see the damage that is happening. People who use the iron and start noticing white dot's on their hair (bubble hair) blame it on something else, when the split ends get worse and worse they blame something else..."oh I haven't had a cut in a while" -most used excuse. When their hair feels dry and it's brittle and breaking easily they use that famous excuse, and when they get the haircut and the hair quickly returns to that damaged state because they have damaged not only the ends but the entire hair shaft and strand with that wet iron, they blame something else, they never want to hear it was the wet iron....people hear what they want to many times.
I'm here telling you the truth, exposing these claims, not with my view alone, but with the view of many prominent industry professionals, I've mentioned my two hair guru's views, I've presented a scientific view from a Dr. I've also presented a real life case from a stylist who observed or learned this from a client. You have read the article, now it's in your the way ever wondered why more brands don't create wet irons to sell? (I know of only two brands) I guess they too learned about the damaging effects of these wet irons and decided against making them....every wonder why your stylist doesn't use one? I guess they found out the truth too.
"It's your hair WHO are you going to TRUST?"
Copyright tigi girl, and the other respected authors quoted, all information remains copyright unless otherwise stated, and the information may not be reproduced without permission.

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