You slayed that blowout or flat ironed style. You killed it with those poppin curls courtesy of your curling wand. Yassss you did that! Now you notice your hair is just not the same after it reverted back to it’s natural state. What’s wrong? More than likely it’s heat damage, one of the most common setbacks for naturals on growth and healthy hair journeys. Here are some tips that will help you to snap back from your heat damage set back.
Recognize the Signs to Confirm It Is Heat Damage
The 1st step to arriving at a solution is recognizing that there’s a problem. Clichè I know, but it’s the truth. If you are experiencing any of these issues below with your natural hair it’s possible that you have heat damage.
- Significant change in curl pattern or hair texture – unless your stylist slipped a texlax in your shampoo this is a huge red flag for heat damage.
- Lack of bounce or elasticity– heat loosens bonds in your hair, but when that heat is too much the bonds become irreparable. This takes the bounce, elasticity, and life out of your hair leaving you with limp hair that’s unresponsive to products and styling methods that have worked like a charm in the past.
- Breakage– at those weak points between your real hair texture and the changed hair texture it tends to break off similar to your transitioning days
If your hair is showing these signs it’s very likely you’ve got heat damage. My condolences to your damaged hair because the next step is to acknowledge that it has to go.
Heat Damaged Hair Must Go
Heat damaged hair cannot be repaired. There’s no special product with extracts from the highest mountain in the deepest cave grown by a flower that only blooms once every ten years that is going to make heat damage hair change to healthy hair. At some point heat damaged ends will need to be cut off. Hair length is never more important that hair health. However, there are styles and tools you can use to disguise the damage until you’re ready to make that chop.
Styling Options for Heat Damaged Hair
Heat damage most frequently occurs towards the ends of of our hair strands and often stick outline like sore thumbs when purchasing hair is in its natural texture/curl pattern.
Perm Rods & Flexi Rods
Using rods to curl your ends are a great way to disguise heat damaged ends. Start wrapping the rods above your damaged ends to create curls that make the difference in curl pattern less noticeable.
Complete rod sets and braid/twist and curls are your best bet.
Protective styling takes the hassle out of frequent manipulation to heat damage. It also allows your hair to grow (with proper care) to your desired length before you chop your ends. Easy Roll Tuck & Pin Tutorials, Try This New Crochet Style! , and wigs are just a few of many protective style options out there.
Causing damage to your own hair and having to cut off months (even years) of growth can be disappointing and frustrating. It’s going to be a journey and it’s important that you stay positive throughout it. Reaffirm that your natural hair’s health is far more important than its length.
Learn from Your Heat Damage
Mistakes are not truly mistakes if they happen over and over again. Maintain your hair’s strength with deep conditioners and protein treatments as needed. Limit the amount of heat you apply to your hair. If you do apply heat, use products that are designed specifically to protect your hair from heat (heat protectants). Enlist the help of a professional for styles involving heat that require a more experienced eye and hand.