The Best Temperature For Heat Styling |

By Concern

How Hot Is Too Hot? The Optimal Temperature For Hot Tools

15 January 2018
photo of woman curling hair with curling iron
Jelani Addams Rosa

Jelani Addams Rosa

Junior Editor,

As an employee of L'Oréal, Jelani brings her knowledge and passion for hair care to Before joining the team, she spent time at Celebuzz, Seventeen, and Cosmo for Latinas.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve been borderline addicted to hot tools ever since you were gifted your first flat iron in sixth grade. By the time the crimpers, curling irons, hot rollers, and curl wands came along, you’d never met a hot tool you didn’t love. Unfortunately, hot tools don’t always love your hair as much as you love them. If a tool is too hot, your style can end up looking more fried than flawless.

The key to flawless locks is making sure you set your tools at the right temperature. To learn everything we’ve ever wanted to know about the ideal temperature for hot tools, we sat down with Matt Fugate, Kérastase consulting stylist and brand ambassador. Fugate explained to us how to determine the ideal temperature for your hot tools, how to best protect your locks from becoming burnt, and how to rehab your strands if you go a little hot tool crazy.

What is the best temperature for hot tools?

Interestingly, there isn’t just one ideal temperature setting that applies to all hot tools. Instead, you should use your hair type and texture to determine which temperature setting is right for your locks. Fugate explains that “someone with ultra-fine hair can most likely achieve the same results at 250 degrees that a thick unruly girl can achieve at 450 degrees.”

Your hair type and texture aren’t the only things to consider when trying to determine your ideal temperature setting. Fugate insists how you use your hot tools is just as important.

For heat via tools, it is best to bake in the heat instead of microwave it. By that I mean, wrapping the hair around an iron at 380 degrees for 10 seconds is better than wrapping hair around the 450 degrees heat for 3 seconds.

Matt Fugate

If you still aren’t sure what the ideal hot tool temperature is for your hair, Fugate says it is always best to start with a lower setting and work your way up. If you begin styling your hair with a hot tool that it too hot, you run the risk of frying your locks.

What is the best way to protect your hair when using hot tools?

Determining your ideal temperature is the first step in properly using hot tools without scorching your strands. However, even the lowest temperature setting can fry your locks if you don’t use heat protectant. Fugate says heat protectant products are the best way to help protect your hair from heat damage. While there are plenty of heat protectant products on the market, the stylist relies on Kérastase’s cutting-edge hair products to protect his clients’ locks from heat damage.

“Kérastase has always been the leader in this kind of hair technology,” Fugate says. “They have three Thermiques available to protect the hair from heat during styling. They also recently launched L’incroyable Blowdry and L’incroyable Blowdry Crème to take your heat styling to new heights. These new heat protectants allow you to re-style and re-shape your hair over and over.”

Can you reverse the damage done by hot tools?

The short answer is no. There is no way to reverse the damage created by hot tools frying your hair, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. If your hair has been damaged by hot tools, Fugate recommends investing in a nourishing deep conditioner like Kérastase’s Masque Therapiste a fiber quality renewal masque for very damaged, over-processed hair.

Even if you don’t believe your hair is damaged, we’d recommend adding a deep conditioning treatment to your weekly hair routine if you regularly use hot tools. A creamy treatment like Kérastase’s Nutritive Masque Magistral will make your severely dried-out hair feel nourished.

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