Intrepid Italians on TikTok are putting their clanking radiators to use beyond heating their homes. A user from Naples who goes by kekka.mngcs recently posted a video of herself wrapping her long hair around the cylinders of her heater — as if it were a stationary, horizontal curling wand — before holding it there for a few seconds. Then, she released her hair to reveal a perfect curl. Impressed with her results, others have put kekka.mngcs’s method to the test with similar success. Why plug in your hot tools and waste electricity when your radiator is ablaze in every room, right? Well, not so fast.
Of course, curling your hair with your radiator not only involves touching it but also being face-to-face with a scorching surface. Any sudden movements could cause you to burn your face. As bored as some of us may be at home right now, trying an alternative way to style your hair may not be worth a trip to the hospital. No one wants to deal with that right now.
You’re also setting your hair up for possible heat damage. “Most radiators are cast iron, so lots of heat is being conducted,” Chicago-based hairstylist Gia Wendt tells Allure. “One-million percent please use a heat protectant.” We recommend Briogeo’s Farewell Frizz or the Gisou Propolis Infused Heat Protecting Spray.
But TikTok’s unexpected curling trick isn’t wholly unsafe for your hair. Wendt, who works out of SPACE by Alex Brown, doesn’t necessarily advise against wrapping your hair around your radiator. “It’s definitely an option in a pinch,” she says. “Just try it for fun, but make sure your hair is completely dry.”
Her only other caveat — besides spritzing on a heat protectant and keeping a safe distance between your face and the heater — is only indulging in the hack every once in a while. “A curling iron is usually made from ceramic plates and meant for use on hair, so I wouldn’t use the radiator method very often,” Wendt says. OK, noted.
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