Natural hair heat damage is one of the WORST things to happen to natural hair. Natural hair heat damage occurs when too much heat is applied to natural hair. Scientifically speaking, heat damage happens when the keratin bonds in your hair are broken. Essentially, the heat from the flat iron breaks the protein bonds in your hair, which results in limp, non-curling curls. Most naturals report that their hair becomes utterly straight, especially at the ends. Generally speaking, certain portions of your hair are more susceptible to becoming heat damaged than others. For example, your edges and frontal sections of your hair are finer than the rest of your hair. These areas are exceptionally susceptible to natural hair heat damage. If you are suffering from natural hair heat damage, remember that you’re not alone. Many naturals experience hair heat damage Fortunately, there are some things you can do to counteract your natural hair heat damage. In fact, some of the items below may reverse your heat damage, depending on how severe it is.
Use a gentle shampoo
Immediately switch to a gentle, nourishing shampoo. Gentle, clarifying shampoos are great, but shouldn’t be used if you have serious heat damage. Also consider changing to using cool or lukewarm water to wash your hair, rather than hot water, and cut down the number of times you wash it where possible. This enables your hairs’ natural oils to nourish the strands.
You want to avoid shampoos containing parabens, silicones and sulfates – particularly with heat damage, but they are good to avoid anytime. (Try Glammednaturallyoil Biotin Shampoo )
Change your conditioner too
Combine your new gentle shampoo with a protein-based conditioner, which can help to repair damage in the strands by filling in gaps in the hairs temporarily. This helps the strands become a bit more resilient and can prevent further damage while your hair is delicate.(Check out Glammednaturallyoil Biotin Conditioner )
Stay away from heat
We know this step is obvious but we wanted to mention it anyway. Put down your blow-dryer and instead air dry your hair. We recommend twisting or braiding your hair when it's wet to add definition as your curls dry. And if you must use heat use a good heat protectant, stretch your hair before straightening it or wait until your hair is damp rather than wet to blow-dry it.
Use a protein treatment/hair mask
Strengthen your hair from the inside-out by using a protein treatment designed especially for curly hair! Once you've washed and conditioned your hair, you'll want to apply a leave-in conditioner, a hair cream, and an oil to really seal in the moisture. (Try Glammednaturally Hair Growth Oil )
Wear a protective style
The less you manipulate your hair, the less it's likely to break. So invest in a wig, weave, braids, crochet braids or wear low manipulation hairstyles such as twists or another style that you know will last about a week if you wrap your hair at night. (Check out our Glammednaturally crochet braids and wigs )
Drink Plenty Of Water
Unless you stay hydrated, there is no way your hair is going to stay hydrated! Aim to drink at least 8 cups of water each day as an absolute minimum. This keeps your cells working efficiently, along with your healthy diet, so that your hairs are strong and healthy.
Eat A Healthy Diet
As the saying goes, you are what you eat, and it sure isn’t an old wives’ tale. A poor diet can wreak havoc on our hair and skin but eating the foods can make the world of difference. Make sure you are getting plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as proteins. Try to eat a balanced diet and cut out processed foods and saturated and trans-fats, but eat a good amount of healthy fats.
- Vitamins – citrus fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat
- Protein – meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and soy
- Iron – liver, fortified breakfast cereals, pulses, whole grains
- Zinc – oysters, other seafood, dairy, fortified breakfast cereals
Give It Time To Recover
You probably won’t see results immediately, but after a few weeks or months, it is worth considering whether a restyle may remove the worst of your heat damaged-hair and prevent it from getting worse too. With the exception of split ends, it is worth not doing anything drastic with your hair when you first notice the heat damage. Split ends can be trimmed without affecting your hairstyle too much and this will prevent the splits from continuing up the strands. For heat damage which is further up the strands, give it time before snipping it off and see how it recovers with the right treatments we talked about earlier.
While you are letting your hair recover, wear it in loose styles like a relaxed plait, avoiding any tension from your roots to the ends. Invest in some snag-free ponytails such as the spiral hair ties or cloth-covered elastic bands. These styles will protect your hair from further damage.
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