Healthy Hair AFTER Heat Damage? We did, and Yes You CAN Too!

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Continue reading to find out how each of us powered our way through our heat damage with the right amount of patience, styling techniques, and product selections 


What IS Heat Damage? 

Well, for starters if you are natural, heat damage is your worst enemy!  It occurs from the frequent use of heat tools and can happen by accident from one use, overtime from consistent use, or when your heating tools are set on a setting that is just too high for your strands to take.  The result is that the structure of your strands are broken down and your curl pattern disappears!  For some the pattern may wither and be wavy, for other it may be BONE straight……it really just depends on the extent of the damage.  Contrary to popular belief & very wishful thinking heat damage can not be REVERTED! You can however do many things to restore the health of your hair & keep it strong as you deal with the damage.

My top 3 tips for dealing are:

twos-hourglasspink_grandePATIENCE – Your curl pattern is not going to return overnight.  The initial damage may seem worse than it actually is until you are able to wet your hair and see where your curl pattern has landed…..if its even still present.  Once you have assessed the damage and have made the decision NOT to chop you gotta know that growing out the damage is going to require PATIENCE.  You’re likely in store for a few months of babying and blending those limp strands.  You may also want to begin exploring some braided styles to get you through as well if you know you’re not going to be into concealing the damage.

QUALITY PRODUCTS –  Heat damaged hair is extremely fragile and it needs to be reinforced with quality products that add strength and nutrients to the strands.  Again, reversion is highly unlikely so treating your hair like transitioning hair is the best way to approach.  Start off by giving your hair a repairing treatment like Dr. Miracles 3-Step Miracle Repair , it packs a powerful punch of strengthening AND moisturizing ingredients to get you going in the right direction.Dr-Miracles-Miracle-Repair

TRIMS ARE YOUR FRIEND – As you see growth you are going to want to trim the ends to avoid them splitting up the hair shaft and damaging your thriving natural hair.  The scissors are your friends.  I know sacrificing length is the last thing most of you want to do, but trust me sacrificing it willingly by dusting those ends is a better choice as opposed to losing your length to the additional damage that split ends originating from that line of demarcation are going to cause! Promise you that! 

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So, you wanna found out how me and a couple of my favorite curlfriends dealt with our damage?  We want you to know that no matter your hair type damage CAN happen, but you can also get your hair back to health!  Read our stories below and know that you are not alone.


LASHONDA @blasiandoll11

Transitioning Style with heat damage

How long have you been natural? ltrasn

I have been natural 18 however I loved me a flat-iron, I got my hair done weekly so this is a two-part answer I started my recovery from heat damage in January 2013.

What is your hair type according to the typing chart or by any description you choose?

I have different textures in my hair the back is a 3c and the front the curls are a little looser so like 3b.

When & how did your damage occur?

I was terrified of the big chop so I personally chose to get trims and let the het damage grow out. So it took 2 years to grow out. I know you are thinking that is a long time but with protective styles during the process it helps tremendously, patience is key.

What was/is your go-to style while dealing with the damage?

When I had heat damage my go to style was the curlformers to create curls because the first year I was not about that sit and wait until your hair is dry life with perm rods.

What product(s) would you most recommend for heat damaged hair?

While battling heat damaged hair I made sure I did protein treatments and deep conditioned once a week I did home remedies because at the time it fit my budget.

Final thoughts for my curl friends: 

I hope my pictures of my heat damaged hair can inspire you that you can nurse your way back to healthy hair and amazing curls. If you are an individual that does not want to big chop there is still hope but the results may take a little longer.

LashondaHeat DamageHealthy, happy curly hair after heat damage!!


ELYSIA @haute_couture87

Relaxed/Heat damaged hair

                                     eltrans

 How long have you been natural? 

I’ve been completely natural for a little over 2 years. I stopped getting relaxers in September of 2010 and transitioned for 3 years (gradually trimming the relaxed ends every couple of months) until my relaxed ends were completely gone in 2013. I opted to flat-iron my hair throughout my transition, using heat once every two weeks (or each time I washed).

What is your hair type according to the typing chart or by any description you choose?

I’ve struggled to identify my hair type because it varies, lol but I’m between a 3C (very back of head) to a 4B (crown and right side). I don’t do wash ‘n go’s for that reason, but I’ve grown to love my hair textures! On the plus side, the tighter curl patterns are in places where it gives me a natural asymmetrical cut naturally. Lol. If you notice some of my pictures, it has a natural layered look to it which is in part due to the various curl patterns.

When & how did your damage occur?

My damage occurred from heat use and relaxers. To be honest, I had a setback in November 2013 after going to a hair salon that did not specialize in natural hair care. I went to them when I used to get relaxers, and because I wanted my hair to be laid bone straight, I decided to go back to them since I didn’t know anyone else. Through the process, they used a regular comb (not wide toothed), hair dryer, blow dryer, flat-iron, and curling iron all in one sitting. I wore my hair straight for about a week and a half before washing. Immediately after washing it I noticed a difference. Some parts seemed looser in curl pattern, and a very small section near the left side did not curl at all. From that moment, I vowed to not use any heat for at least one year. That one year turned into now almost 2 years with hardly any heat (except a very minor light blowout earlier in the year). As a result of my patience and care, my curls are back, and with the exception of the small section that failed to curl at all, I’ve gradually trimmed it until it is pretty much back to its natural state.

What was/is your go-to style while dealing with the damage?

During my transition stage and most recent heat damage stage, I opted for simple/quick styles. Even when flat ironing my hair while transitioning, I often wore it up or in a half up/half down style. Low manipulation and avoiding tension has always been my go-to. As of now, I mainly due buns! I LOVE a good bun! Lol. For those days when I don’t have time t make it look perfect like you see in my pictures, I simply slick my edges down, throw a simple headband on, and go. I know how busy we can be, especially for those with kids or overnight jobs, so simple is better. Not to mention, keeping your hair out of your face and away from your clothing is best for avoiding breakage and breakouts.

What product(s) would you most recommend for heat damaged hair?

I would recommend: Aubrey Organics GPB protein balancing conditioner, Aussie Moist 3 minute miracle, Shea Moisture JBCO line, and ORS hair mayonnaise. All of these products have been apart of my staple routine and have significantly helped improve the overall condition of my hair. I typically use the Aubrey line when I want a light protein treatment. I use Aussie weekly (leaving on for 40 mins), alongside Shea Moisture JBCO leave-in. I use ORS when I need a super deep penetrating conditioning treatment (leaving it on for 1 hour). I know there are many great products, but I’d recommend these especially for those with multiple textures or hair that needs extra moisturizing like mine

Final thoughts for my curl friends:

I can’t stress enough how important it is to gain patience when going natural or dealing with heat damage. It can be really challenging to feel beautiful and confident when faced with certain obstacles in terms of our hair. Prior to going natural, I virtually had no confidence. I only wore my hair down, never wore ponytails or my hair pulled completely back because I was insecure about my face structure and features. I often compared myself to other women and wished I could wear styles they wore while looking so effortless. Going natural changed not only how I see myself, but allowed me to change the way I carry myself as well. I’m much more confident, outspoken, and just happy. I want to encourage anyone who is struggling with accepting themselves, or feeling accepted by others, to remain strong and hang in there. All journeys are difficult when it involves stepping outside of our comfort zones, but always remember why you started and where you want to finish. From a girl who hated taking pictures and being in the public, I can insure you that the road traveled gets easier and is so worth it  🙂

Life after heat damage = Cute, curly ninja bun life!elyst


MOE @moe_dadiva

Twist & curl on heat damaged hair    

moetransHow long have you been natural? 

I transitioned for almost 5 years in wigs and weaves and have been fully natural since January 2014.

What is your hair type according to the typing chart or by any description you choose?

My hair is classic type 4 hair.  It houses 4a/b/c textures throughout.  The front and crown of my hair is looser 4a textured, the sides are 4b and the back contains the coarsest tightest coils and is 4c.  I also have very thick hair with ultimate shrinkage when wet and in its natural state while dry.

When & how did your damage occur?

I wore wigs and weaves as I transitioned and only wore side parts which were very tolerant of the heat overtime.  In the fall of 2014 I wanted to try something different and began wearing a middle part.  That part of my hair had not seen heat during my entire transition and was for all intents and purposes virgin hair.  One day in a hurry I mistakenly set the temperature of my flat-iron to the highest setting and burned my hair.

What was/is your go-to style while dealing with the damage?

I rocked protective styles like crochet weaves, full wigs, buns and twist and curl styles. I had to wear styles that were low manipulation, required no heat to blend with my natural curl pattern, or just covered my hair entirely.  I love switching my hair up often so I would say ALL of these were my go to styles in addition to accessorizing with scarfs, turbans, and head bands.

What product(s) would you most recommend for heat damaged hair?

 The Dr. Miracles 3-Step Miracle Repair mentioned earlier helped me to strengthen my strands and prepare it for the last trimming of damage. I also certainly recommend coconut oil.  We know this oil to be a holy grail oil with a molecular structure that is compact enough to actually penetrate your strands and impart all of its nutrients.  It is also a lite protein making it ideal for restoring health to damaged hair.  Keeping the strands moisturized with a cream like 4 Naturals (by Bronner Bros) Afro Stretch Curl Cream during protective styling is important as well.  In addition to any product use I would suggest creating and sticking to a weekly healthy hair regimen for best results.  

Final thoughts for my curl friends:

While heat damage is an issue that we all have the potential to encounter no matter your hair type there are certain things that you can do to avoid it all together. Be sure to take care when heat styling your hair by using a heat protectant, styling on the safest heat setting for you – you don’t have to turn the irons all the way up or blow dry on high, and doing personal no heat challenges where you give your hair a break from heat tools for months at a time.  If you should experience or are experiencing heat damage I hope that my friends and I have helped you to realize that WE have all been there and the big chop doesn’t always have to be the answer. Patience is key but you CAN bring your curls back to life!

Heat damage free wash n go on 4 type hair!!!

moewng

 

 

 

 


 

Are you dealing with heat damage too? Share your experience in the comments below. Tell me how you’re coping, what products are getting you through, and if this article was helpful for you!


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  • I had heat damage when I first started to go natural. I slowly had to trim the ends and have the right products that have me the elasticity my hair needed. Thanks for the info #blmgirls

  • Really liked the different perspectives for this article!