For the first six years after I went natural, I refused to use any direct heat on my hair. I was afraid of heat damage, even when seeing a professional hair stylist. There were just so many horror stories that I’d heard and seen for myself, and I was scared to give it a try. When my cousin experienced heat damage, it was too close to home. Here are three hair care tips that she used in order to recover from heat damage that you can try as well.
Step 1: Clarify Your Hair to Remove Any Buildup
When you’re shampooing for the first time after having your hair straightened, be sure to use shampoo, not a co-wash. The goal is to ensure that you remove all product buildup from the hair. The Mielle Organics Exfoliating Shampoo with Mongongo Oil is great for removing excessive buildup from products as well as dirt and excess oils, all without depleting hair of its natural moisture.
Most heat protectants and anti-frizz products contain ingredients that are designed to keep moisture out of your hair to prevent reversion. It’s key to cleanse your hair of those ingredients to allow moisture to penetrate the hair strand and truly access any damage.
Step 2: Up the Protein and Conditioning Treatments
Use a Reconstructor
Heat styling can alter the structure of the proteins in your hair, which results in loss of curl integrity and cuticle damage. To restore those proteins in the hair, you will likely need a reconstructing treatment. Reconstructors are very intense protein treatments. They are available to the public at most beauty supply stores, but you may want to consider seeking help from a professional stylist. Not only do they have the training to access and treat this type of hair damage, but they also have access to professional-grade products that you can’t get from a beauty supply store.
Adding moisture to the hair is just as important as adding protein, so use a moisturizing deep conditioner to help restore your hair’s moisture/protein balance. This balance is key to your hair’s elasticity and can help your curls bounce back. There is no need to deep condition for hours or overnight because over-moisturizing the hair can have a negative effect. Remember it’s all about moisture balance. Our Babassu Oil Mint Deep Conditioner infuses hair with protein and moisture to restore dry and damaged hair. This deep penetrating conditioner is made with complex amino acids from wheat, soy, and other natural ingredients that help restore moisture to damaged and dry hair.
Hot Oil Treatments
Another conditioning treatment you can try is a hot oil treatment. Nourishing the hair with a warm concoction of oils can help restore shine and elasticity, enhance smoothness, penetrate the hair, nourish the scalp, and more. You can warm Mielle Organics Mint Almond Oil by placing it in a cup or bowl full of hot water. (Do not microwave it to ensure even heating — we don’t want you to get burned!) Once the oil is warm, apply it to your hair, cover your hair with a plastic cap for several minutes, and then rinse out the oil. Our organic hair oil can help reduce breakage and excessive shedding.
Step 3: Reassess If You Need to Cut It
Before you shave your hair off and start from scratch, try steps one and two for a few weeks and reassess the condition of your hair. If, after repeated treatments, the damage is not improving, then you should cut or trim the damaged hair to prevent further damage. You get to decide if a big chop or transitioning will work best for you. Either way, the goal is to remove the damaged hair and grow back healthy hair
Using direct heat to style your hair can cause damage to the hair if not done properly, and that damage may not be reversible. If you find yourself trying to recover from heat damage, start with these hair care tips in order to get back on track to healthy hair.