Heat Damage- What do you do?

Have you ever had heat damage? I have. Twice!! Heat damage is when your hair is burned and your hair looses its curls/coils/kinks. This usually occurs when you are getting a blow out and straightening. You usually won’t know your hair has heat damage until you wash it again and notice your curls are not the same and limp.

What to do when you have heat damage?

Firstly, it doesn’t matter how many deep conditioners or beer rinses you do or other myths out there. Once your hair is damaged, it is damaged. Heat damage is permanent.

People would tell me I have to cut all my hair off. Ummm no! You can trim your hair little by little to eventually cut the damaged hair. There is no sense in cutting all your hair off if your entire head isn’t damaged. You can still work with your hair. I’ve seen several ladies with completely “heat trained” (AKA Damaged hair) hair down their backs and it looks healthy. In fact, some ladies like their hair “heat trained”. My heat damaged hair now doesn’t feel bad, but the first time- it felt like STRAW. I guess everyone’s hair has different effects with heat.

I make my hair match. The first time I had heat damage, I didn’t even know thats what it was. I honestly thought that the Shampoo assistant accidentally got relaxer on it or like there was some left over in the shampoo bowl.  I then realized that my hair had been burned.

Twist sets were my friend. I also got to the point where I had to keep a small bobby  pin on me at all times to tuck that section of hair up because it hung so long and my hair that wasn’t burned was in a kinky afro.

There are many ways to conceal heat damage. It definitely does suck to have damage, but you can still work with it without cutting all your hair off and doing another big chop.


curly comments!

  • Bri

    I’ve been natural for 5+ years and for the past 4 years my hair has always been straight. The result of this was that 1/4 of my hair was completely straight while the rest of it had loose curls. For a while I assumed that it was just how my hair grew but I started to question that after doing some research on heat damage.

    For the past year I’ve tested my hair by keeping heat out of it to see if the roots would grow in curly like the rest of my hair, but after 4 months with out heat I realized that my hair was still growing in straight so I finally decided to take a risk and chop my BSL hair all the way off. Guess what…it’s curly now! It made the cut so worth it for me because I’ve always wanted a big, crazy, curly fro but was never able to accomplish the look with so much of my hair being straight. Now I can! 🙂

  • Thank you! I have been going back and forth about whether to cut my hair due to all the heat damage I have. This is why I love your blog! (^_^)v

  • i had a stylist tell me (when i had heat damage) that my hair was just a different texture in the front and it was just permanently straight!?!?! So then I asked “well why are my roots kinky’. She couldn’t explain that.

  • I hardly ever apply heat. Heat is too damaging to Black Hair. Just keep things simple and natural and you’ll be surprised by the growth and the fullness of your hair.

  • I let my friend straighten my hair and she did it to much… I mean it is bad and I just do two French braids and put on a scarf on my head whenever I go anywhere. And I just grew out the perm too; very frustrating…

  • Somer

    I stopped getting relaxers in 2005 or 2006 and gradualy cut off the relaxed hair. But I continued to alter my hair with heat wearing it curly from time to time. This spring I decided to try to wear my hair curly more often and discovered the heat damage, which I didn’t know what it was untill I researched it. So after a bad hair cut and heat damage I cut my BSL hair in to layers and cut alot of the heat damage off.=( I realize I have to use less heat and go to hair stylist that also believe in taking care of my natural hair by using heat protecting products. I am realzing just because someone is a hair sytlist does not mean they know how to take care of my hair and treat it properly. I also always ask myself is is worth changing my hair’s texture and curl pattern.

  • ashlee

    Lexi thank u so much!!! I have been natural for almost a year and I just wanted to see what my hair woud lok like straight .then I discovered I have
    major heat damage!!!I thought I was going to make the big chop once again but this puts my mind to ease since I’m in college and there are little to none natural stylist in his city…your awesome thanks!!!!!

  • Kerlange

    I’ve been wearing weaves since 14 and I always Left the middle part of my hair out to cover my tracks. I would flat iron my hair every other day and unti last Monday I took my weave out. There was a significant growth. So I washed my hair with these expensive biotin natural thickening shampoos and conditioners. I let my hair air dry and realized the front middle part of my hair remained straight. Now I’m so frustrated because I look retarded with that portion straight n the rest nappy. What to do, what to do?.??

  • Mindy

    This is gong to sound CRAZY, but my entire head is heat damaged other than roughly 2-3 inches from my roots. I’m failing at the natural thing. =( I have no idea what I should do right now. I hardly ever put heat to my hair, but I let one girl flat iron my hair in October and I think that did my hair in. It’s so frustrating and I don’t know what to do!!

  • Taylor

    Same here Mindy. I let my Aunt straighten mine for graduation and two weeks later I decided to wash my hair and when I got out the shower literally all of it was straight and not a curl in sight. I was scared and what not so I called her and she says her hair does that too and she said I would have to “train” it back, I guess by braiding and twisting. It still hasn’t reverted back yet but my new growth is clearly visible. And yea it is frustrating as I don’t know what 🙁

  • TT

    This was most helpful if for nothing else to see that I am not the only one. Been chemical free for 11 years. I asked my local hairdresser to press out my hair for Easter last year. Unbeknownst to me she put a California Smooth protein treatment in my hair. I wore it straight, flat ironing daily, for about 5 months. I went to wash my hair and the entire texture changed from a 4c to a 3 something. Now I am doing a wash and go. I am frustrated that my original curls don’t seem to be coming back and it’s been 1 year since that treatment. Not sure what to do. I am actually just now figuring out what the issue is. Been on a few wild goose chases lately.

  • Ranita87

    I cut it off I couldn’t take the fact when I did wash and go’s It wasn’t curling and I just had to cut it it was only my bang area that had heat damage as of today no more heat I don’t even care how long it gets iam not putting no more heat!!! I learned my lesson!!!!!!