Imagine those tense moments between washing your straightened natural hair and waiting with bated breath for the curls to come back. Sometimes they come back as bouncy as they were before, and you let out a sigh of relief, having evaded heat damage another day. But other times, the curls don’t come back as they were before. Maybe you used too much heat and not enough heat protectant. Maybe your hair wasn’t properly moisturized or didn’t have a good protein balance. No matter the reason, heat damage can be devastating. Here are 5 ways you can recover from it.
1. Use More Protein-rich Products
You’re gonna need to start by fortifying your strands, and the only way to stronger hair is a better protein balance. Protein rich products provide your hair strands with the additional keratin they need to fill in any weak spots and strengthen the cuticles. You’ll know your hair needs more protein if your hair feels mushy when wet, or if it feels elastic when you stretch it. Excessive breakage may also point to a lack of protein.
If you’re not sure where to start, we highly recommend using our STRENGTHEN Protein + Moisture Balancing Deep Conditioner.
2. Stop Using Heat
This one is probably a no-brainer. It’s a good idea to take a prolonged break from heat styling. Your hair is going to need intense and constant TLC and heat styling is just too rough and too drying for hair recovering from damage. Not to mention, you could cause heat damage to sections of your hair that may have remained unaffected at first.
Instead of stretching your hair with heat, you could stretch your hair with more gentle methods like braids, twists, buns, or bantu knots.
3. Deep Condition Every Week
While you’re adding to your hair protein, it’s also important to keep up with moisturizing your hair regularly. Hair that has too much protein and not enough moisture can become dry, hard, and brittle. This can lead to excessive breakage that will no doubt make your road to recovery even longer. You should make sure you’re deep conditioning your hair every 7 to 10 days. We recommend trying Intense Moisture Collection.
4. Begin Cutting Off Damaged Ends
It’s important to note that no concoction of products is going to reverse the effects of heat damage. Because hair is dead, once the cuticle is damaged, there is no repairing it. What this means is incremental cuts or one big cut is going to be an inevitable part of everyone’s journey towards recovery. You can do this alone at home or you could go to a professional hair stylist. We highly recommend the latter, as the stylist will be able to make sure you end up with a shape that is even and appealing.
If, however, you do plan on trimming at home, make sure you opt for a brand new pair of shears. If the shears are dull, it could cause more damage. It’s also important to work in small sections for precision.
5. Visit A Natural Hair Stylist
If, in your devastation, you have no idea where to start at all, it’s probably a good idea to seek the support of a natural hairstylist. A professional stylist can assess the damage and help you come up with a treatment plan. They can help you with everything from washing, condition, trims, and styling. Before you know it, you could be completely free of your head damaged ends.
We know heat damage can be a really disappointing setback, but we hope these tips have given you some hope when it comes to getting your healthy hair journey back on track.
How do you deal with your heat damage? Share with us in the comments.