Natural hair can quickly become damaged after exposure to heat. It is usually a result of using hair dryers and straighteners. You may notice some major differences in your hair texture even after little heat exposure.
Here are 5 signs of heat-damaged hair and how to fix it.
Sign #1: Hair No Longer Reverts To Natural State
Usually, when you add water to your kinks and curls, they should snap back into place. But after heat damage, you may find that your curls are looser or straighter. This is a sign that the bonds in your hair have been broken, resulting in the hair losing its elasticity.
Sign #2: Excessive Split Ends
Split ends are an irreversible sign of heat damage. To make matters worse, they can lead to the knotting of the hair. This can make combing and styling very difficult.
Sign #3: Excessive Breakage
Heat can cause hair to shed much more than normal. Brittle hair can cause hair strands to become very weak.
Sign #4: Dull Hair
Heat damaged hair can lack shine and sheen due to lack of moisture. It can also cause hair to be much more difficult to style.
Sign #5: High Porosity
Your hair may not be able to keep moisture. This is a result of damaged hair cuticles.
Now that you know the signs of heat damage, here are the things that you can do to fix them.
Assess the Heat Damage
Examine your hair for all the signs of heat damage. It is important to know that heat damage looks different for everyone. Some may only see it around the nape of their neck or the crown of their heads. Others may see it in various spots around their hair. Some may find loose curls and others may see straight strands. It is crucial to know your hair type(s) to detect abnormalities.
Cut or Trim Hair
Cutting your hair is one of your best options, but it does not have to be the first. Some strands may need trimming or immediate removal. This may especially be the case for those who have split ends. If a lot of hair is damaged, you may need to endure another transition or a big chop. Remember to examine the progress of your growth before making a big decision.
Do Hair Treatments More Often
- Treat heat damaged hair with more care. This includes frequent deep conditioning and moisturizing treatments.
- Use humectants and leave-in conditioners to attract and retain moisture into your hair.
- Do hot oil treatments to stimulate hair growth every 1-2 weeks.
- Protein treatments should also be done every 4-6 weeks to strengthen hair.
- Spritz water in hair frequently to add more moisture. (Note: This method may be more suitable for curly hair types. Some kinky hair types may experience even more dryness through this method. Do with caution).
Do Protective Styles
Opt for more protective styles to allow hair to grow out. This can include loose updo styles, Bantu knots, plaits, twists, and wigs. Steer clear from tight hairstyles such as braids, tight buns, or ponytails. The tension from these styles could cause more breakage to your hair.
Heat Usage Options
If you still want to use heat on heat damaged hair, here is a list of things to keep in mind.
- Make sure your heating tools do not pass 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to put them on the lowest setting possible.
- Limit usage with hot combs, dryers, and other heat appliances that do not have a heat gauge. Do not apply them onto the hair for too long.
- Always apply heat or thermal protector before applying heat to the hair.
- Avoid using products with natural oils before heat usage. Also, avoid using too many products in general beforehand. They can increase heat temperatures, which can result in frying your hair.
- Limit heat usage after straightening your hair
- Wear a hat outdoors to avoid heat exposure from the sun
Although these methods help prevent heat damage, they are still not 100% effective. The best option is to not use heat at all! This can be as simple as hair drying hair for hours and using the threading technique to stretch hair.
Do you have any tips and tricks on how to treat heat damaged hair? Let us know in the comments!