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Monday, January 26, 2015

Hair Tips | What Do I Do About Heat Damage?

Confessing My Own Thoughts | The No-Heat Challenge

See this is why I am afraid to use flat irons and blow dryers on my precious coils. "Trying something different" has been the culprit of many naturals, especially newbie naturalistas, if you don't know what you are doing.

I wanted to get my hair flat ironed for a wedding I was in a few months ago...and now I am experiencing heat damage on my bangs. I do remember my hair stylist spending more time on my bangs than the rest of my hair, but I didn't think all hair would be damaged even with the extensive protein treatment and other preventive measures.

*sigh* this is so frustrating...

What is heat damage?

Heat damage is permanently altering your natural curl pattern by using too much direct heat like flat irons and blow dryers.

What Do I Do About Heat Damage?

What are the signs of heat damage?

You know you have experienced heat damage when your curls do not revert back to your natural curls, coils, and kinks. You have frizzy and split ends and they are overly dry EVERYDAY, ALL THE TIME, AND WITHOUT END! Your hair basically looks lifeless and dull...and you become very frustrated with your hair.

What Do I Do About Heat Damage?
Image Credit: GlamLush Hair
After you wash your hair and you see that the ends of your hair are limp, straight, and "noodle-like," then you are definitely experiencing hair damage. It almost looks like you are transitioning from having a relaxer to natural hair.

How can I repair heat damage?

Even though there are hair products claiming to repair heat damage and split ends, there is NO way to repair heat damage! The only absolute way is to trim the damaged hair off. You can also use small perm rods to curl the ends to attempt to match the rest of your curl pattern for certain hair styles. I know we don't like to lose so much length off of our hair, but it can be more work trying to hold on to the heat damaged hair rather than trim the ends off for healthier hair

What Do I Do About Heat Damage?
Shawna's Hair Journey

Is heat damage the same as heat trained?

In my opinion, heat trained hair is damaged hair. The protein bonds in the hair are weakened which may cause the hair to break off and thin out.

What are ways to prevent heat damage?

Try not to use the flat iron too often. Even if you use heat protectant for your weekly flat iron set, you still run the risk of heat damage since you use so much heat on your hair. It is better to limit direct heat once a month or every other month. So try to limit the usage.

Make sure the temperature of your direct heat is no higher than 375 degrees. Anything above that can burn your hair to the point that smoke is coming from your hair and you smell like bacon. Start low and work your way up to a comfortable temperature. Do NOT pass over the same section more than once, when straightening your style. This is why it is important to go slowly when using direct heat.

Do NOT use direct heat on dirty hair. All the product build-up during the week(s) will burn into the hair strands and create gunk on your flat iron and other direct heat tools. This will not only create heat damage, but your style will not flow like you would want it to.

If you just can't use direct heat properly, let your beautician or stylist do it for you. It is better to be safe and let him/her do it, than run the risk of burning your own hair.

My Hair Diary | My Mini Chop From Heat Damage

Then when all else fails...CUT IT OFF!!!

Natural hair says: it's fun to change up your styles for a flat iron set or a blow out...but make sure to take the necessary precaution before using direct heat. It's no fun to put all the time, patience, and effort to care for your natural coils and kinks for all that hard work to go down the drain with one botched flat iron set.

Always Desire Your Natural,

Christina J

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Desire My Natural is my personal blog.

The pictures and information provided are based off my own personal experiences and intense research of medical publications and articles, blogs, videos, and books for your enjoyment.

If you have medical issues or other conditions, contact your doctor or physician immediately.