Ask Adrienne: What Do I Do About My Heat Damage?

Adrienne November 4, 2010 1

Me, My Hair, & the City Reader: “My hair length is over 13″ long & I have heat damage.

I cut my hair to the nape of my neck to grow my perm out in 2007 & refuse to cut it that short again, although I MISS my natural curl.

My problem is that [the] majority of the length of my hair is straight & I feel like the only option for me right now is to have it straightened or do a roller set, which then I am still straightening my roots.

I feel like even though I am trying to get my natural curl back I’m still damaging my new growth, which is defeating the purpose. I’ve done the whole cornrow thing & letting them out when it’s dry. But I have to do that like 3 times a week, which is another strain on my hair. [My hair is] very thick & I found that the [flat] iron (professionally used) has to be high.

What do you suggest?

Adrienne: I understand how frustrating this can be and I completely agree with you. If you are not wiling to cut the heat-damaged areas of your hair don’t. There are always other options.

Straightening your hair, if done correctly by applying the correct amount of heat, should not damage your new growth. However, for some, it is difficulty to gage the correct amount of heat to use on someone with natural hair. Hence, heat damage.

From first hand experience, I can tell you, just because your hair is thick does not mean the flat iron has to be on the highest level of heat. It is possible to obtain a straight look without intense amounts of heat. Speak with your stylist and ask he or she to decrease the heat. Less heat lessens your chance for additional heat damage.

In regards to styling options I suggest you try twist outs and rod sets. Since you miss your curls, these styles will allow you to wear your hair in a curly state. Although they are relatively low maintenance, these styles may require a little upkeep, such as re-twisting or re-roding. However, carefully manipulating your hair will not do as much damage you think.

When refreshing your styles, to reduce strain, slightly wet your hair to make it more pliable & less susceptible to breakage. Handle it gently; try not to tug to pull roughly on your hair as it could cause breakage as well.

Click here & here for a link to two YouTube channels that offer great styling options & tutorials.

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