Is it Safe to Use Heat Styling Devices with Oils?

Using heat styling devices like blowdryers and flat irons is one of the most common questions I receive.

Many different kinds of oils provide a variety of unique and mutual benefits for hair.

Most people expect some of those benefits to transfer into applying oils prior to using heat styling devices such as a blow dryer, a flat-iron, or a curling iron.

Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. I examine why you can’t use just any oil as a heat protectant in this article.

I also share the best and worst kinds of oils to apply to hair prior to heat styling.

Can You Put Oil in Your Hair Before Blowdrying?

Yes, you can put oil in your hair before blow-drying but this doesn’t apply for every oil.

Application of certain natural oils can lead to frying your hair once the device surface comes in contact with your hair.

This usually leads to severe dryness and hair damage. There have even been cases of the hair coming right off with the flat-iron.

The only way to recover from this type of damage is by trimming your hair irrespective of whatever magical solutions you locate online.

So which oil is the best oil for blow drying natural hair?

The Best Natural Oils for Blowdrying Hair (Heat Styling)

The safest bet would be to avoid combining oils and a heat styling device.

However, if you like using oil for everything to do with your hair as I do, then there are some oils that work with heat styling without damaging hair. They are:

Baja Precious Grapeseed Oil

Baja Precious Grapeseed Oil

Baja Precious Avocado Oil

Baja Precious Avocado Oil

Silk Elements Pure Sweet Almond Oil

Silk Elements Pure Sweet Almond Oil

Venta del Baron Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Venta del Baron Extra Virgin Olive Oil

My personal favorite is grapeseed oil.

These oils have a high smoking point and can tolerate the high temperatures of a blow dryer, flat iron or curler up to 500 F.

The Worst Natural Oils for Heat Styling

There are many oils that degrade when heated up but there are some that do not do well at all with heat and shouldn’t be used for heat styling:

The smoking point of some unsuitable oils such as coconut oil and sesame oil falls within the temperature range mentioned.

However, the main issue is increased amounts of heat degrades the qualities of these oils.

Smoking Point of Oils

They are better reserved for other suitable hair treatments. You can find out more about the smoking point of oils HERE.

Bottom-line, you can use certain kinds of oil for blow-drying, straightening, or curling.

However, they should be used with caution to avoid damaging your hair.

CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron

CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron

Best Tips for Blow Drying Hair with Oil 

1. Apply Lightly Before Heat Styling

Apply the oil lightly. Don’t soak your hair in it. If you have a residue after working through your hair, you’ve applied too much.

You can get rid of the excess by dabbing at your hair with a microfiber towel.

2. Test a Small Section of Hair

Before you apply heat to your whole head, test a small patch of hair just to make sure it’s ok especially if you’ve never combined oil with heat application before.

3. Start with a Low Temperature When Heat Styling

Start with low – mid-temperature on the small section of hair you’re testing. Increase accordingly if your hair takes well to it.

4. You Can Still Use Commerical Heat Protectant for Heat Styling

Feel free to apply a commercial heat protectant then layer the oil over it.

However, if you’re blow-drying, this might be too much for your hair and will prevent bouncy results.

Personally, I find grapeseed oil works quite well on its own for my hair. 

Related Content to Heat Styling

Whichever method you choose for blow-drying, curling or straightening your hair with oil, ensure you test out a small section of your hair before you proceed.

Following the tips above, your hair should revert on the next wash day. 

Keep in mind excessive heat application on hair will lead to dry hair and damaged hair in the long run.

It doesn’t matter how many heat protectants you applied prior to heat styling, excessive heat application will eventually cause damage.

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