So it hit me recently that I went about 12 weeks without using direct heat on my relaxed hair from a flat iron or blow dryer. This is a big deal for me as I used to be a weekly blow out and flat iron every other day girl. As a result, I started noticing my hair wasn't as full or retaining length like it used to be. So, I hit the internet to find blogs on relaxed hair care. Among the multitudes of tips and advice several of the blogs pointed out the damage that direct heat does to hair, particularly relaxed hair.
1. Direct heat is when heat is applied directly to the hair by using styling tools such as a curling iron, flat iron, or blow dryer. This is considered to be the harshest method of using heat as it pulls moisture and hydration from the hair strands quickly causing hair damage. The effect of direct heat is even worse if you don't add back any moisture or protein to the hair prior to and after applying direct heat. Also using heat tools directly on your hair can also burn your hair. There usually isn't any bounce back from burned hair.
Here are five signs of heat damage:
- Split ends
While major heat damage isn't reversible, here are some tips on what to do when your hair has been damaged from heat:
- Use protein deep conditioners which typically include hydrolyzed proteins as an ingredient
- Avoid direct heat for several weeks, sometimes even months
- Cut/trim off the damaged hair
Here are ways to avoid future damage from direct heat:
- Overall try and less the amount of direct heat used on your hair
- Only use direct heat on freshly washed hair. Prior to flat ironing consider using a clarifying shampoo to rid the hair of any residue
- Do a protein treatment to strengthen the hair
- Regularly deep condition
- Moisturize the hair with a good leave in conditioner before and after using heat tools
- Use a good heat protectant before applying any heat to your hair
- Blow dry the hair on cool or use indirect heat
- Use a lower heat setting on your curling and flat irons
- Straighten or curl your hair with fewer passes of curling or flat iron
- Regularly moisturize and seal
Related post: Silk Elements MegaSilk Olive Heat Protectant
Which do you use more often direct or indirect heat?