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Some women with curly hair raise an eyebrow to heat styling. Heat damage can cause breakage, frizz, and even a looser of curl pattern. Avoiding heat styling may seem like the best way to prevent thermal damage during your healthy hair journey, however, there are ways to incorporate heat styling and still have your healthy curls.

What is heat damage?

Let’s start with the process of heat styling. Cosmetic chemist Tonya McKay says, “Application of heat to the hair breaks hydrogen bonds, and the use of tension or pressure allows hair to be re-shaped so that the new hydrogen bonds form to support the new shape (straight or curled).” When heat styling, start by cleansing your curls, apply a heat protectant, and keep the temperature low (below 400 degrees).

Always shampoo and condition your hair before heat styling. Product buildup can cause your hair to be weighed down. In addition, it can also cause a burnt smell since there is still a lot of product on your hair. After you rinse out your conditioner, thoroughly detangle your hair and apply a heat protectant of your choice. When searching for a heat protectant serum, it is important to look for key ingredients. Silicones can be found in heat protectants. Not only will they protect your hair during heat use, but it will also assists with moisture retention.

I use Motions Heat Styled Straight Leave In Conditioner and divide my hair in manageable sections before blow-drying. This provides more control and helps me to not feel as overwhelmed. Lastly, blow-dry your hair with a comb attachment or a paddle brush.

When I flat iron my hair, I use Motions Heat Styled Straight Finish Sealer. It’s best to use heat tools with temperature adjustments, so you can select what level is suitable for your hair. Depending on the width of your strands, the flat iron should not be used any higher than 400 degrees if you would like to avoid heat damage.

Life after heat tools

When you hair stiff and dry, it’ll be time to wash it. When you shampoo your hair, notice how your curls respond. Do they revert back to normal? Are they frizzy or looser? If your curls do not revert back to how they were before, use a strengthening conditioner or protein treatment to whip them back into shape. It may take a few wash days for your curls to revert completely, and if they don’t, it’s a sign you have heat damage. From there you have two options: cut the heat damage from your hair or grow the heat damage out like you’re transitioning. Now you can look back at your experience to see what you could have done differently and learn from it.

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