How to Repair Heat Damaged Hair: 6 Steps to Heal Your Locks
The heat is on. And so is the blow dryer, curling iron and straightener. But too much heat can damage your hair and cause split ends, leaving you miserable. We're here to ease the pain of heat damaged hair.
Can damaged hair be repaired?
Hair is – technically – dead. There's no nervous system, blood, or cell regeneration going on. This means it can't heal itself. When damage is done, it's done (talk about holding a grudge).
Still, there are tons of products out there that make hair look smooth and shiny on the surface, reducing the appearance of heat damage and slowing it down. But they'll wash off quickly, so you'll have to keep reapplying or you can do a few things to remedy heat damaged hair as best as you can.
How to know if your hair is damaged? Acceptance leads to healing
What does damaged hair look like? If you're a regular user of heat styling tools, you might want to start paying attention to the signs.
When your ends get split down the middle or fray out at the tips, it means they've been weakened from exposure to too much heat over time.
Dryness and dullness:
If your hair feels brittle, tangled, or frizzy after using any type of styling tool, the cuticles have likely suffered heat damage.
A classic sign, these broken strands can be seen on the ends of long hair when you part it. If your hair is short, you’ll see the broken ends when you brush or style your hair.
Frizziness and flyaways:
After many rounds of blow-drying and flat ironing, your fine, straight hair might start to feel like straw. As hair becomes less elastic when exposed to high heat, you may notice frizziness and flyaways (especially in humid weather).
Colour goes all wrong:
Heat damaged hair is really porous so it won't hold onto colour. Yes, it may absorb a lot of dye, to begin with, but those shades won't stay for long.
How to fix heat damaged hair
Try an oil soak
Using an oil soak is one of the best ways to repair heat damaged hair. You can use jojoba oil or olive oil, both of which contain fatty acids that promote stronger strands and keep them moisturised. Just apply the oil directly onto your scalp, massage it in and leave it overnight before rinsing it out in the morning with shampoo, followed by conditioner.
Add proteins to your hair
Protein treatments (once a week) help strengthen your hair's structure by rebuilding broken bonds within the shafts. They also add moisture back into your strands for a softer, shinier feel.
Use a deep conditioner after every shower or every other shower (depending on how often you wash your hair). Deep conditioning coats each strand with moisture. This keeps them from becoming brittle or breaking off easily when combing or brushing them through.
Use a natural shampoo
When you use heated styling tools, they can break down your hair’s natural protective layer, leaving it dry and brittle. Switching to a sulphate-free shampoo is one of the easiest ways to restore moisture. Sulphates are detergents that strip away oil from hair strands and leave them feeling dry.
Avoid using heat styling tools
Keep away from the irons, blow dryers, and curlers! After all, it's heat damage you're dealing with. But, if you must use them, use low heat settings and don’t skimp on the heat protectant.
We hate to say it, but facts are facts. Burnt hair, damaged hair from straightening, and split ends just have to be snipped off. A good few inches might need to be trimmed, too. It hurts, we know, but that's the only way to "undo" heat damage.
It's best to keep your hair from getting heat damaged, to begin with. "Prevention is better than cure" and all that. At the same time, we understand that you also want to have fun with your hair, so heat damage is bound to happen with styling. It still hurts when it does. We hope we could help you through this tough time.
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