The answer is that your hair is not smoking. What you are seeing is steam, and it’s caused by what’s called thermal oxidation.
Thermal oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when heat causes moisture to evaporate from the keratin in your hair. As the keratin dehydrates, it becomes brittle and breaks apart. At high temperatures, this process happens rapidly, which can result in damaged hair that has split ends and splits throughout the shaft of the strand.
The only way to prevent thermal oxidation is to avoid heat styling altogether. If you must use a hot tool on your hair, apply a heat protectant spray before using any type of curling iron or flat iron. The spray will help to seal your hair cuticle so that it doesn’t absorb as much heat from the iron. Also, make sure that you keep your tools clean at all times; dirty tools will cause unnecessary damage to your strands each time you use them.
Last modified: August 16, 2022