How to Treat Heat Damaged Hair Once and for All

You can't flip it and reverse it, but you definitely can treat it. Heat damage expert tips ahead!

Before we dive into how to repair damaged hair, know this: In order to have complete removal of the damage done to your strands, you must cut the damage off. To elaborate: We don’t mean chop off all of your hair (unless this is what you want!): You can cut off your damaged ends in stages, by way of hair dusting or regular trims. You can also lay off the heat styling for a while. You got this! You can treat heat damaged hair with ease.

In the meantime, however, there are ways to protect against hair damage. Implementing damage recovery treatments into your routine and making minor, yet effective tweaks to your current wash-and-care regimen can help nurse your strands back into shape.

We must admit that finding out ways to protect against heat damage was a never-ending story. But since we were determined to give you the best expert advice, we contacted our All Things Hair experts. Read on to find out how to prevent hair damage and treat your locks at home:

how to repair damaged hair half updo
Pay special attention to bleached hair, particularly the ends.

1. Mind your styling techniques.

“One of the biggest things people do to damage their hair with heat is that they fail to move consistently through the hair with blow-drying, flat ironing or using a curling iron. A lot of people don’t realize that keeping your heat styler in one spot for too long can cause damage,” say the experts. Solution? Aside from using a heat protectant (which we’ll get into in a bit!), another way to prevent the damage done to hair is to move quickly and consistently when styling and to not spend too much time in one spot.

2. Prep hair before styling.

Many women prefer to go the less-is-more route with products because they feel using them will cause their hair to feel weighed down. According to our experts, “Products act as another barrier against heat damage.” When learning how to protect your hair from damage, keep in mind that a thermal protectant is one of the most important lines of defense you have. We love the protection and added shine and detangling benefits we get from Dove Smooth & Shine Heat Protection Spray. Spritz evenly onto clean or freshly washed hair, comb through hair to detangle any knots and then proceed to heat-style.

3. Repurpose your conditioner.

Our experts weigh in on conditioner use: “No matter what conditioner you have, when you’re in the shower, shampoo first, then rinse and apply your conditioner. Leave your conditioner on for the duration of your shower session. The heat and the steam from being in the shower help open up your hair’s cuticle and allows the conditioner to coat the cuticle of the hair.” An effective damage-fighting formula, like Dove Nutritive Solutions Intensive Repair Conditioner, when used in tandem with the Intensive Repair Shampoo, immediately repairs the hair surface, while progressively nourishing your strands.

If you are in the market for a new treatment, however, try one like Dove Anti-Frizz Oil Therapy Hair Mask. We suggest treating hair weekly or twice a month, depending on how damaged your hair is.

But what happens when your hair feels too far gone? Like we mentioned in the beginning, severely damaged hair may need to get trimmed off. No treatment will allow your heat-damaged ends to bounce back and revert into healthy-looking strands.

4. Assess your hair and know your limits.

“Know your hair,” say our experts. “A finer and thinner hair texture will require a lower heat setting, while coarse and highly textured hair will need a higher setting.” If you find that your hair responds to heat quicker than other areas on your head, adjust the heating temperature of your styling tool for each section. It may be a bit tedious at first, but when it comes to learning how to protect against damage safely and effectively, prevention is definitely worth it!

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