We all love a “bust down” middle part bone-straight silk press, but to achieve this style quite a lot of heat has to be applied. And how do we know when too much heat is being applied to our hair too frequently?
Here are 3 important signs to spot heat damage before things get too hot:
- Extreme dryness: Heat can damage your hair cuticles to the point where it can no longer properly maintain moisture. Your hair may seem frizzier and have a lot of flyaway strands. Dryness causes your hair to be dehydrated, weakening it and therefore, leaving it prone to even more issues that we will review in the next few signs.
- Moderate to severe breakage: There is a huge difference between shedding and breakage. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, it is normal to shed between 50 and 100 hairs per day. When it becomes more than this standard amount, this could mean breakage and hair loss from heat damage. You can recognize breakage by identifying multiple shorter strands or split ends throughout your hair that don’t bounce back like the rest when pulled.
- Easily tangled and knotted: When your hair is damaged, it sticks up more and does not lay flat, making it easier for strands to get knotted and tangled with other strands. You are able to see this more often closer to the roots and ends of your hair.
Once you’ve spotted the signs of heat damage, it’s time to recover.
- The most obvious first step is to lay off the heat. Find alternative ways to achieve desired styles without burning more of your hair off.
- Cut all the split ends. Make sure to do this frequently to allow room and space for your hair. This allows your hair to flourish and grow without breakage.
- Invest in leave in conditioners, deep conditioners and oil treatments. This hydrates your hair and allows for it to shine again. Go for the formulas that contain keratin, yogurt, honey and olive oil. These ingredients will help restore the natural proteins in your hair that make it strong and sleek.
- Opt for a protective style. Avoid pulling your hair tightly when styling it. The tension can cause more damage to your weakened hair. Braids, twists and wigs may be a great way to switch up your style while giving your natural hair a break from the heat. With braids and twists, your main focus would be making sure they are hydrated and moisturized. With a wig, as long as it is safe, you can style it with heat without touching your real hair.
- Avoid dying, relaxing or perming your hair. And if you must, only complete one service at a time, and add more time between touch ups.
And above all, be patient and kind to yourself and your hair. It’ll take time for your hair to get back to its healthy state and that is normal. It is a learning process, and soon enough, you’ll be a professional at taking care of your hair and preventing heat damage in the future!