Health Topics

Healthy Living

September 2010
Do Styling Tools Wreck Your Hair?
Rod Anker
Well let me first start by saying that India is the only country in which hairdressing in not looked upon as an art form in the vast majority and there are some class issues behind that. So, some of these issues can be discussed, but rather hard to rectify overnight.

When you ask me about tools of the trade, you instantly make me think about my ever expanding scissor collection worth approx 11,000 US dollars. Let me say they are not the most expensive scissors in there and they all have very different uses. Some I would use very rarely and have very specific uses. My combs which are carbine fibre, graphite and are designed to glide through the hair with no friction or static caused.

Think about this, we have all seen what happens when a tailor snips a corner or fabric and then tears it to cut, leaving the edges torn frayed and damaged. Well, this is your strand of hair; only razor sharp scissors that are maintained to this level of extreme precision are capable of cutting hair in the best possible way to ensure hair does not become spilt or damaged. There is a lot more to it, but let me close the discussion about scissors by saying that there is no one qualified in India to sharpen the scissors I own or in fact any basic scissors to a standard in which I would ever use on a client. Therefore, I send mine to Australia or Japan for servicing. A great deal of difference is made with the correct scissors.

There are brushes and there are brushes, the main problem we have in this industry is lack of education; when you are using an aluminium brush, the brush heats up to extreme temperatures and causes damage to the cuticle layer. We use boar bristle brushes; whilst again the level of quality is not available in India, we import all of our own range. Hair needs to be dried 90 percent prior to using brushes or anything on it. Hence, make us all think why then are all of the so called experts drying hair from dripping wet hair, pulling and tugging on your hair trying to get you (your) hair to do things it won’t. Hair is set in the last moment so that the last amount of moisture leaves the hair, then when the hair is hot, the hair cools down and takes the shape of were (where) it is at this point. Heating hair up by itself is totally useless unless it is cooled down also in the shape or direction you want it in.

There are so many on the market, all claiming to be the latest and the best for your hair-What to do? Well, speed, heat and a cooling button are all essentials. It is not about scorching your hair, it is in fact the opposite, the water molecules need to be shrunk with the least amount of damage and aggravation on the hair and cuticle.

In short, equipment can cause damage to your hair and have some serious side effect (effects) long after the cut and long after you have left the salon. Good quality products and equipment are essential to healthy hair and only can be found through research. Unfortunately, stylists that are obsessed with using the best quality the world has to offer are not as common here as they are in other parts of the world. But I am sure, with more and more attention we are making on our appearance, we will see further education and hence the industry growing and developing into better quality equipment being imported and possibly even made in India. Makes you think that when you focus on price, that is what you get and at times the results will haunt you for more than “some time”. Hairdressing is an art form and comes with knowledge and skill together. With the right tools magic and beauty meet!
Rod Anker is Creative Directr, Kimrbinson Salon, Aman, New Delhi
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