Help I straightened my hair a week ago and now some parts of my hair are not as curly as the rest of my hair. Do I have heat damage? If so can I repair it? I am afraid, I will have to cut my hair, help!!!
What is heat damage?
When hair has been melted by a heat source and it reaches the cortex. The cortex is the deep inner part of each hair strand. Each hair strand is made up of many layers. The outer layer is the hair cuticle and it provides protection to all the other layers. When you use a flat iron over 250 degrees the hair becomes smooth by melting the hair cuticle. This is usually temporary. Heat damage normally occurs when you use excessive heat, high heat or you apply heat to already damaged hair.
Do you really have heat damage?
Every time you use harsh heat you weaken your hair cuticle. Whether you have damaged it to the point that it will not revert back to its original shape, will have to be seen once you shampoo and condition your hair.
How to get your curls back.
Cleanse your hair with a conditioning cleanser or non sulfate shampoo. Deep condition your hair with a moisturizing conditioner, add honey for more conditioning. Sit under the dryer for 20 minutes. Rinse with cool water, follow with a ACV rinse.
What to do when the hair does not revert back.
Once you have shampooed, deep conditioned, ACV rinse and styled, your coils should return. If that does not happen, no need to panic. Each night for 3 nights in a row apply a leave in conditioner, cover with a plastic cap, until the next day. Use your fingers to scrunch and shape the troubled areas. At this point you do not know how deep the heat went. Just because your curls are not fully back does not mean you have heat damage. For the next four weeks you will do the cleanse, DC and ACV regimen twice a week. So if you start on a Monday you will then repeat the process on Friday. After week one, you will baggy every other night. So this equals 6 treatment sessions within a months time. Each week you complete the routine you should see more curls appear. By week 4 your curls should be back.
How to straighten your hair without getting heat damage.
When you decide to use harsh heat such as flat irons and pressing combs, you must make sure your hair is strong and very moisturized. If you are having dry hair issues do not straighten your hair. Always schedule your straightening sessions 4 weeks in advance. Weeks 1-3 you should deep condition your hair really well. Week 4 do a good protein treatment a few days before you straighten your hair. The protein will help to protect your hair from the harsh heat you are going to put on it. The day of your straightening routine, be sure to use a silicone based heat protectant. Make sure your hair is moisturized but not wet when you straighten it.
If a 4 week treatment does not fit your schedule check here for the 9 day heat preparation treatment.
When you should never straighten your hair
To do a length check
It is a waste of time to straighten hair only for the purpose of checking the length. Why risk the damage?
When your hair is damaged
Never straighten damaged hair. As stated above each time you use harsh heat you make the hair weaker.
When you have hair color
Hair dyes make your hair dry and difficult to keep moisturized. Never straighten hair that is having issues retaining moisture.
When your hair is extra dry
Straightening dry brittle hair is the main cause of heat damage.
In the Summer time
What is the point it will not last anyway. You will then use more heat to try to get your press to last longer. This is a recipe for heat damage.
When your hair is dirty
Always start with freshly washed hair no older than 2 days.
When you are crunched for time
When you use harsh heat you need to take small sections and take your time. The process can take hours, rushing it will cause you to make mistakes which can leave you with heat damage.
When you are getting it braided
Hair does not need to be blown out nor flat ironed, when you are getting extensions. If your braider cannot work with your natural hair, find another braider. Your hair needs moisture when you are getting extensions. Straightening the hair removes the moisture, so this is a bad thing to do before getting braids.
REMEMBER PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE!
BE PROACTIVE WITH YOUR LIFE NOT REACTIVE ALL THE TIME!