I'm sure you all have either met someone with heat damage or suffered from it yourself. It has to be one of the most annoying things about being natural! You spend all this time to preserve your hair and make sure that you're taking the necessary precautions to protect it and then one day, BOOM, a little bit too much heat gives pieces of your hair that straight relaxed look.
I personally suffered from heat damage and it extremely frustrating and DEPRESSING!! But, not to worry, beauty, there is HOPE after heat damage.
Everyone knows that the quick fix to getting rid of heat damage is to instantly chop off the pieces that are noticeably straight. But, if you really don't want to cut your hair that isn't the ONLY way to go.
For those of you out there suffering from heat damage here are some tips to help nurse your coils back to health!
How to prevent heat damage:
1. Invest in a heat protectant
- Heat protectants were designed to protect the hair from harmful heat by thermal devices such as blow dryers, flat irons and curling irons.
- One of my favorite protectants is the Fantasia IC Hair Polisher (It's economically friendly at just $7 for a 6oz.)
- The product keeps heat-styled hair healthy and prevents heat damage. Enriched with silicone, aloe, Vitamin E and sunscreen it protects hair from heat damage while eliminating fly-aways.
2. Do regular protein treatments
- If you regulary use direct heat on your hair it is critical for you to do a protein treatment every six weeks. What is a protein treatment? It's simply a way for your hair to gain stregnth and greater elasticity.
- Protein treatments are designed for women who regularly do any of the following to their hair:
- Flat iron
- Always remember to balance your protein treament with MOISTURE. Too much protein=DRY HAIR
- Protein treatments are great because they essentially build back up your hair shaft. If you color or use heat regularly your hair shaft is weakened daily (even if it isn't visible to the eye).
- My favorite protein treatment is the Apogee two step treatment.
- Product claims according to Sallybeauty.com:
- "Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment is a unique treatment formulated with magnesium and modified proteins which fuse into the hair with the application of heat. The result is that breakage is drastically reduced. ApHogee Two-Step Protein Treatment is a salon service product unlike any product available for at-home use. During the process, ApHOGEE treatment hardens into the hair, dramatic evidence that something special is occurring."
3. Keep blow drying rules in mind at ALL times
- If you are blowing your hair to press it remember to keep the blow dryer 6-10 inches away from your scalp to prevent "over drying" your hair.
- Also, don't apply too much direct heat to your ends, as this is where the most heat damage occurs (from my experience)
- Blow dry hair until 75% dry and then use a hooded dryer or air dry the rest. This will prevent any drying out your hair and your will maintain a higher moisture level.
How to bounce back from heat damage:
1. Go cold turkey
- One of the most effective ways of recovering from heat damage is to step away from all heating tools and give your hair a well needed break.
- After suffering from severe heat damage, I challeged myself to a no heat challenge that lasted about 4 months. This is the best way to re-evaluate just how much heat you use on your hair.
- This time will give your damaged hair a chance to revert back to its original curl pattern. This isn't a SURE way of overcoming heat damage but it's a great option.
- Over time your hair will gain improved elasticity, which is the first step to getting back your original pattern.
2. Deep condition religiously
- Deep conditioning hair after heat damage is key in improving the over all health, elasticity and moisture level of your hair. It is the FIRST step in over coming heat damage.
3. Cut hair
- If there is no reversion in hair after 6 months your might want to revisit the thought of cutting off the damaged pieces of hair. Due to the extent of your heat damage this might be the only option.
Have you suffered from heat damage before?? Please share below any tips and tricks on how you treated your hair back to health!