The phrase, 'heat damage' is a something that we all fear in the Natural Hair community! I recently interviewed natural hair vlogger Elle at Curls Unbothered about her experiences with Heat Damage.
- Blow-drying on the HIGHEST heat setting my CHI blowdryer could achieve
- Flat ironing on 450 degrees sans heat protectant or deep conditioning
How I'm overcoming heat damage
- Stop the heat - When my brain finally clicked that my hair was pretty much damaged, I finally decided to put all my heating tools away (for the second time).
- Use perm rods instead - I went to Sally Beauty and purchased the perm rods that I thought mimicked my curl pattern best and I got to work. I committed myself to only doing perm rod sets, deep conditioning every wash day and consistent protein treatments and trims.
- Protein treatments - The protein treatment that I began my journey with was the Aphogee Two Step Protein Treatment. This really helped in strengthening my weak hair and I even saw some of my curls trying to bounce back. Through research I found another protein treatment option called Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein (Amazon) which is what I’ve been using since.
- Regular trims - It is also important to note that I did get trims on a consistent basis. I would get trims every 8-12 weeks allowing the stylist to take between 1/2 inch to an inch each time. I did straighten my hair to get it trimmed, but I was much more knowledgeable on how to properly heat style my hair so that I didn’t cause further damage.
- Protective styles - I’m ALLLLL about low manipulation hair styles! For those who know me or are following me on any social media platforms I am all about the twists! Doing hair styles that don’t require a ton of brushing or combing really aides in length retention. So if you have heat damaged hair, doing protective styles like braids, twists, perm/flexi rod sets will really help in the transition.
- Be patient - My biggest piece of advice to those dealing with heat damage is be patient. While the situation can see dire and unrepairable things ALWAYS change over time. If you want to work with heat damaged natural hair you have to be patient and committed. I am over two years in and I am still dealing with heat damaged areas. It is also good to remember that hair grows back!