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American Academy of Dermatology: Dermatologists Warn Ceramic Flat Irons Could Damage Hair and Lead to Hair Breakage
Date:7/30/2008

Straight hair enthusiasts urged to give their hair a break by limiting use

and avoiding improper application of popular hair device

CHICAGO, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- While hairstyles come and go, pin-straight hair favored by A-list celebrities and emulated by scores of loyal fans from coast to coast appears to have real staying power. That's why the use of flat irons, which are used to straighten hair, has increased in popularity in recent years. Now, dermatologists warn that some flat irons can damage hair and cause hair breakage which could put a crimp in this coveted hairstyle.

At the American Academy of Dermatology's Summer Academy Meeting 2008 in Chicago, dermatologist Paradi Mirmirani, MD, FAAD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology, University of California, San Francisco, presented evidence that when ceramic flat irons are used improperly or too frequently, hair breakage can occur.

"The newer flat irons that have a ceramic coating instead of a metal one are marketed as providing more rapid and uniform heat transmission. While this allows for quicker straightening of the hair with less damage, it is really a classic case of buyer beware," said Dr. Mirmirani. "We're seeing that when these ceramic flat irons are used at the highest heat settings and on a daily basis to achieve straight hair, they can really take a toll on the structure of the hair and cause very noticeable problems that can be hard to repair."

Temporary hair straightening using a flat iron is achieved by applying heated tongs to the length of the hair. This heat breaks and then reforms the hydrogen bonds in the inner core of the hair fiber. Dr. Mirmirani noted that while the goal of straightening is to alter the inner substance of the hair, the unwanted consequence may be damage to the outer protective cuticle, causing weathering, damage and eventual hair breakage.

Hair weathering or damage is usually characterized by dry ends or flyaway h
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SOURCE American Academy of Dermatology
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