Put Down the Heated Styling Tools
Hey, naturalistas! A lot of people have been transitioning to their natural textured hair recently. However, contrary to what most people may perceive, women have been wearing their hair natural for a long time. Think about women such as Erykah Badu, Ledisi, and the fantastic Jill Scott who have fiercely worn their natural coils and inspired women just like you and me to do the same. I applaud you for your decision and whether it's inspiration from a celebrity, wanting to eliminate the use of chemicals on your hair, or a more purpose-driven reason you’re in for a fantastic journey. The big chop for some can be a liberating experience, and for others, it can be a traumatic experience. However, you start to learn how to take care of your natural hair, and you begin to see its personality, and you begin to see more curl definition. I believe the least amount of manipulation is best for your natural hair. One habit you will have to get rid of is the use of heated styling tools. I know you will want to wear your hair straight every now and them, so you will use your flat iron. You may decide to stretch your hair by using a blow dryer for a particular style, but this repetitive styling can cause heat damage to your hair. In this article, I am going to help you keep your natural curls healthy by telling you how to correct heat damaged natural hair. Press play on your India Arie playlist and let's reminisce for a lil bit. I went back in time on you, but it's always good to do something that is nostalgic and inspirational.
What is Heat Damage?
Heat damage occurs when you continuously use heated styling tools on your hair. Excessive heat on your natural hair can cause damage to the protein that protects your hair and gives it its strength. Therefore, if you are someone who likes to use curling irons, flat irons and blow dryers on your hair, it’s probably already heat damaged. Whether you set the flat iron temperature low or to 450 degrees Fahrenheit you still can damage the cuticle of the hair. The most obvious sign is the smell of burning hair. By the way, heat protectants don't protect your hair entirely from heat damage when you're using styling tools.
Signs of Heat Damage
There are signs that you will start to see as your hair becomes more damage from the use of heated styling tools. Below are the most visible signs:
- An increase in split ends
- Dull hair
- Hair feeling brittle or crunchy
- Easily tangled hair
- Increase in hair breakage
A good test for your hair is to pull it straight and let it go. If your curl doesn't return to its naturally curly state, your hair has heat damage.
What To Do If You Have Heat Damaged Hair
Your first instinct may be to cut it all off but don’t! Below are tons of tips on how to correct your heat damaged hair (Check out this article: best hair color for damaged hair)
without having to go through the big chop again. Before I get into any treatments your first step will be to assess your hair to get an idea of how heat damaged your hair is. I’ve listed a few tips below for you. Keep reading after because I also include an easy 90-Day regimen for you to follow.
Tips to Correct the Heat Damage
Co-wash your hair with a moisturizing conditioner
Use a hair mask to deep condition your hair
Use an oil like coconut oil to seal moisture into the hair
Massage your scalp with the oil to increase blood flow and encourage hair growth
Create a schedule for your hair care routine so you can alternate between protein treatments and deep conditioning treatments
DIY Protein Treatment
You will need to include a protein treatment (Check out this article: protein treatment for hair
) in your hair regimen. Apply the treatment every other week. Below are some at-home recipes you can try:
1. Egg mask
Eggs are by far the best treatment you can use for damaged natural hair. Eggs are a great natural protein, and you get the bonus of enzymes. Beat one egg white until it’s light and frothy. Apply the egg to your hair and scalp, cover with a plastic cap, and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Use yogurt as a weekly treatment that will bring the shine back to your hair. It cleanses your hair while keeping moisture in. You can add an egg white to your yogurt and apply it to your hair and scalp, cover with a plastic cap, and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
Avocados are perfect for our natural hair because they are high in protein, fat, and nutrients. Use this treatment once a week. Combine half of the smashed avocado, two tablespoons of mayonnaise, and apply o your hair. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Try one of these techniques to revive your curls The following techniques are recommended to try. I suggest you pick one and use it for about a month before switching to something different.
A beer rinse is beneficial for some reasons. Beer contains essential oils with fortifying and strengthening antioxidants. It also includes sugars that help to tighten the cuticle resulting in shine and body. The proteins and B-vitamins condition the hair. Before you start the process make sure you leave the beer uncovered overnight.
Co-wash your hair
Pour the beer over your entire head. Make sure you coat the hair from root to tip. If your hair is longer than shoulder length, you may need two cans.
Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes
Rinse your hair with warm water
Rinse again with cool water
Add a palm size amount of conditioner to your hair
Rinse the conditioner out with cold water
Dry your hair with an old t-shirt
Apply your leave-in conditioner
Apply your conditioner to your entire head
Put on a shower cap
Allow to sit for about 30 minutes
Rinse with cold water
Style as desired If you want to get the most out of deep conditioning try one the tips below:
- Sit under a hooded dryer with a shower cap
- Put your conditioner and shower cap on before exercising
Hot Oil Treatment
Your hair deserves a hot oil treatment whether it has damage or not. These treatments are beneficial to natural hair because they strengthen the hair and can halt further damage by preventing split ends as well as dry hair. Hot oil treatments are great for stimulating hair blood flow and hair growth to see results. The following process will help revive your hair but complete after you have shampooed your hair.
Put your oil in a squeeze bottle or bowl
Immerse your bottle in hot water or microwave your bowl
Make sure oil is cool enough before applying to your hair
Apply the oil to your hair and scalp
Put on a shower cap and leave in for 15 minutes
Rinse your hair
Apply a leave-in conditioner
This regimen is going to help you revitalize your heat damaged hair. You cannot expect results overnight, so I suggest you give it about 90 days. Below is my recommended regimen:
Stop using heat, sulfate shampoos, and over manipulation
Shampoo your hair with a clarifying product.
On co-wash days, use a good deep conditioner to add moisture back to the hair. Conditioners should be left on for 20 minutes. These should be used every 1-2 weeks to see a noticeable change in your hair.
Use a hot oil treatment weekly
Apply a leave-in conditioner after every shampoo or co-wash
1. ApHogee Two Step Protein Treatment
The treatment is a salon quality product with a blend of magnesium and protein to repair heat damaged cuticles.
2. Creme Of Nature Straight From Eden Repairing Oil
A repairing oil that seals in moisture and gives hair a fantastic shine. This product has avocado, coconut, and olive oil.
3. Shea Moisture Extra Moisture Deep Treatment Masque
The all-natural product is infused with argan and raw shea butter to help over-processed hair.
4. Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash
The hair treatment restores dull hair and promotes growth.
5. Koils By Nature Ultra-Moisturizing Cocoaloe Deep Conditioner
The moisturizing conditioner helps your hair retain moisture and makes your hair more manageable.
6. Carol's Daughter Monoi Oil Sacred Strengthening Serum
This serum reduces frizz and adds shine while repairing your hair.
Repair and Change your Habits to Prevent the Big Chop
I think the hardest transition for most of us is the fact we can no longer use heat on our hair regularly. A silk wrap or blow dry style is okay every 4-6 months but using heated styling tools regularly will cause damage to your curls as well as the cuticles of the hair strand. Protective styles are going to help you keep your natural hair healthy. However, if you already have heat damaged hair try the suggestions above to correct it and get back on the road to shiny hair. Learn from your previous mistakes, make sure your hairstylist is knowledgeable about styling natural hair and take care of your curls. Your hair is a crown for you to be proud of at all times. Take care of it! Thanks for continuing to rock with PLE! You are important to us, and we will continue to bring you information and resources to help you be your best self and live your best life!