If you ever straighten your hair with those super hot flat irons, or even if you let your hairdryer stay in one place too long, you are all too familiar with the terrible smell of burned hair. Not to mention, you have turned your hair into straw.

What to do? I have accidentally burned my hair one too many times and the worst is sitting at my desk smelling that burnt hair all day. It is enough to make you sick! I have received a few emails from readers about this issue – My straightening iron just fried my hair! asking how to fix it. Here are a few ideas to help repair your hair after this common mistake.

After the burn, reach for your hydrating leave-in conditioner or light oil. Even olive oil will work in a pinch! Run your fingers through your strands and concentrate on the scorched part. Be careful not to saturate. A little will go a long way. After you apply, comb through with your fingers.

“It will instantly smooth and moisturize the straw-like texture,” says DJ Riggs, hairstylist and TIGI creative director. This trick will also get rid of the smell of burned hair.


  • Use a heat protecting spray.
  • If your iron has a temperature gauge, keep the temp at no higher than 350 degrees.
  • Need to go a step further because your hair is very damaged from all your flat ironing? You can apply a protein hair mask. They can be purchased at any salon or beauty supply store. Apply to your hair twice a week. A hair protein mask is a deep conditioner protein-enhanced treatment that is helpful for hydrating and nourishing the hair that has been damaged from the burn.
  • If you have had your flat iron for more than five years, it is probably time to replace it. After time the temperature gauge will stop working properly. Replace it with ceramic plates that will evenly distribute heat and reduce damage.
  • Make sure your hair is completely dry before you use a flat iron. If your hair is wet or damp, the flat iron will boil the water that is in your hair and damage the ends.