Heat styling terms you need to know

Heat styling terms you need to know

Throughout the ages, women have gone to great lengths (pun intended) to get beautiful hair. The amount of damage women subjected their hair to was so severe, it’s little wonder they had anything left to pouffe!  

RELATED: Beauty buzzwords and their meanings
RELATED: The A-Z of amazing hair oils

Thankfully, we’ve come a looong way since the days of gardening tools (yes, really), electric wave treatments and metal tongs. These days, our heat stylers have not only evolved physically, but scientifically, too. In a quest to better understand how the straighteners, curlers and blow-dryers of today are helping keep our locks intact, we spoke to a hair expert to get the scoop on the heat styling terminology you need to know.

RELATED: Beauty brand names explained
RELATED: The strange history of shampoo


“Ionic technology creates millions of negative ions, and this is added [into] hairdryers to help dry the hair faster by breaking down the water molecules,” says Mary Alamine, 2016 AHFAs NSW/ACT Hairdresser of the Year and VS Sassoon Hair Expert. This allows those negative ions, when released, to attach to positively charged ions found on wet hair, which in turn allows the hairdryer to lock moisture into the hair, to reduce static, damage and frizz as you’re drying.


Ever wondered what positive and negative ions had to do with your hair? Quite a lot, actually. Here’s a fun fact: Everyone’s hair carries a positive electrical charge that is caused by damage and dryness. The more we damage our hair, the more positive charges it creates, which then results in static and frizz. To counteract these positive ions, straighteners and hairdryers create negative ions (ionic technology), which brings those positive charges under control, smoothing and closing the hair cuticles while locking in moisture.

Heat styling hair tools bh recommends for your hair….


Remington Keratin & Argan Oil Nourish Straightener


Philips MoistureProtect Dryer


ghd platinum® styler

VS Sassoon Curl Secret

VS Sassoon Curl Secret

EVY Professional InfusaLite Dryer

EVY Professional InfusaLite Dryer

THERMAL STYLING “Thermal styling refers to any form of heat being used on the hair. For example, straightening irons, hairdryers, curling tongs and heated rollers are all classified as thermal tools,” says Mary. FLOATING PLATES Though it may sound a little counterintuitive, floating plates allow for constant contact and even pressure on the hair while styling. “Floating plates in straighteners supply even heat distribution and make the hair smooth and silky,” says Mary. The suspension system found in these tools allows the hair to move smoothly without tugging. RELATED: Styling tips from hair expert Jaye EdwardsRELATED: The blow-drying mistakes you didn’t even know you were making CERAMIC COATING When in use, straighteners with a ceramic coating provide an even heat distribution over the hair, which ensures consistent straightening and even results. TOURMALINE This mineral aids in the hair smoothing process, which is crushed into a fine powder and baked into the plates of your hair tool, says Mary. It is a “crystal boron silicate mineral… that produces negative ions that counteract positive ions present in dry and damaged hair, resulting in smooth, shiny hair,” she says. Did you know what any of these terms meant before reading this? Or are there any other ones you’d like to know?

Share your thoughts

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00