You may need to assess if your hair is heat damaged particularly if you have been using heat for so long without taking precautions. These are the most common indicators of heat damage:
1. If you have natural hair, a very common indicator is your hair not reverting to it usual curl pattern even after it has been wet
2. Excessive breakage and very dry hair
3. Thinning and split ends
1. STEP AWAY FROM THE HEAT TOOLS! The last thing you need when your hair is already heat damaged is to continue using heat. Give your hair a break.
2. Develop a healthy hair regimen that provides a healthy balance of moisture and protein and particularly a protein reconstructor to help repair any damage (that can be repaired). A good routine would involve things like:
a. Cleansing your hair weekly using a sulfate-free shampoo
b. Deep condition afterwards with a moisture rich deep conditioner to replace the moisture and hydration lost from heat usage.
c. After about 4 weeks, use a protein reconstructor then follow with a moisturising deep conditioner. (A heat cap can be used for this as it is not direct heat).
d. Moisturise 1-3x per week as needed with a leave-in rich in moisture and protein
e. Seal your hair after moisturising with an oil.
f. Keep your hair in a low manipulative style
3. If you try the points above for about 2-3months without any improvement, it may be time to bust out the scissors and trim the damaged ends. This might not be what you want to hear but at the end of the day, it is hair and will grow back.
Mielle Mint Almond Oil
This mint almond oil is super light weight and an amazing sealant. It is infused with mint essential oil. This oils doubles as a great scalp oil if you have a really dry scalp and need some oil. The essential oils also help with blood circulation on the scalp and therefore healthy hair growth.
100% Pure Coconut Oil
Coconut oils is an amazing sealing oil for the higher porosity people- relaxed hair, colored hair, heat users. This oil also helps maintain your protein structure and therefore further maintains moisture.
Sunny Isles Jamaican Black Castor Oil
If you like a thicker oil, this is the one for you. It's also an amazing sealant!
Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Leave-In Conditioner
Don't let the lighter/more watery consistency of this leave-in fool you! It leaves the hair super moisturised without weighing down the hair so if you have more fine hair, this is the leave in for you!
Mielle Avocado Moisturising Hair Milk
This moisturiser is thicker and super moisturising. I would recommend it more for thicker and less fine hair textures
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment
This protein treatment is recommended for severe breakage (more than 10-15 broken strands on non-wash days and more than 15-20 broken strands on wash day). Protein treatments leave your hair feeling stiff and should always be followed by the Aphogee balancing moisturiser
Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor
This protein treatment is recommended for medium levels of protein breakage (10-15 broken strands on non-wash days and 15-20 broken strands on wash day). Protein treatments leave your hair feeling stiff and should always be followed by the Aphogee balancing moisturiser
Aphogee Balancing Moisturizer
Should be used alongside the Aphogee 2 step protein treatment and the 2 min reconstructor
When we use heat tools on our hair (relaxed or natural), they break down the bonds in the hair to give you hair that blown out or straight look. Heat tools also pull out the moisture in our hair and that's why you find that some times after blow drying or straightening, your hair may feel very dry.
So how can you actually use heat in a healthy way?
1. Before you decide to use heat on your hair, always assess if your hair is in a good enough condition i.e. if you have been facing serious breakage, the last thing your hair needs is to be straightened.
2. Always cleanse your hair with a shampoo before using heat tools like straighteners or blow dryers. Using heat on dirty hair with build up from sweat, gel and other styling products can lead to damage of your hair cuticles.
3. Before you use heat, make sure to deep condition with a product rich in moisture and protein. When heat is used, it evaporates the moisture already existing in the hair and the less moisture and hydration in your hair, the quicker your hair heats up and the quicker it is to get damaged. So, you want to make sure the moisture content is on point and protein level is right!
4. Always use a silicone based heat protectant. Silicones are so key in helping slow down heat transfer to your hair and therefore reduce the chances of hair damage. Please an oil is not a heat protectant. Your hair will fry! (Make sure to incorporate a clarfying shampoo to your routine to tackle silicone build up)
5. Use good quality hair straighteners where the plates are made from ceramic. Ceramic hair straighteners are definitely more expensive than the regular lower end irons but they are better quality. They will heat up properly across the plate, they straighten better and reduce the need to go over the hair multiple times. They are also less likely to peel and crack across the plate which can cause damage from snagging on your hair.
6. Use heat tools that actually have temperature settings i.e. 180 degrees rather than low or high settings. This way you know how much heat is going on your hair. Just a FYI- hair burns at about 233 degrees. Depending on how damaged your hair is, it may even be lower.
7. Use a hooded dryer instead of a blow dryer. The heat is more evenly spread out which leaves your hair bouncier and more moisturised than when you use a blow dryer. If you absolutely have to use a blow dryer, use it on a cool setting.
8. Find a heat schedule that works for you! Let's stop the daily straightening and blow drying. You should be using heat at the very most once a week but you should still watch and listen to your hair. Some people's hair can handle a lot of heat while other's can't
9. Try not to blow dry and then straighten your hair. Instead air dry your hair first then go in with a straightener.
10. Lastly, when straightening or blow drying, do not go over your hair too many times to prevent excess heat and damage.
ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo
This shampoo contains sulfates, citric acid and EDTA. It is perfect for getting rid of build up from no-lye relaxers, silicones and hard water build up. It is specifically formulated for product and mineral build up
Mielle Rosemary Mint Strengthening Shampoo
This sulfate-free shampoo is packed with EDTA which is a great agent for clearing product build up.
Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo
This sulfate free shampoo uses a natural alternative 'apple cider vinegar' to get rid of product build up.
Shea Moisture Manuka Honey And Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo
This moisture rich shampoo is made up of super mild cleansers which are perfect for those with sensitive scalps. Its gentle enough for that weely cleanse!
Mielle Organics Babassu Conditioning Shampoo
This light weight sulfate free cleanser is an amazing shampoo that gently removes light build up during wash day