We all like our hair to be thick, healthy, and full of volume. By using the styling tools that help us look and feel like the best version of ourselves, heat damage is often the result. Heat damage can develop from an assortment of causes like the chemicals you use to treat your hair, flat irons, curling irons, and even the heat from sunny summer days! All of these sources can cause short-term and even long-term damage to hair.
When hair starts to get damaged, you may notice that your hair may not be as versatile as it once was. The symptoms of heat damage are evident, especially when you try to style your hair. Some signs can be:
- Split ends that break off without much effort
- Tangles and knots
- Hair texture appearing coarse or stringy
Seeing or experiencing these signs can be anxiety-inducing on its own. Sometimes heat damaged hair, when left untreated, can only be fixed by cutting off the damaged hair itself! When you’re working toward growing your hair longer, the big chop is not such an attractive option. Luckily, there are ways to partially fix heat-damaged hair and even prevent it altogether using products formulated specifically to address heat damage. Remember: always use heat protectant when working with styling tools to shield hair from temperatures that can range from 200 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Various causes of heat damage and hair textures will require different treatment options.
Curly hair, from 2C to 4C, can be very difficult to maintain, causing many to turn to chemical relaxers and high-heat styling tools. For this hair type, heat damage manifests in the form of frizzy, tangled, or randomly textured hair. These unpredictable side effects of heat can give anyone a bad hair day. Nevertheless, there are ways to hide damage in curly hair and even fix it. Using hair masks and conditioner treatments that specialize in moisturizing dry hair can give a revitalized appearance again. However, it is highly advised that if you are using said conditioners and moisturizing shampoos that you not wash your hair every day. The reason being is that too much shampooing can actually do the opposite of what you want: strip natural oils which naturally hydrate hair. It is recommended that you wash your hair as little as possible, between one to three times per week, until it begins to keep a curly form again. When you do have to wash it, apply shampoo to the scalp and roots, avoid scrubbing the ends.
When it comes to repairing hair, restoring natural proteins is the priority, especially for straight hair. Straight hair, when it is damaged from heat, can leave a dry and fragile appearance with exaggerated split ends. For a more short-term solution, DIY hair masks might help with improving the appearance of hair, however, it will not fix the root cause and long-term effects of heat damage. For more effective solutions, leave-in protein treatments can help hide the damage by restoring natural bonds. Look for specific treatments that have honey, olive oil, and yogurt in the ingredient list. In addition, conditioning sprays that contain keratin can be helpful with broken bonds.
Chemically Treated Hair
Hair that has been bleached or permed, or chemically straightened can leave lasting heat damage. This hair type is especially difficult to manage, and you might need to consult a trusted hairstylist to get a professional’s opinion on your treatment options. One way to help this specific kind of hair type is to get a professional deep-conditioning treatment from a salon. Hot oil treatments and hair masks are great home remedies if a salon is out of the question. Spirulina, an ingredient in conditioning sprays, is a key component to look out for when browsing products for home treatments. To prevent more damage from occurring, don’t wash your hair on a daily basis and instead do it every few days. Also, avoid using styling tools that require heat, especially during the days after a chemical treatment.
Taking all of these fixes into account, there is no shortage of short-term and even long-term answers for repairing hair that has been damaged from heat of any kind. Unfortunately, if hair does not improve overtime or is too damaged to be repaired from any of the fixes mentioned, then it may be time to consider cutting the damaged hair off. This does not mean that all of the hair has to go, luckily enough. Cutting a few inches off can improve the appearance of hair drastically and is the most effective long-term treatment option. Additionally, waiting a few weeks or a month before considering this option can have hair return to normal from any of the fixes mentioned here.
Keranique provides a comprehensive list of products that address issues women can often face with their hair, including treatments for heat damage. Check out our products page to find our highly reviewed catalogue that has helped countless customers with revitalizing and regrowing hair!
This article is not intended to treat any disease or offer a substitution for professional medical advice.