Have you ever been curious whether or not horse hair can be ironed? Is it safe for the horse or is it potentially damaging in some way?
Horse hair is a popular choice for crafts and home decor because it is not like traditional fabrics like cotton or linen. It turns out that the answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think.
In general, while it is technically possible, it is best to avoid ironing horse hair whenever possible. If you plan on doing it, then it should only be done very carefully and with extreme caution.
One of the main issues when it comes to ironing horse hair is that the individual hairs are very fragile. They can break easily under pressure, which means that you need to be extra careful when ironing them.
Let’s take a closer look and see how horse hair can be safely ironed.
Types of Horse Hair
The first thing to understand about horsehair is that it is actually made up of two different types of hairs; the longer, coarser hairs are known as guard hairs, while the finer, softer hairs are referred to as down hairs.
As a general rule, only down hairs should ever be ironed. This is because the guard hairs have a protective function and, if they are exposed to excessive heat from an iron, they may become damaged and brittle.
When it comes to ironing down hairs on a horse’s mane or tail, there are several things you should keep in mind.
Ironing Horse Hair
First of all, always use a low heat setting on your iron so that you don’t accidentally damage the delicate down hairs. The low heat setting is important because it will prevent you from applying too much heat, which can be damaging to the hair and cause breakage.
Second, be very careful not to expose the entire length of the hair to too much heat at once. Instead, focus on only one or two strands at a time and keep moving the iron down as you go. This will help prevent burning or singeing the hair along its full length.
Finally, make sure to use a lightweight cloth between your iron and the horsehair so that the heat from your iron does not directly touch the hair itself. Direct heat can be very damaging to the hairs and can cause breakage or other damage.
While there is some risk involved with ironing horse hair, it can be done safely if you take the necessary precautions. Just remember to lower your iron’s heat setting and move slowly when applying the iron so that you don’t accidentally expose too much of the hair at once.
Never leave your iron unattended when using it on a horse’s mane or tail. Pay close attention at all times and make sure that you don’t overdo it with how long you leave each section of hair under the iron.
While being extremely careful when using an actual iron on horsehair, there are also other techniques for styling it without having to resort to using high temperatures.
For example, one technique involves dampening sections of hair with water and then twisting them together into tight coils which will take shape once they dry.
This method can be just as effective as using iron, and it is much safer overall. It will result in a beautiful, full mane or tail while protecting the hairs from damage due to heat exposure.
The technique also works especially well for curling long sections of mane or tail hair into intricate patterns like those seen at equestrian shows.
It’s also important not to overdo it with styling products when trying to get a certain look out of your horse’s mane or tail.
Gels and mousses are created for human hair; therefore, they may not function as intended on horsehair.
Ironing horse hair can seem like an intimidating task but with patience and proper technique, it can be done safely and successfully.
When taking on any project involving delicate materials such as horsehair always remember to take things slow and steady. Use protective items such as thin cloths as necessary while ironing or brushing them down in order to avoid causing any damage or burning due to excessive heat or pressure.
Also, consider other methods such as dampening sections of hair with water before twisting them into curls or waves for added texture without having to use any direct heat.
Make sure that you are using a low-temperature setting (no higher than 350°F) and never press down too hard or leave the flat iron in one spot for too long as this could potentially cause damage and breakage.
You should also avoid using human-specific styling products unless they are designed specifically for animals such as horses.