Last week, I found myself in the hot seat AKA the swivel chair of Matt Fugate, hairstylist extraordinaire at the Serge Normant at John Frieda Salon. And in the midst of giving me modern Farah Fawcett waves, he dropped a major bombshell.
PSA: We're microwaving out hair—and frying it in the process.
"Microwaving is when you use a tool at too high of a temperature with the wrong product in your hair," explains Fugate. "It's sizzling and being zapped into a shape, which causes a rapid heat up and cool down and doesn't allow for hair to set in its form."
(Guilty. So, so guilty.)
Instead of doing the hair equivalent of heating up last night's takeout in under 2-minutes, what we should be doing is "baking." But not like we do with our makeup...
How to Bake Your Curls
"Baking is applying a heat protector, using a hot tool at a lower heat, and spending extra time letting a curl heat up around the iron correctly," explains Fugate. "It establishes even heat distribution."
To start, Fugate's protectant of choice is Kérastase's new L'Incroyable Blowdry, a reshapable heat lotion that not only prevents damage, but boasts microwax technology that sets and re-sets the hair when it's time for a touch-up. No extra product necessary.
Once the hair is prepped, Fugate sets the iron to a safe 380 degrees, then proceeds to hold each curl in the iron for 30 seconds to a minute depending on the length and hair's ability to hold curl.
Not only is the baking technique safer for the health of your hair, but it makes for a more evenly-styled, longer-lasting set, says Fugate. So don't fall into the lazy, microwave trap—treat your hair like it's a delicate soufflé.
As Yoda once said, patience you must have... and great curls soon come 🙏.