Hair styling techniques, such as the popular blow dry or the use of a flat iron, curling wands, and straighteners, are popular because they make our lives easier. We can go from wet to styled hair in minutes, and with the right tools and techniques, our style can last all day. The downside to using these tools is that you can damage your hair without using a heat protectant or taking other preventative measures. Signs of heat-damaged hair are dryness, brittleness, split ends, and frizz, not to mention the state of your hair's natural oils!
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, don't worry – there are ways to repair heat-damaged hair, and we're here to help! Before we dive into fixing heat-damaged hair, let's look at some of the most common questions that frazzled ladies (and gents) have about this issue.
What Exactly Causes the Heat Damage to Hair?
When you subject your hair to extreme heat, the water molecules inside each strand expand and cause the hair shaft to swell. This process is called hydrolysis. The cuticle (the outer layer of your hair) consists of overlapping scales that protect the inner cortex. When these scales are damaged or lifted, it causes your hair to become weak, dry, and brittle. Heat damage is basically just your hair's way of telling you that it's been through too much!
Is My Hair Heat Damaged?
The signs of heat-damaged hair are pretty easy to spot. If your once healthy and bouncy locks now resemble a haystack, it's time to face the facts: your hair has seen better days.
Here's what heat damage might look like:
Your hair feels straw-like or brittle to the touch
It's become dry, frizzy, and unmanageable
Your hair has lost its natural shine and luster
Styling is nearly impossible, and your hair breaks easily
If you're experiencing any of these signs, your hair is probably damaged by heat styling without using a heat protectant. But don't despair! There are ways to repair heat-damaged hair and get your mane looking healthy and shiny once again.
Preventing Heat Damage
The best way to deal with heat-damaged hair is to prevent it from happening in the first place! Here are some tips on how to protect your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling:
Start with clean, healthy hair. Heat styling will cause less damage to clean hair free of products and build-up.
Use a heat protectant spray before you blow dry, use a flat iron, or curl your hair. The heat protectant spray will help create a barrier between your hair and the heat source.
Don't style your hair when it is wet. If you blow dry your hair while it's wet, you're subscribing to one of the most common causes of heat damage.
Use the lowest setting on your blow dryer, flat iron, or straightener. Only turn up the heat if you absolutely need to.
Only hold your styling tool in one spot for a short time. This can cause localized heat damage.
Give your hair a break from heat styling every once in a while. Let your hair air dry, or use gentle, low-heat styles instead.
Deep condition your hair regularly to help keep it healthy and strong. This will make it less susceptible to damage from heat styling.
Can Heat Damage be Reversed?
Yes, you can reverse heat damage, but it requires some effort on your part. It might sound a bit complicated, but you can reverse heat damage because it is essentially just dried-out hair. So, to reverse heat damage, you need to rehydrate your hair and repair the damage.
Treating Heat Damaged Hair
Ah! Now we get to the nitty gritty! It may sound easier than it is, mainly because it depends on your hair type and how you tackle heat damage. Let's take a closer look.
If you have straight hair, you know the struggle is real. You can never quite get the perfect curl; even if you do, it only lasts for a few hours. And don't even get us started on how frizzy it can get in humid weather! But there is hope. The best remedy for heat-damaged straight hair is protein.
Protein is an essential part of the hair structure and helps to repair and protect the hair from damage. There are many different types of protein treatments available. Still, we recommend using a protein-rich conditioner or mask at least once a week. If you're a fan of leave-in protein treatments, look for honey, yogurt, or olive oil in the list of ingredients. You can also use products that contain keratin, a type of protein that helps smooth and strengthen the hair.
Unfortunately, treating heat-damaged curly hair can be a curly one! However, here are some steps you can take to restore your curly tresses to their former beauty.
Hydration: Curly hair tends to be dryer than other hair types, so it's essential to use a deep conditioner or mask at least once a week. You can also use a leave-in conditioner daily to help keep your curls hydrated.
The big guns: Use an intensive protein treatment as a reconstructor. If the results aren't forthcoming, try a hot oil treatment. This nourishes your scalp and restores its shine.
Time for a trim: Heat damage can cause your ends to become frayed and split. Trimming off these damaged ends will help keep your hair healthy and prevent further damage.
Protection: If you can't go without your ritual blow dry or need to use other heat styling tools, be sure to use a heat protectant spray beforehand. And, when possible, air dry your hair instead of using heat.
Chemically Treated Hair
We all love a good chemical treatment; whether it's coloring or giving it a perm, we love the way it can change our look.
But sometimes, things can go wrong. If you're not careful, you can end up with heat-damaged hair.
Luckily, there are some steps you can take:
- First of all, don't panic. Heat damage is not permanent, and your hair will grow back.
- Try using a deep conditioner or mask to help repair the damage.
- Avoid using hot tools for a while and let your hair air dry as much as possible.
- Be extra gentle with your hair when shampooing and brushing.
The best treatment for heat-damaged, chemically treated hair may come from a professional. To a certain degree, you're right. They can assess the damage and give you the best plan of action to get your hair healthy and looking its best again. However, because the quickest way to restore your locks is with a protein treatment, there are options available that you can do at home.
How Long Does It Take to Repair Heat-Damaged Hair?
Have you heard the saying about patience being a virtue? You're about to find out how virtuous you really are!
If you're lucky, you can nurse your heat-damaged hair back to health in weeks. But if you've done a number on your locks, it could take months or even years to see any significant improvement.
Ensure you lay off the heat styling for a while and give your hair a chance to recover. If you can't bear to start your day without a blow dry, or go without your flat iron altogether, at least cut back on how often you use them and make sure you're using a heat protectant spray before you blow dry your next 'do and turn up the heat.
Finally, be patient! Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither is repairing heat-damaged hair. It will take time, but if you're consistent with your treatment regimen, you should see some results eventually.
So the short answer is that only time will tell. In the meantime, don't get too frustrated; keep doing what you can to help your hair heal.
In a Nutshell
At Eluxe, we've taken hair care to the next level with our line of products specifically designed for ultimate hair health.
If you're looking for the best way to repair heat-damaged hair, look no further than Eluxe! Our products are specifically designed to heal and protect your locks from further damage. Try our Hair Care Combo or Premium Support Hair Care Set today and see the difference for yourself!
We're not going to lie; heat-damaged hair is a pain to deal with. But with some patience and the right products, you'll be back to flaunting your fabulous hair in no time - and we're right beside you!