I use heat to style my hair every single day. I know heat styling is terrible for it, but I have a lion’s mane that needs to be tamed! I usually try to minimize the damage with some sort of heat protectant product, but at CosmoProf this year I was introduced to a different kind of heat styling tool, one that’s supposed to be better for hair. Specifically, infrared hair styling tools from Aria Beauty.
Infrared hair styling tools basically work the same way as an infrared sauna–they heat hair from the inside out. “[That way] the outer cuticle layer of the hair is more protected, resulting in a more uniformed heat and less heat damage on the outer surface of the hair,” says Tina Dizon, the founder and owner of The Private Room in Beverly Hills, CA.
Infrared styling tools also lock moisture into the hair by stimulating negative ions to draw the oils found inside of the hair shaft to the surface. When the oils are on the surface of the hair, they trap water molecules inside which keeps your hair healthier, explains Leah Todd, head of sales and marketing at Aria Beauty. That also means that your hairstyle will hold up better when it’s humid out!
What’s interesting is that no direct heat is ever applied to the hair with the infrared technology. That means over time your hair will be a lot healthier and less frizzy. Plus, it’s much safer to use on processed, highlighted, dry, or ethnic hair, says Todd.
And, let’s be real here, I’m not giving up my heat styling tools any time soon, so I was pretty excited to try some of Aria’s heat styling tools. I got the 1.25″ Black Infrared Straightener ($199) as well as the Envy Professional Infrared Dryer ($190), and have been using them for the past few weeks. The flat iron heats up to 450 degrees and gets my curly hair stick straight. The blowdryer is especially fun because it has a red light and a blue light, which helps cut down frizz.
There’s an added bonus with infrared tools: because they heat hair from the inside out, they also cut down your styling time. I can safely say that I shaved 10 minutes off of my usual 35 minute blowdrying session. That automatically gets them a gold star in my book.