A natural hair girl’s nightmare
Ever since I decided to stop relaxing my hair 5 years ago, I enjoy the versatility of my hair. I was so happy and proud at the same time to see my curls. The last thing I wanted was get heat damage as it is a natural hair girl’s nightmare.
My hair was flourishing with the new techniques I was implementing. I was learning to better care for it. The products I bought for experiments, was costly but worth it.
At the same time that I was learning to care for my hair, I was also exited to try on new hairstyles. With all the pulling, brushing, combing to obtain those beautiful hairstyles, I encounter major setbacks. Those can happen in any one’s hair journey.
Overall, the most difficult setback I encounter is heat damage. While trying to enjoy the flexibility of our hair, some of us want to be able to blow dry and even straighten their hair. Well … that was me.
The last time I straightened my hair was in February 2018 and well, the worst happen… I got some part of my hair damaged. I was careful enough to apply two heat protector products during the process.
Trust me, heat damage is the worst thing that can happen to a curly girl. My curls have different textured now. On the low middle part of my hair, the definition stayed the same. However, at the front the curls are loose. There are some straight and semi straight pieces on one side of my hair and at the back.
The bad side of this condition is that you are now limited with some hairstyles option. You cannot really do wash and go anymore. When I leave my hair out, I must tuck away those straight pieces with some bobby pins. My current go to hairstyles are twists out or braids out.
It is said that heat damage is irreversible. However, I have read in some instances where some girls were able to revive their curls. I have been fighting hard for that for those past months.
I was aware of the repercussion of the use of direct or excessive heat on my hair but I still went ahead and did it. My hair is stubborn in a way that It does not take colour easily and does not respond to heat. So I had to put the straightener at 450 degrees. During the process, I was doing 2 passes on the roots and 1 along the strands. I carefully sprayed the heat protector before blow drying. I even added a second one. After I was pleased with the results. I even did a picture comparison to see how my hair grew.
I can’t seem to enjoy straight hair for long. So after few days, I washed it to discover the horror. Oh well, the damages are done already. Now my only focus it is to fix it.
List of solutions to Treat Heat Damage
Now that I know that you’re committed to this goal, you have to resist and cut back from using heating tools.
Your hair needs time to recover and grow back. I’m afraid that inches of hair don’t grow overnight.
Be gentle with your hair and give all the necessary care it needs.
Protective hair styling
Give it a rest. The last thing your hair needs its additional tension from combing.
Your hair is hungry for some moisture. Heat damage or not, it needs to eat.
Protein is the boost that your hair needs the most in this critical moment. It will help with the strengthening of your hair strands.
Heat is like junk food to your hair. Choosing to care for your hair should involve a strict diet if you want to see results.
It is designed to help protect your hair against damage from harsh temperatures. If you can’t stay away from your heating tools, it is preferable that you use it.
Trim the ends
Unsure to cut your ends after 3 months or so to get rid of split and straight ends.
Cut the damages
If you want to be radical, you can go ahead and cut all your heating damages. It’s always good to have a fresh start.
Follow your routine
Having a routine is less frustrating and after you get use to it, you will be saving time. Whether you like washing it weekly or monthly, do not skip the steps of the routine you’ve created.
Please read bellow, my repairing process which is part my routine. Please fell free to create yours depending on what your hair likes or needs.
The day before my wash, I do a hot oil treatments and leave it overnight. I like using a variety of oils for their healing and nourishing benefits.
Deep condition is the key
It is time more than ever to follow my deep condition treatments routine. I deep condition wash my hair once a week and I ladder my hair with aloe vera plant in between. That makes me wash my hair twice a week. Once with shampoo and the second time I only use conditioner.
During my deep conditioning session, I used a plastic cap and then a scarf and then a hot towel. I let the towel for 15 min until it cools off. I let the treatment in my hair for a while, the time for me to clean the house. These techniques allow all the nutrients from the treatments to penetrate in my hair shaft.
My hair needs all the love it can get so I will improve my moisturizing game by following my own advice.
Please read: Best ways to moisturize your natural hair.
Making sure my hair is slightly damp more frequently using my water hair spray. The cause of the heat damage is excessive drying, so my hair need a max of moisture to feed him and make him resuscitate itself from his ashes.
Wearing hair in updo loose styles if you have experienced heat damage can protect your ends from the elements for example the sun and wind and prevent further damage. Notice I did say loose updo styles. Too much tension from tight braids or other tight hair styles can cause further breakage since your strands are presently in a weak state.
Hair grows from the inside
I am refraining myself from eating out too much and would like to eat homemade cooked meals more often. It is to ensure myself that I am eating healthy meals that are good for me and rich in proteins like fruits & vegetables, chicken, fish and nuts, etc. My hair will then grow faster and stronger so I can rely on the last steps.
At the end of the day, I know we have to tell ourselves that it is just hair and it will grow back. So there is no point on hanging on irreversible damage strands. If I do all these CPR steps and I still cannot revive my curls, the only solution will be to cut them off.
To prevent further damage
Say no to heating tools, at least for a while, until my hair recovers or regrows.
I will not be using a straightener on my hair, at least for a while and if I have to dry my hair with the dryer, I will use the cool setting. Air-drying my hair is always my go to anyway.
I will apply a heat protectant when going out on the sun. It may be extra but we could never be too vigilant. I can’t wait to see my curls back. I have to nurse my strands back to health because I still have faith that my curls will be back.
“Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.” Confusus
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