Do you use a flat iron on wet or dry hair?

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 06/25/22

We can all agree a flat iron is everyone’s go-to for styling, smoothening, or basically making hair look beautiful. It’s no wonder many of us can’t survive without a flat iron!

Depending on your hair type and styling preferences, there are techniques for using a flat iron. The most common is you wash your hair, then use the flat iron to style or straighten it.

If you’re thinking about this question – do you use a flat iron on wet or dry hair, here’s what Lucky Curl has to say:

It is safer to use a flat iron on dry hair compared to using it on wet hair. This does not mean zero damage though. Keep in mind regular use of flat iron can result in hair damage!

Is it okay to flat iron your hair while wet?

To set the record straight, you shouldn’t use a flat iron or blow dryer, or any hair straightening tools on wet hair.

The reason behind this is that wet hair tends to get heavier and the water inside it turns to gas as you flat iron or blow-dry your hair. This expands the inner part of your hair making it prone to breakage.

Damaged hair increases over time and you end up with brittle and unhealthy hair which should just be chopped off.

It’s tempting to just let that flat iron run through your wet hair especially when you’re in a morning rush for work. But really, it’s a bad idea as it’s gravely damaging to your hair.

And worst case, you might suffer from electric shock as you use the flat iron on sopping wet hair!

In that sense, it is a wise idea to blow dry your hair to at least 70% before using the flat iron to avoid heat damage. It is a lot safer to style damp hair anyway! Plus, you can easily achieve any style you like on wet hair.

Can you use a flat iron on dry hair?

It is best to use a flat iron on dry hair. However, that does not mean zero damage as using heating tools can damage your hair, especially when used regularly.

Even though it’s safe to flat iron dry hair, you should keep in mind a few things such as:

On a side note, you might find styling dry hair a bit of a challenge sometimes. However, with the help of hair styling products, you can easily achieve perfectly styled or straightened hair.

So, is it safe to use a flat iron on wet or dry hair?

Generally speaking, using a flat iron on dry hair is a lot safer as it’s less damaging to your strands. But here’s the catch, you can’t use it every day!

Anyway, there are other natural ways to straighten or style wet hair such as using serum or smoothening cream.

So, to avoid potential hair damage, make sure to prep your hair before styling. Also, choose flat irons that suit your hair type.

In addition, when straightening your hair with a flat iron, be sure to use the lower heat setting and keep adjusting the temperature accordingly to avoid burnt hair.

Also, use the right type of brush for your hair – the one with boar bristle and nylon mix is highly recommended because they can smoothen and polish your hair effectively.

How to flat iron dry hair

Here’s how to flat iron dry hair safely:

Final Say

Straightening wet hair is unsafe. Wet hair is more prone to damage and breakage when in contact with heat. Also, heat from styling tools is amongst the main culprits of hair damage, particularly frizzy hair.

That said, using flat iron on dry or slightly damp hair is recommended. So, rough dry your hair before going anywhere near heating tools. You can use the blow dryer but make sure to point the nozzle downwards to avoid frizz.

Styling with flat irons sounds like an idea but in reality, that shouldn’t be done every day. It’s going to make your hair, brittle, and dry, and can also result in split ends. Flat ironing your hair twice a week is most acceptable!

If you want to know exactly how to use a flat iron, read this article! 

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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