Whenever we go outside in the sun, we often apply sunscreen to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But how many of us take the necessary precautions to protect our hair and scalp from the sunlight or heat? Not many! And the result is heat damaged hair.
Here’s a little tip you probably didn’t know! Hot weather and strong winds can cause your scalp skin to dry out faster and your hair to become brittle, which can result in significant hair loss. And even more importantly, if you also often expose your hair to heat styling tools like blow dryers, hair curlers, and straighteners – you can expect even more heat damage that ruins your hair, making it brittle, dull, dry, and fragile.
Nothing is more upsetting than having heat damaged hair. And the reality is that, in this case, your hair needs specific attention and extra care. So, if you’re dealing with dry, brittle hair and split ends resulting from heat damage or bleaching, you need to understand how to repair heat damaged hair with a solid hair care routine.
If you believe that excessive use of heating tools has caused your hair to become damaged, dry, and frizzy, you will find our tips particularly useful. In order to learn how to repair and revive your heat damaged hair, stay tuned and keep reading!
How Does Heat Damage Your Hair?
While using high-temperature heating tools might seem like a good idea since it helps you style your hair faster and more effectively, you should know that excessive heat and misuse of styling chemicals can significantly damage your hair.
Want to know how? Let’s take a look at the science behind it:
• The hair’s outer most protective layer is called the cuticle. The cuticle’s protein scales resemble shingles on a roof. They overlap and help retain moisture within the hair strand.
• When your hair is exposed to extreme heat styling or chemical treatments such as bleaching, dyeing, and perming, the shingle-like cells of the cuticle layer are raised.
• Hair with elevated cuticles is more prone to damage because it allows moisture to leave your hair while also allowing toxic solutions to enter easier.
• The cortex, or central layer of the hair, gets revealed after the cuticle of the hair splits or lifts.
• The cortex is the layer that provides strength, flexibility, and color to the hair. The cortex of the hair becomes very porous when it is damaged. The hair is then unable to retain moisture, appears choppy, and is prone to breaking off.
This process causes your hair to become dry, making it seem lifeless, brittle, and frizzy. Any thermal damage to your hair can dehydrate your strands and weaken its protein layer. Here are some effective tips for knowing the signs and preventing heat damage to your hair:
Know the Signs of Heat Damaged Hair
Now that you’ve learned how heat damages hair, some tell-tale symptoms can identify heat damaged hair. Your hair may begin to show these signs after one too many blow-dry sessions: it’s more difficult to style, and it doesn’t maintain its form as well. It’s time to learn how to recognize heat-damaged hair.
• Split Ends
You’ll most likely end up with damaged, frayed ends if you are a loyal fan of your heat-styling equipment. One of the most obvious indications of heat damage is split ends. Split ends are unfortunately irreversible, and the only option is to trim them off.
• Unmanageable Hair
Heat damaged hair has a stiffer structure and is more difficult to style.
• Hair Breakage and Loss
Dry hair and split ends are annoying enough, but heat-damaged hair also causes breaking and even hair loss. Heat styling your hair can make it brittle and more prone to breaking. In addition, regular use of blow dryers also negatively affects the skin of your scalp, which can result in even worse hair loss.
Strong heat weakens and breaks down the hair shaft, resulting in hair loss and thinning. If you’re losing a lot of hair, your heat styling tools might be to blame.
• Overly Dry Hair
One of the most noticeable signs of heat-damaged hair is dryness. Excessive heat can dehydrate your hair completely, making it brittle and dry. So, even if you moisturize your hair every day, it might be a symptom of heat damage if it still feels rough, stringy, or dry.
• Tangles and Knots
Broken, frizzy, scraggly hair ends point towards heat and sun-damaged hair. Hair tends to clump together and become a tangled mess when it loses its natural shine and flexibility.
• Dull Hair
Heat damaged, “fried” hair looks lifeless. It is due to damaged hair strands scattering light instead of reflecting it, giving it a faded, dull look.
• Fading Hair Color
Have you noticed that your hair color is fading quickly? Straightening, curling, blow-drying, and chemical treatments might be the root cause behind it! Your hair will not retain color as well if it has been significantly damaged.
To avoid split ends and other heat-related damage, avoid using heat styling tools as much as possible. However, entirely reversing the symptoms of heat damage may be difficult. Fortunately, with the treatments for heat-damaged hair listed below, you can breathe some “life” back into your hair!
How to Treat Heat Damaged Hair:
Don’t get discouraged! Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to repair heat damaged hair. We’re sure you’re interested in learning how to get your hair to look healthy again, so let’s get started with our 10 best tips to repair heat damaged hair:
1. Use a Shampoo, Conditioner and Hair Mask for Heat Damaged Hair
Look for a hair care system that includes a shampoo, conditioner, and hair mask tailored for your hair type. Just as you wouldn’t use an oily face cleanser on dry skin, you shouldn’t use hair care products designed for a hair type other than your own.
2. Prevent Any Further Damage
Preventing additional damage is the most important step in repairing heat damaged hair. If you want to keep using your heat styling tools, try to maintain the temperature as low as possible. While using a blow dryer, keep it as least 5 inches away from your hair. High temperatures and heat exposure can damage the outer layer of your hair strands, so use heating tools with caution. Ideally, you want to ditch blow drying completely and try to air dry your hair instead.
3. Turn Down the Temperature on Heat Tools
Heating tools such as blow dryers, curling wands, and flat irons can become quite hot! However, when you have heat damaged hair, the less heat you apply, the healthier it is for your hair. As a general guideline, set your heat tools to the lowest temperature.
It will still give you the desired results, however it can take a little longer. Although it might require some practice to get it right, your hair will be grateful in the end!
4. Use Heat Protectant To Minimize Heat Damage
Always use heat protection while using heating tools to prevent further damage to your hair from the heat. Creating a protective layer over the hair shaft by using a heat protector spray all over your hair protects it from direct heat. It also helps in moisturizing your hair from the inside.
Here’s a few options you can explore when you’re shopping for a heat protectant:
5. Wash Your Hair with Warm Water
Showers with a lot of steam are great for your skin, but they may be harmful to your hair, especially if your hair is damaged. Hot water will strip your hair of vital oils, making it drier. So, the next time you wash your hair, cut down the heat and rinse your hair with warm water instead.
6. Try Out Some Heat-Damaged Hair Nourishing Products
Treating heat damaged hair requires a more careful haircare routine. Use a shampoo and conditioner that are formulated to help heal heat damaged hair. These haircare products revitalize your hair strands by adding strength from the inside.
In addition, to prevent hair breakage, hair loss, and split ends, apply a moisturizing and nourishing hair cream, hair mask or a leave-in conditioner daily. It will leave your hair silky, smooth, and moisturized.
Check out these amazing, top-rated nourishing products if you are looking to repair heat damaged hair:
7. Say “No” to Certain Hairstyles
Try out some no-heat hairstyles instead of using styling tools regularly. There is a variety of cute hairstyles that do not require the use of heating appliances. Loose braids, a messy low bun, a stylish half-updo bun, a ponytail are among many other options. It is also important to remember that if your hair is brittle, it is best to avoid tight ponytails too.
If you are looking to curl your hair, there is a wide variety of heatless options available for you. For example, try out these heatless hair curling methods that leave your hair with no damage at all:
8. Handle Wet Hair with Care
Treat wet hair with caution since it is more prone to breaking while it is wet. It is important to remember to never brush your hair while it’s wet. But if you have to brush your hair while it’s damp, air dry it first (or use an old tee—more on that later). To avoid harming your hair, use a wet brush or a wide-tooth comb.
9. Avoid Towel Drying Heat Damaged Hair
Remember how we said we’d dig up an old tee? We meant it! Don’t toss out that worn-out T-shirt just yet. Instead of wiping your hair dry with a towel when you get out of the shower, take a cotton T-shirt. Cotton shirts are gentle on your hair, and when it comes to caring for damaged hair, gentle is the word of the game.
Another alternative to consider are microfiber towels. They are generally gentler to your hair than traditional towels, and they also absorb moisture faster and more effectively! Check out these options:
10. Know When to See a Professional
In certain very dire situations, getting a haircut is the only option to repair heat damaged hair. If home treatments don’t work, cutting a couple of inches off is usually the best method to minimize the damage. If your hair is still severely damaged after many weeks of at-home treatments, arrange an appointment with your hair care professional to develop a treatment plan.
Heat damaged hair has now unfortunately become the new normal. However, you can actively protect your hair from the damaging effects of heat. Follow our tips to breathe life back into your hair, and if all else fails – getting a haircut is the quickest way to remove heat damage from your hair and encourage new hair growth.
To keep your hair healthy, use our 10 Best Tips to protect it from heat damage. With the help of moisturizing treatments and changes to your hair care regimen, you may be able to restore your hair’s natural texture and luster. Remember, patience is key!