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 treat heat-damaged hair, know this: In order to have complete removal of the damage done to your strands, you must cut the damage off. 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. Don’t worry, you got this! Treating heat-damaged hair is very common, so there are many great options out there.

From damage recovery treatments to small, yet effective, tweaks in your current wash-and-care regimen you’ll be able to help nurse your strands back into shape. Read on to find out how to prevent hair damage and treat your locks at home:

If you use heat on your hair often, but honestly aren’t quite sure if your hair is damaged from it, here are some signs to look out for. If you’re experiencing the signs below, it may be time to switch up your routine.

1. Split / White Ends

If you have split ends, that’s a definite sign that your hair has seen some better days. Luckily, split ends are so easy to cut off with a simple hair dusting or trim. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for white dots are the ends of your hair. This is a sign that a split end is forming, so you’ll want to snip these off too.

2. Extremely Dry Overall

Have you noticed you’re hair feeling very dry and a little dull? This may be due to damage. With the use of a mask 1-2 times per week, you’ll be on your way to hydrated, soft strands in no time.

3. Breakage

If you’re noticing that you have short pieces of hair throughout, but never got layers or notice that your hair falls out easily while brushing, that’s a good sign you’re experiencing breakage. Using a protein treatment can help strengthen strands to reduce breakage.

4. Rough Texture

Many of us have been there. Your hair has an overall rough, frizzy, not smooth texture. This can be very frustrating, but with the proper wash and care routine and masks, you’ll be able to restore your hair in no time.

Knowing ways you can prevent damage from the start and treat heat-damaged hair will make it a lot easier to keep your hair in the healthiest condition possible. Keep scrolling for our tips on protecting your hair and caring for damage.

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 TRESemmé Thermal Creations Heat Tamer 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.

4. Use a Weekly Hair Mask

If you are in the market for a new treatment, however, try one like Suave Professionals for Natural Hair Anti-Breakage 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.

5. 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!

6. Use an Anti-Breakage Treatment

When dealing with damaged strands, you can never go wrong with an anti-breakage treatment. We love Suave Professionals Castor Oil and Mango Butter Anti-Breakage Treatment because it uses castor oil and mango butter to help nourish and hydrate your hair while also helping your strands to get stronger to prevent breakage.

7. Don’t Wear Tight Hairstyles

If your hair is already damaged or you want to take extra measures to avoid damage in the future, try to not wear your hair in tight hairstyles. Constantly pulling your hair back into a tight high ponytail or bun repeatedly will cause unwanted breakage and stress on your hair.

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