Heat damage is a natural hair girl’s nightmare
Ever since I decided to stop relaxing my hair in 2012, I enjoyed 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 to get heat damage. Ugh, 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 excited 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 parts of my hair damaged. I was careful enough to apply two heat protector products during the process. Well, it did not help. I made too many passes per section while straitening it.
Trust me, heat damage is the worst thing that can happen to a curly girl. My curls have different textures now. On the low middle part of my hair, the definition stayed the same. However, at the front, the curls are looser. 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 to 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 fought back to reverse those effects.
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
Love your hair enough for you to want to revive your curls and go through the long process of doing so.
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. There is no magic formula for that, other than time and care.
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 is additional tension from combing it.
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
Make sure 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 used to it, you will be saving time. Whether you like washing it weekly or monthly, do not skip steps on the routine you’ve created.
Please read bellow, my repairing process which is part of my routine. Please feel free to create yours depending on what your hair likes or needs.
The day before my wash, I do 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
You can create a deep condition treatment routine that suits your hair. I deep condition my hair and wash my hair once a week. From time to time, I like to use the aloe vera plant on my hair to nourish it with its benefits. I wash my hair twice a week. Once with shampoo and the second time I only use conditioner.
During my deep conditioning sessions, I used a plastic cap. Next, I wrap the scarf on top of the plastic cap and then I put a hot towel. After leaving the towel on my head for 15 min until it cools off, I let the treatment in my hair for a while. These techniques allow all the nutrients from the treatments to penetrate 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: HOW TO keep your natural hair moisturized?
Making sure your hair is slightly damp more frequently using my water hair spray is a great way to ensure that your hair is not dry. The cause of heat damage is excessive drying, so my hair needs a max of moisture to nourish it so it can resuscitate from his ashes.
Wear your hair in updo loose styles if you have experienced heat damage. It 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 hairstyles 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 necessary for me eat 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 in 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 your 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.” Confucius
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