It’s Getting Hot in Here, Maybe a Little Too Hot!
I know you love to bring the heat when you rock your bomb hairstyles; you better work! But you want to make sure you don’t give yourself heat damage.
Now, here’s the real question: just how much heat are you bringing? Most of us love a silky, bone straight look to compliment the slay, but it is possible that we may be applying a little too much heat to our hair. I am the self-proclaimed Queen of the Flat Iron, so I know the struggle of maintaining healthy hair while applying heat.
It is essential to reevaluate the use of heat because you’re putting your hair at a higher risk of heat damage.
What is Heat Damage?
Every hair queen who uses heat while styling dreads the potential consequence of using too much: permanent damage to your hair.
Heat damage is when your hair shaft becomes destroyed by the use of high and excessive heat. It affects all hair types, whether you’re relaxed or natural. No one is safe!
How Do I Know If My Hair is Heat Damaged?
Heat damage shows its ugly face in many ways! Have you noticed that your natural curls aren’t popping like they used to?
Maybe you’ve seen that your ends are seriously split, more than usual. These are signs that you may be using a little too much heat in your hair. When our hair is damaged, it will not return to its natural state, and your beautiful coils or waves will turn into straight (or semi-straight) strands that are lacking the proper care that is needed.
Not only will you notice a change in texture, but your hair will most likely become very limp, dry and brittle. You may even experience severe breakage. Heat also causes hair to lose its natural shine which leaves it looking extremely dull.
Unfortunately, curly girls have it worse because our hair is more fragile than others. At every point where the strand curls up, there is a point of potential breakage. So, doing anything to distress curly hair that does not add moisture will cause the hair to be stripped and eventually break off.
Having curls is all fun and games until the heat gets involved!
Why Does Excessive Heat Damage My Hair?
So, now that you know the signs of heat damage, I’m sure you’re wondering how heat causes your hair to lose its bounciness and vibrancy.
Our stands consist of bonds that give our hair its natural texture. After being exposed to too much heat, those bonds tend to break, and unfortunately, you cannot revert them to normal. This type of damage usually occurs when you’re using styling tools at a high setting and, as previously mentioned, when you’re applying heat quite often.
When you expose your hair to direct heat, it strips your strands of their cuticles. That occurs because the heat removes your hair’s moisture from every layer. Our hair consists of protein bonds that become weakened and permanently reformed as a result of high and excessive heat usage.
Oddly enough, your hair can also suffer when you apply too many products, and the build-up increases the temperature that you’re putting on with a hair tool. I know that sounds weird because we typically think that the more the product, the more protection our hair has.
However, using too many products can sometimes cause more harm than good.
What Do I Do to Prevent Heat Damage?
“I don’t want to give up using heat!” “I like my hair straight!” ‘What am I going to do with my hair if I can’t use heat?!”
These are thoughts that are probably running through your head as you learn more about heat damage and trust me, I get it! I have used heat almost all of my life, and after dealing with heat damage multiple times, I still use it regularly. However, I no longer have heat damage, and my curls are as healthy as ever.
How do I do it? Here are a few tips that will save your hair from the heat damage blues!
Eliminate or limit the use of heat
Whew – that’s a tough one! Nevertheless, the most obvious way to prevent heat damage is to put it away altogether.
Instead, opt for heatless styles that will allow you to airdry your hair and don’t require a straightened look. Also, there’s always the option to buy a good wig or install a full sew-in with some Private Label Extensions!
If you can’t say “no” to heat, then use a heat protectant serum or spray
Now, let’s be honest here – heat protectants will NOT eliminate your chances of damaging your hair. However, it will reduce the possibility while adding a coating of oils to your hair that will protect and nourish it.
Deep condition your hair
On wash day, take about 10-20 minutes to do a deep condition treatment because this will help repair and restore your strands by providing them with the moisture that they lost as they became damaged.
Do a hot oil treatment on your hair
That type of hair therapy is another excellent way to nurture your hair after being stripped of its natural oils. Leave these treatments in overnight for better results.
My Hair is Damaged Already from Heat – Now What?
I hate to say this, but there’s only one way that you can completely get rid of your heat damaged hair – the big chop.
As I stated earlier, you cannot revert hair that is already damaged, but you can get rid of it. Cutting your hair can be a scary thing (especially if the heat damage travels far up your strands).
But it’s the best way to start fresh and improve the health of your hair. You can also play the waiting game and transition your hair, but realistically you’re putting your hair at a higher risk of the damage traveling even further.
My advice: Let those damaged ends go.
Heat Damage Is Not The “End All” for Your Hair
Although heat damage is a horrible thing for your hair to go through, it’s not going to destroy your hair forever. Be sure to take the proper steps to bring it back to life.
The critical thing to remember is that using heat is okay as long as you use it moderately. Use a low setting while protecting your hair with moisture and nutrients.
Now I want to hear from you! If you’ve suffered from heat damage, what tips and tricks did you use to revive your hair?