What Exactly Is Heat Damage?So maybe you are new to the hair care life, or perhaps you just started to take it seriously. No matter where you are you will always understand the unsteady and inconvenient foe of heat damage. No matter if you have been working hard on your length or if you just began to embrace your curls, heat damage is not particular to any hair type. There is always a moment in the hair journey where your curls go from popping to “what did I do?" Heat damage, the culprit of all culprits and the enemy that all hair lovers fear the most has been one of the most feared hair disasters next to chemical damage. So the biggest question is, “what does it look like?” followed by “how can I prevent it?”. Like many methods, the hair journey has to be navigated carefully and according to plan. Depending on your hair type heat damage can and will look different and will make your hair appear less healthy than it once was. To paint a picture of what heat damage looks like will fall into different categories for different people but nonetheless, will leave your hair dry, brittle and broken. However, like many hair catastrophes, there is always a solution and a few methods to help bring your hair back to health. While you cannot always reverse actual heat damage, you can find a way to make sure that you dodge the heat damage when you apply heat to your hair.
How Does Heat Damage Happen Anyway?Excessive styling, lack of thermal protection, over processing, over manipulation and the lack of concern for your hair can all be a path to heat damage. However, it all has to start somewhere, right? To give heat damage, a definition is to propose the idea of when too much heat at a high degree applies to the hair without proper protection. As a result you end up with curls that a hard to reverse and a new pattern that is unfamiliar and hard to work with. While the form of hair straightening is a favorite way to manage your hair and to try new styles, there are specific risks that come with it that are only part of your heat damaged problems. Following heat damage, your hair can lose or gain too much porosity, the protein in your hair strips and it will be harder to retain length with broken matter splitting up the shaft. To have split ends is one thing, but to throw overly straightened hair in the mix is an entirely different hair beast. For example, if you decide that you want to straighten your hair one day for a blowout and you go without the proper heat protectant or thermal treatment, you risk causing heat damage and the loss of a curl pattern in a matter of one swift stroke. Trust me when I say that you will appreciate your curls more than ever at this stage because they are hard to reverse once they are no longer there. Aside from too many passes of a flat iron, blow dryers, and curling irons can also contribute to heat damage and the way our hair reacts to the internal temperatures. Anytime hair goes above a certain degree, and we are essentially frying the protein and health out of it. As time progresses and we continue this process, we start to change the health of our hair. And where it was once lively, we now have to work harder than ever to get that bounce back.
Your Extensions Can Have Heat Damage TooJust like the hair that grows out of our heads, the hair that we sew, glue, bond, clip and bind to our hair can have heat damage too! Now, while that may be a shock for some, I am pretty sure some of us know the trauma of purchasing some quality hair and watching it deteriorate sooner than usual because we did not treat it well. Ladies, if you want your bundles to thrive, then you must treat it like your own hair. I know many hair companies say to avoid using a product of any kind on extensions, but I have to disagree! Hair that goes untreated is eventually dry, brittle and susceptible to damage, especially when the primary focus for the hair is to receive a style in place of our own. If you want your extensions to have the life that it needs, use a light oil after washing and conditioning and spray a heat protectant on before blow drying and styling. Your extensions can have life without taking the life away too soon! To go the extra step, make sure that you detangle the sections of hair to ensure that the product is reaching all areas that will receive heat.
Is Heat Damage Reversible?In most cases, reversing heat damage is somewhat possible. While your hair never returns fully to the state that it was before the heat damage, it does get its appearance of a bouncy body back. However, like most things, looks can be deceiving. One thing we have to remember is that just because our hair appears healthy does not always mean that it is, especially after heat damage. Have you ever run your fingers through the head of someone with damaged hair? Your fingers get caught in tangles, knots, and in the end, you take some hair with you. Not fun right? If you are genuinely looking to restore your hair back to health outside of its looks, you will have to cut it! I know, I know, no one wants to hear that they need to cut their hair for it to be healthy but in the same respect, you are doing more damage by holding on to dead hair that will eventually break off. To accurately know if you have heat damage, the first thing you want to do it visit a licensed stylist. This stylist will be able to tell you where you went wrong, what to stop and start doing. And you can learn to create a hair care routine to help you restore your hair’s health! All hope is not gone when you have heat damage girl; the light dulls a little because it is an unexpected change.
How Do I Treat My Hair While I Still Have The Damage?Showing your hair a little tender, love and care is the major key when you have heat damage. After you have picked at your hair questions and maybe even the hair itself, it is time to gather your arsenal of products to restore some of its health until you a ready to take the next steps. After you have accepted your hair for what it is, pick yourself up and get to work! The first thing that you want to do for your hair is to wash it, and deep condition it. Some of the best product lines to try are:
- Chi Keratin Duo Shampoo and Conditioner
- Ogx Damage Ready + Coconut Miracle Oil Shampoo
- TRESemme Expert Selection Repair & Protect Shampoo
Restore With Hair MasksAnother way to potentially restore your hair is with a hair mask. It will not only give you a bit of a self-care routine but also give your hair a rest from all of the manipulation that washing does. To prepare a hair mask, you can either buy one such as:
- Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak
- Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque Raw Shea Butter
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque ...and many more.