Struggle Curls: 6 tips to Heat Damage Recovery!

Hey there! Has heat damage plagued your natural curl pattern? Trust me, you are not the only one! I, too, am a recovering heat damage victim. lol Even though I’ve never had a perm, there was definitely a time when I was straightening my hair way too often.  This is especially true when I had bangs (side-swept and straight across my forehead)–at that point I was straightening the front of my hair 2-3 times a day to keep it sleek! Hot mess city!!! =\ You can imagine what my natural hair looked like.

The curl pattern was tight in some areas (mostly the middle) but limp in others. The ends refused to curl and the front was really flat.  Needless to say, I did not wear wash-n-go’s during these years.  If my hair was not straightened, it was in some kind of style that allowed me to manipulate my curl pattern (i.e. braid-outs, twist-outs).  Judging by the pictures below, you’ll notice that even in braid-outs and twist-outs, my ends were still straight.  And this was even after putting a rod or roller on the ends.  Yeah…it was bad guys.  lol So…there is HOPE if this is your story!

PicFrame

Here’s 6 tips I’ve gathered that helped me to recover the health of my hair and will hopefully help you too:
  1. TRIMMING/CUTTING:  Unfortunately, there is NO way around this tip. Depending on how bad the heat damage is, it very difficult to recover from any heat damage without adding scissors to the mix. This DOES NOT mean that you have to big chop nor does it mean that you are expected to cut large amounts of hair off in one sitting.  You can trim your hair off in a gradual process (i.e. every 3-6 months or so) until the damage has grown out enough for you to cut it off.
  2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RINSES:  In my personal experience, apple cider vinegar is not only good for clarifying your hair to cleanse and loosen dirt throughout your hair shaft and scalp.  It’s also great for revitalizing your curls and strengthening your hair shaft, in spite of the damage. I like to do this at least once a month or once every couple of months (frequency depends on how bad your damage is).
  3. MOISTURE:  Most of why your hair is damaged from excessive thermal styling is because there is a possible moisture imbalance in your hair’s shafts.  Fret not! Learn the proper way to moisturize your hair (i.e. the LOC method {please let me know if you’d like a post on this method}) Also, there are plenty of hair milks and butters to help seal in your hair’s moisture.  You should also consider incorporating moisturizing conditioners (rinse-out and leave-ins) and deep conditioners into your hair regimen.  A natural conditioner I like using once or twice a month is aloe vera juice. I simply put some in a spray bottle and distribute it on my hair after placing a water-based moisturizer and oil to seal in my hair’s moisture.
  4. HEAT BREAK/HEAT-FREE:  Yes! No sense in continuing to use something that is working against you. Generally, my suggestion is that you learn to wean yourself off of using intense heat (i.e. flat-ironing, curling-ion) too often.  However, I understand that everyone is different and has different comfort levels.  So, for these people, I suggest taking a heat-break.  Maybe only straighten your hair 2-3 times a year instead of 5-8.  Also consider using a heat-protectant when using any heat on your hair. Personally, the most I will straighten my hair is 2-3 times a year.  Lately, it’s only been twice a year.
  5. PROTEIN:  Restoring the amino acids in your hair is essential to nourishing your hair back to health. Try to do a protein treatment at least once a month to aid in strengthening your hair and recovering from heat damage.  Also, refer to my previous post on protein treatments to receive a homemade recipe and other tips for using protein treatments!
  6. PATIENCE:  This will NOT, I repeat, will NOT happen over night.  Recovering from heat damage requires a lot of patience because the curls need time, nourishment and a chance to repair itself.  In the mean time, learn to embrace the process.  Spend this time experimenting with different protective styles or any other styles that can manipulate your natural curl pattern until you feel comfortable wearing it out.

As always, wishing you light and love…

FOR CURLS SAKE

 

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