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Dianne Austin
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Dianne Austin

Dianne is the co-founder of Natural Haircare News and Coils To Locs.com. She's been blogging about natural hair ever since she made the decision to break free of the creamy crack in 2012.
Dianne Austin
Follow NHCN!

Can You Still Repair Heat Damaged Black Hair?

Every time we style our hair, we are damaging it; sometimes without even realizing it.

The most simple, seemingly harmless things that we do to manage our natural hair can be detrimental to hair health.

Shampooing for example can cause some breakage because the surfactants in many shampoos cause the cuticle to rise and chip so it breaks easily. Rough, inpatient combing and detangling of our hair using our fingers can also cause some minor damage.

But there are other hair rituals that can cause irreversible damage. Constant straightening of our hair using a flat iron, or blow drying shoots to the top of the list in terms of raising the damaged hair meter. You know that you’ve mutilated your natural hair after straightening or blow drying when your coils don’t spring back to its normal curly state after washing your hair.

The Truth About Hair and Heat

Hair exposed to 150 degrees Celsius, (302 degrees Fahrenheit) loses moisture. At 160-175 degrees C, the elasticity of the hair is damaged and although your hair returns to a normal-looking state, it will never be the same. At a temperature level between 215 and 235 degrees C, the alpha helix, the protein that supports the structure of hair, melts and is permanently damaged. This protein degradation significantly reduces the ability of hair to absorb or retain moisture. The result is very dry, brittle tresses.

When straightening hair with either a blow dryer or flat iron, set a temperature control that keeps the heat under 150 degrees C. If your hair doesn’t straighten at 150 degrees, do not turn up the heat. It’s a sign that your hair was not meant to be straightened.  The damage that results from using high levels of heat to achieve a straighter look, even temporarily  is too high and it isn’t worth it!

What to Do When the Damage is Done

For burnt hair, the only real cure is to do the Big Chop and start over again because there is not a product on the market that can fully restore your natural coils and curls. If you’ve severely damaged your hair, consider the BC and give your hair a fresh start to remove all of the fried hair and embrace the beauty of the healthy natural hair underneath!

Author: Dianne

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.

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