Lately I've had a lot of people ask me about heat damage and how to reverse it. I want to first start off my saying that heat damage is not reversible, but their are some things you can do to help bring your curls back to life. For those that do not know what heat damage is, it is when your hair has been over processed with heat.
- Healthy hair burns at 451 degrees F
- Water begins to leave the hair at around 122-248 degrees F
- Hair proteins begin to break at 311 degrees
You have to be sure that when using heat styling tools, that you are in control. Meaning that the tool has a temperature reading scale, not just "low, medium and high." You also want to make sure you have a quality tool. Those tools that are made with poor quality will reflect on your hair's appearance.
Using too much heat, such as blow drying, flat ironing etc., causes the hair to become permanently straight. Instead of your hair curling when it is wet, it will stay in a straight state. Their are a few ways to help deal with this, and depending on your level of damage, there are different things that you can do.
These solutions are listed from the lowest level of damage to extreme damage.
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Once you notice damage, stop using heat all together or minimize it. So instead of using a hand-held blow dryer and following up with the flat iron, try roller setting your hair and sitting under a hooded dryer for a more sleek look. Always use a heat protectant. I will list a few at the bottom of this post.
You may notice that a few of your strands may not revert back to its curly state.
Meaning that you will have a few straight ends. To fix this, wash and condition your hair as you normally would, but now an extra step needs to be added. Find a deep conditioner that you can use.
You can almost use any conditioner as a deep treatment. You can even mix your conditioner with olive oil and honey. For example, I use TRESemme Naturals along with a shower cap for about a couple of hours. Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair and cover it with a plastic cap for as much time as you have. Rinse with cool water to seal in the moisture. This may take a few washes and deep conditionings to notice any changes depending on your hair.
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If this technique doesn't work, a protein treatment is needed. I recommend Aphogee's Protein Treatment. Please follow the instructions on the bottle. This is very important! I've used this protein treatment in the past and it helped me deal with breakage but also helps keep the curl form. You can buy this product from Sally's (which is very expensive) or your local beauty supply store. You must follow up with their balancing moisturizer. Please don't skip this step. I should warn you that this product is very sticky and messy, but it works wonders.
Like I said in the beginning, heat damage is not totally reversible. The only real way to get rid of it is to cut off the damage. As time goes on, your hair's natural texture will grow in. I know that is the last thing you want to hear. If it is only a small section, you could possible just try to make it blend in with the rest.
Lists of heat protectants: