😱HEAT DAMAGE! 😱Plenty of my curly clients and people who are not my clients ask about how they can have the best of both worlds and wear their hair CURLY and STRAIGHT! Like, how much straightening is to much straightening? What’s the limit?
Hmmmm, tough question, but not really. The answer….as with many of my answers, is….IT DEPENDS! Hair care does not have a blanket approach. There are basics you can follow that apply across the board, but many times it comes down to individual assessments. So, lets get back to the question at hand, is it possible to flip back and forth between curly and straight without suffering heat damage? Well, if you hair is more resilient to heat, a little courser in texture and super dense….it is a possibility. But in all honesty, Ive done QUITE A BIT of hair and I dont run into many heads of hair like that. Most hair textures I deal with are finer or medium textured hair, with a softer feel to them. With that being said, it is easier for this type of hair to experience heat damage. It may not be on the first blow out/silk press…but over time, the risk of heat damage will present itself, ESPECIALLY if you wear your hair straight MORE than you wear it curly.
Sooooo….how do we mitigate this? Here are a few pointers:
1. Limit the amount of heat used on the hair. If you see your stylist once a week or bi weekly for a flat ironed style… let that be the only use of heat between visits
2. Be mindful of how hot the flat iron gets. The blow dryer is administering heat, so the hair is already experiencing quite a bit. Most hair textures dont need more than 410/420F heat to smooth the hair. Take smaller sections to ensure getting the heat all the way through. And KEEP THE HEAT MOVING! Don’t rest the heat to long on any part of the section. The smoother the blow dry finish, the less flat iron heat you will need.
3. If you are natural, as in no relaxer, then you need to be wearing your hair curly MORE than you wear it straight. Think 80/20 or 70/30
4. Be mindful of how much stress your putting on your hair before blowing it out and smoothing it. If your hair is tangled or matted and doing a lot of stretching and snapping when detangling, it is in a weakened state and is more susceptible to heat damage.
5. DO NOT! I REPEAT, DO NOT, flat iron dirty and/or oily hair! Imagine ironing a dirty/oily shirt…you’re baking the dirt into the shirt and frying the oil! Greta way to cause damage!
6. Keep the PH of your hair regulated! (See The healthy hair Care guide)
YES, you can get heat damage after only being flat ironed once. The heat may be to high…the pass may be to slow….your hair may be SUPER fine or porous and less heat resilient.
How do we build up heat protection? Many turn to a heat protectant spray of some kind….but let me ask you this…have you ever sprayed a heat protectant spray in your hair, began to flat iron and heard a sizzle? That's because you’re spraying WET product on dry hair and then boiling that wet product with high heat! The best heat protection comes from the balance and hydration your hair strands possess. The best way to make sure your hair has this is within the shampoo process. This is where we clean out all the build up and redeposit a healthy balance of protein and moisture, which regulates the ph and porosity, then we seal it all in. You can read more about this in Your Healthy Hair Care Guide
Bottom line….it is possible to flip back and forth between your curls popping AND silky smooth hair, but without mindfulness, the risk of heat damage will always be higher.
Thanks for listening! If you have any questions, please comment below