What is heat damage? When the hydrogen or disulfide bonds are permanently broken by excessive heat, the result is loss of natural curl pattern or “heat damage.”
How to determine the type of damage:
- Droopy, stretched pieces or sections of hair, with some visible curl or wave pattern = elasticity damage
- Bone straight pieces or sections of hair = permanent heat damage
Tips for avoiding heat damage:
- Always use heat protecting products when using direct heat (curling irons, flat irons, hot rollers).
- Use quality ceramic tools (this includes your blow dryer!).
- Do not re-iron hair in the days after if at all possible. If necessary, use a lower heat setting in one pass-through.
- Do not use pure oils to style; they are not heat protectants!
- Be accountable with at-home care and in the stylists’ chair (ask questions!).
If you already have damage:
- Bone/very straight pieces or sections = prepare to cut the damaged hair away.
- Droopy/stretched sections = elasticity and/or pre-poo oil + protein treatments. (My personal favorite is Ouidad’s Curl Recovery Melt-Down Mask, but you can see more options here.)
NOTE: There is no 100% guarantee for repair of damage of any kind; it depends on the severity of the damage you have experienced and how your hair reacts to a treatment regimen.