5 Ways to Avoid Heat Damage

5 Ways to Avoid Heat Damage

Photo Credit: IG @ladashe_divine Hair Color: Kiss Express Color – Crimson

Here are 5 Ways You Can Protect Your Natural Hair From Heat Damage.  Direct heat from blow dryers and flat irons can cause hair breaking damage and a loss of natural curl pattern. But with these tips you can assess and protect the health of your natural hair.

Understand How Much Heat is Too Much

Hair burns or begins to denature at 450F.  The temperature is less for fine hair or hair that is weak and damaged. If you’re experimenting with heat for the first time, use medium to low heat settings. And invest in a professional blow dry like this one from Chi. Use flat or curling irons with accurate temperature gauges like CHI Air Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic Flat Iron.

Know Your Natural Hair

Everyone’s hair is different.  It’s for this reason that you must know your hair and its heat tolerance.  Damaged hair is more susceptible to heat damage. Doing a hair assessment will help you determine whether or not you should introduce heat to your regimen. Identify for your hair’s condition by examining softness, hair texture (finer hair textures can be more easily damaged by heat) and elasticity (hair stretches without breaking easily).

Prepare Your Hair

Prepare your hair for heat styling by moisturizing & deep conditioning.  Moisturizing and deep conditioning will strengthen your natural hair. This also ensures that the hair cuticle is closed and coated for a smooth look.  Before a heat treatment I deep condition with a product that builds the natural proteins of my hair like Hair Mayonnaise.  I also like to use coconut oil that prevents damage in 5 different ways.

Use Heat Protectant

This is the only time that I recommend a silicone based product.  Heat protectant creates a barrier between your hair and heat exposure.  Silicones coat the hair and prevent moisture for reaching the hair shaft.  This prevents reversion but on the flip side it keeps moisturizers from absorbing your hair so moisturize with a light moisturizer before using a heat protectant.

Limit Heat Exposure

Anything in excess is detrimental and heat is no exception.  I wouldn’t recommend using direct heat on your natural hair any more than once a week.  Less if your hair is easily damaged.  Start off with a small amount of heat to see how your hair reacts or only use medium to low heat when styling.

Bonus: Let a Professional Do It

Ok. This is a tough one because I know that many have suffered heat damage at the hands of a professional stylist.  It’s sad but it happens. I recommend following the steps above in addition to getting a referral for an experienced stylist.

I got a referral from a friend of mine who also has natural hair. I noticed that her stylist blow dried and flat iron her hair without any damage on a few of occasions.  Even though I’ve seen her work, I didn’t completely leave it in her hands. I still deep conditioned prior to my appointment and ask that she use a heat protectant like Chi Silk Infusion.

How do you avoid heat damage?


13 thoughts on “5 Ways to Avoid Heat Damage

  1. nappy headed black girl

    I avoid it by not using heat lol

    These are great tips but honestly, you never know how your hair will react, even if you’ve done it a thousand times and use a protectant.

    That being said, I agree that knowing your hair is of utmost importance. What works for one may not work for you.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Unfortunately, no. Once its damage you can gradually cut it but the damage hair has to be cut off for your hair to grow strong and healthy again.

      1. tiffany

        Hey I have had my hair blowed out only twice and at the ends of my hair it won’t curl back up what can I do

  2. LaRita

    I moved from st. Louis to Arizona and in a matter of a month my hair in the back and middle of my hair broke off to the point I had to cut it. Its growing back but only on the side. I also sweat only in that one area what can I do to restore my hair and grow it back. I thought it was the climate change but I don’t know any more

    1. Tamara Post author

      It most likely is the climate change. Your hair needs more moisture. Have you downloaded the free Guide to Moisturized Hair. It will definitely give you a starting point.

  3. Kedds

    I am in the process of learning how to treat and style my natural hair. Unfortunately, I heat damaged the edges of my hair. It is so tempting to cut my hair down to the damaged hair and start over but I would love for alternate solutions. Do you have any suggestions?

  4. Carrie B Houston, Texas

    Good information. I went to a beauty school for the first time to get my natural hair blow dried/flat ironed. I requested a heat protectant on my hair prior to the blow dry service. The cosmetologist student refused. She stated that she only uses heat protectants for flat ironing. Again, I requested the heat protectant prior to the blow dry. She continued to refuse, and then insists on contacting her instructor. The student went to her instructor to discuss my concern. Shortly after, the cosmetologist instructor approaches me with an apathetic demeanor. She addressed the concern, and agreed alongside the student for not having to use thermal protectant nor decreasing the blow dry heat administered. After the blow dry, I cancelled the flat iron service. I explained the reasoning of not wanting to receive heat damage for negligence of customer’s request. The beauty college owner addressed the concern at this point. She had a professional, and compassionate demeanor. Handled the situation appropriately.

    Lessons learn: Protect YOUR hair from any damage.Everyone can benefit from additional learning. Be quick to listen, and slow to speak. Always maintain a professional, approachable demeanor in certain positions.


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