heat damaged hair from straightening hair tool
Healthy Hair
Sep 13, 2022 By Nick

Your hair is part of your signature style. It can match your personality and accentuate your best facial features. But caring for your hair can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Of course, you need to wash your hair and eat the right vitamins and nutrients to encourage healthy hair growth. And a day at the beach without a hat or an occasional hair straightening session probably will not destroy your luscious locks. But regular haircare and styling often require blow drying, hair color, and curling – all of which involve heat. 

Heat-damaged hair is very common, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors in the sunshine. Sometimes we don’t notice the damage until it is too late. So, before we discuss how to repair heat-damaged hair, let’s get familiar with the signs of heat-damaged hair. 

What Does Heat-Damaged Hair Look Like?

Dull and Lackluster – If your hair isn’t as shiny as it used to be, chances are, it is heat damaged. Hair requires our naturally occurring sebum to retain moisture and shine. Proteins such as keratin contribute to healthy, shiny hair. When your hair is dried out, it cannot maintain shine and will not catch the light the way it used to. You will notice your natural hair color losing its shade as well. 

Brittle – Heat-damaged hair is brittle and breaks easily. It may be in the form of split ends or break after the root. Your hair will feel dry, almost like straw, and be hard to style because of its stiffness and fragility. 

Increased Shedding – Besides brittle hair, you may notice excess shedding. This is more than your usual amount of daily shed. Pay close attention to the hair you pull during the shower or after a thorough combing or brushing session. If you see more of your hair in your hands than usual, your hair may be heat-damaged. 

Lack of Bounce – Healthy hair is elastic. It has a certain bounce to it. If you take a single strand, you can pull it a little before it breaks off from the scalp. This is called elasticity. If your hair doesn’t have a bounce to it or breaks off due to the brittle nature of its composition, you will want to intervene before the damage gets too severe. 

Out of Control Frizz – A little frizz on a humid day is perfectly normal. Some frizz after battling windy weather is also nothing to worry about. But when your hair is frizzy, no matter what you do, your hair may be suffering from heat damage. This is in part because hair is porous. When moisture is sucked from the hair, it becomes dry and tangles easily. 

Doesn’t Hold Color – Changing up your look or maintaining a current shade? If your hair suddenly doesn’t hold color after treatment, it could be suffering from heat damage. When your hair can’t hold moisture, it also can’t retain dye as well as healthy, moisturized hair. 

Repairing Heat-Damaged Hair

Put down the scissors. While a maintenance cut or removal of damaged hair may be in order, don’t jump to drastic measures just yet. You can do a few things to repair your heat-damaged hair on your own. 

The first thing you need to do is refrain from using a curling iron, straightener, or blow dryer. If you need to use a blow dryer, be sure to use the lowest setting and opt to air dry whenever possible. Next, repair your damaged locks using a nourishing hair mask at least once a week. You will want a hair mask that moisturizes. Speaking of moisturizer, you’ll also want to choose a healing or repair conditioner that will soothe your strands when you shower. Look for conditioners with mineral oils, protein, glycerol, aloe vera, and amino acids. And choose a shampoo and conditioner that is sulfate-free. 

Wet hair is more prone to breakage. Instead, allow your hair to air dry before combing or brushing it. You can also use a detangling spray to aid in making the comb or brush effortlessly side through strands without ripping them out. 

If you must use a curling iron or hair straightener because it is essential to your signature style, always use a hair protectant spray. These are specialized sprays built to withstand the heat of styling tools while protecting your precious locks from more extensive damage. Choose a spray that contains silicon or keratin to help seal the moisture within the hair strands and prevent it from evaporating out under the heat. 

Spray your hair with water throughout the day. The damper your hair, the less damage will occur during this time of healing. After washing your hair, wrap it in a soft towel to absorb moisture. Do not rub your hair dry, as it needs the water to cleanse and replenish the moisture supply in each strand. 

As your hair returns to its typical luminous shine with a healthy bounce, be sure to practice preventative measures to avoid heat-damaged hair in the future. Use a deep moisturizing conditioner at least twice a week, and try out some UV hair protectant sprays to lock in moisture when you’re out having fun in the sun. 

When Hair Still Looks Damaged 

When your heat-damaged hair doesn’t respond to treatment or gets worse over time, it may be necessary to visit your favorite salon to cut the damaged hair and encourage new growth. The ZaZa Salon and Spa team offers an excellent menu of hair care services, including cutting, styling, extensions, blow drying, and more. You can trust the team at ZaZa to give your hair new life and a look that will make you fall in love with your reflection all over again. Curious if you need products or professional salon services? Book a consultation with ZaZa Salon and Spa. You won’t regret it, and your hair will appreciate the specialized TLC.