Using heat on natural hair is not wrong. Overprocessing your hair with heat can cause so much damage if not careful. Before we get into the nitty gritty of heat damage, just know that heat damage cannot be reversed. Now that we have your attention, let's proceed.
What is heat damage?
This occurs when we excessively use heat on the hair through styling tools such as blow-dryers, iron curlers, straighteners, hot combs, etc. This usually causes the hair to become dry, brittle, dull, rough and light. In some instances, this may contribute to split ends, change in hair colour, changed texture, hair breakage and many others. In other cases, instead of your hair curling up when wet, it remains straight.
How to prevent heat damage
The only correct answer here is not to use heat at all. Mission impossible? That's ok. Here are a few things you can do.
- Make sure to use heat protectant before applying heat to your hair
- Blow dryers, curlers, etc should be put on low heat
- Use heating appliances sparingly
- To stretch your hair, opt for non-heat options including African threading, banding, chunky twists, big belly plaits, etc
What to do if hair is damaged from heat
The moment you notice heat damage to your hair, stop using all forms to heat. Based on the extent of damage, here are a few things you can do
- Deep condition to restore moisture to your hair. This is very helpful especially when the damage is minimal. A one-off will not help. Keep deep conditioning your hair till you notice changes.
- If you're experiencing breakage, your best bet is to go in for Protein Treatment. Ideally, doing so once every 6 weeks will help. Do not exceed this since too much protein in the hair can lead to even more breakage.
- In extreme cases, you have to cut off the damaged parts especially if the damage is wide spread. You can decide to chop it off bit by bit or go in for the big chop.
These options will help to an extent in the restoration of your hair especially if the damage is not that widespread. Keep in mind that heat damage is not reversible, the next time you think of using heat and put in the necessary measures to prevent damage.
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