You have just washed your hair and are beginning to realize your curls just don't have the same old spring or are you experiencing excessive split ends, breakage or dryness? Chances are if you have gradually used too much heat over time, you could be a victim of heat damage. Yes, I know, the dreaded words no transitioner wants to hear, but sit down and take a deep breath not all is lost! Depending on the severity of the damage in some cases there are ways to rehabilitate your curls so they are at least a contender with your curl's former glory days.
I am not the biggest advocate for shampoos, I am a pre-poo kind of woman. Shampoos tend to have a very drying effect on my strands due to their stripping components to maximize the ultimate cleanse, but for those who are dealing with heat damage this is just what the doctor ordered. Shampoos are cleaning agents, therefore will remove any buildup that can come from many products containing silicones. Silicones can retain moisture but they can also prevent moisture from penetrating your hair shaft which is a big no-no if you are recovering from heat damage.
Photo by Getty Images
Leave The Heat In The Kitchen
Diminish the use of heat or really cut back on usage no more than once a month or less if you have experienced heat damage. Also settings for all heated tools and appliances should be as low as possible along with a thermal protector if you absolutely cannot wean yourself away from the previous option. Blow dryers (on low settings) are another safer alternative, but at all costs direct heat to cuticle contact should be avoided.
Foods High in Protein
Keratinocytes are a common type of skin cells necessary for producing keratin. Your hair is composed of this type of protein which is impertinent to hair growth! Introducing foods high in protein into your current diet can strengthen you new growth providing stronger strands and enhancing elasticity if you do decide to use heat again. Foods like chia/hemp/flax/almond seeds, lentil/kidney/black/lima/pinto beans, wild/brown rice, quinoa, oat bran, bulgar wheat, whole wheat couscous, greek yogurt, corn, potatos, sweet potatos, collard greens and broccoli can greatly up your protein game.
Cut or Trim
Unfortunately if none of the previous steps work in the first couple of weeks, the damage may be to severe and ridding the damaged areas will be your only solution. Even though cutting and trimming is your last resort, hair grows back and as a transitioner, it is better to learn now than later when the damage could be even more severe.