While scrolling through my favorite Instagram hair and beauty pages, I noticed a recurring issue – HEAT DAMAGE! I saw weave wearers complain about how their leave-out was damaged from their blending efforts with flat irons and curling wands. I heard naturals air their hair woes and whisper words of regret because their curls fell flat from flat ironing. I, even, noticed my relaxed beauties complain about dryness and thinning following their flat iron (or heating tools) battles.
This post will give you a few simple steps to address your hair distress and revive your tresses.
STEP 1: CLARIFY your hair and whip out that ELASTICITY TREATMENT or PROTEIN TREATMENT
While there are no guarantees, elasticity treatments and protein treatments can revive hair damaged by heat. I have seen elasticity and protein treatments revive curly hair, transform straight curly hair to a loose wave pattern, and have no impact on heat damaged hair. The bottom line is if you are attached to your hair and/or you want to exhaust all options before giving up on “saving” your heat damaged hair, an elasticity or protein treatment may be a solid option. They strengthen your hair strands and fill in broken bonds resulting from excessive heat and/or chemicals.
I have learned from personal experience that you may not see immediate results – meaning you may have to use a protein or elasticity treatment for several months before seeing results – so be patient. To up the ante, use a hair steamer in conjunction with your treatment to help infuse the treatment and moisture into your strands.
For you to get the best result with a protein treatment, you need to shampoo with a clarifying shampoo, follow the instructions for the treatment, and follow your treatment with a moisturizing conditioner. (Please note: if you are using Aphogee's 2-step protein treatment, use both steps as directed AND follow the second step with an intense moisturizing conditioner with heat.)
STEP 2: Wild out with an intensive MOISTURIZING DEEP CONDITIONER (after your protein treatment and weekly thereafter)
This is self-explanatory. Textured hair cannot thrive without moisture! If you want to attempt to bring those curls back to life or moisten/soften those brittle strands, especially when employing a protein treatment, you need to baby your hair and give it the BEST. When I say the BEST, I mean a MOISTURIZING DEEP CONDITIONER + HEAT. You can use a hooded dryer, a soft bonnet, a thermal cap, steamer or whatever – it’s crucial that you use heat.
STEP 3: When in doubt and it’s just not working out, go ahead and CUT IT OUT!
If you are patient and looser curls or straight strands don’t bother you, I recommend leaving your hair as is. Take good care of your hair by keeping a solid moisture/protein balance – use a balanced conditioner or alternate between a moisturizing conditioner and a light protein treatment. Depending on the amount of heat damage you have, you may see your hair slowly recover as time flies by. Also, you can use perm rods, flexirods, braid-outs, twist outs or bantu knot outs to mask the damage.
However if you feel you cannot wait, simply CUT IT OUT. If your styles are suffering and you simply hate what you see, you should get a trim or a full blown hair cut.
BONUS: One my favorite YouTubers and hair gurus, Mo Knows Hair, just released a GREAT video on Heat Damage. Check it out for a full breakdown on causes, treatment ideas, and prevention methods!
Good luck ladies bouncing back!