Dealing With Heat-Damaged Hair

by April Reinhardt
(last updated December 3, 2014)

I have long, very thick hair, which simply will not hold a curl. When using a curling iron, by the time I've curled all of my hair, the first cooled curls will have already have already fallen, leaving me with just a hint of a wave. Many years ago I took the advice of a friend and sprayed my hair with hairspray before curling. "The hairspray will hold make your curls hold," she stated confidently. So, I dried my newly washed hair with a blow dryer, sprayed a section with hairspray, allowed it to dry, and then wrapped that section around the hot iron. I can still remember the smell of burning hair while I tried to peel it from the sizzling iron. I damaged my hair that day and had to have it cut nearly to my chin to cut away the damage.

Curling irons aren't the only appliance that can damage your hair; flat irons, blow dyers, chemical relaxers, perms, hot rollers, to name a few, all employ heat when styling hair. If you find that your hair is heat-damaged, short of cutting your hair to cut the damage out, try some of these tips for dealing with it:

  • Combine one tablespoon each of coconut oil and almond oil, with two tablespoons of honey. Add one beaten egg and whisk the mixture together. Wash your hair and, while it's still wet, apply the mixture, coating all of your hair thoroughly. With the conditioner still in place, cover your hair with a shower cap or a large plastic bag and allow it to process for about thirty minutes. Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo and allow it to air dry.
  • Pour your shampoo into a bowl, enough to wash your hair one time. Break open ten Vitamin E capsules and squeeze the oil into the shampoo and mix the product thoroughly. Wash your hair with the mixture and then rinse and condition as usual.
  • Each time you wash your hair, use a good serum to protect it from heated appliances. I like to use Bumble and Bumble Defrizz, and it only takes a dime-sized dollop in the palm of my hand to cover all of my very long hair.
  • Instead of blow-drying your hair, wash your hair at night and allow it to air dry for the next morning. Using a blow dryer each day will remove essential moisture and oils from your hair, causing it to break.
  • When your hair is wet, gently comb it with a wide-toothed comb, and never use a brush. When you encounter a snarl or tangle in your hair, never pull the comb through it, allowing the hair to stretch and then snap and break. Instead, gently work through the tangle with your fingers or a comb. You can also use a detangling product to help comb through tangles.

Wash your hair less often to help retain the natural oils of your scalp. When you brush or comb your hair, you deposit scalp oils to the roots and ends of your hair. That oil is essential to maintain healthy hair. When you wash your hair each day, you wash those oils away. Try washing your hair only three times a week to help repair your damaged hair.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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