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How to Blow Dry Curly Hair Without Getting Heat Damage

Thinking of blow-drying your curly hair but worried about causing heat damage? This 6 step process shares in-depth instructions on how to blow dry curly hair without causing heat damage. 

There are times curly-haired women want to blow dry their hair to try out a new style or prior to installing extensions. However, this can lead to heat-damaged hair over time.

Some women experience heat damage the first time they blow-dry and some women blow-dry for months repeatedly before they realize their hair is damaged.

It doesn’t matter what your hair type is BTW. Every hair type is prone to heat damage.

This can be very distressing when you’ve put in so much time and hard work to reach your goal length.

6 steps to blow dry curly hair without heat damage

What is Heat Damage? 

Heat damage is when your hair doesn’t revert back to its natural state after blow-drying, curling or using a flat iron. Heat damage usually occurs in two ways:-

  • When the heat setting of the blow dryer/flat-iron is too high
  • Repeated blow-drying and/or flat ironing on high heat settings over a period of time, which could be anything from as little as a month to as long as a year.

4 Signs of Heat Damage

You can tell your hair is heat damaged if you observe the following:-

  1. Your hair doesn’t revert back to its naturally curly state after washing and deep conditioning several times.
  2. Your hair starts tangling every time you handle it.
  3. When you run your hand along the hair shaft, it feels rough and prickly especially the ends.
  4. When you tug on a strand or few strands of your hair when wet, it doesn’t bounce back or breaks off easily.

It’s important to note some of the symptoms above are also symptoms of very dry hair. Read on for what to do to identify the difference.

damaged hair vs normal haira

Can I Repair Heat Damaged Hair?

Unfortunately, heat damage isn’t reversible irrespective of whatever magical solution you read about online.

Sometimes, however, overly dry hair can masquerade as heat damaged hair so I would recommend the following steps:

Clarify with a Good Sulfate Shampoo

A sulfate shampoo will strip your hair but don’t get scared. It’s only for one-time use.

A good recommendation is ORS Creamy Aloe Shampoo or TRESemme Keratin Smooth Shampoo.

Apply a Mild Protein Treatment

A mild protein treatment like  Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor should assist with reversion.

You can also try a more serious protein treatment like Aphogee Two-Step Protein Treatment or  Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment depending on how sensitive your hair is.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment

Deep Conditioning Treatment

Follow up with an excellent deep conditioning treatment with products such as:-

There are many other brands that work just as well. Read Deep Conditioning Natural Hair.

If your hair doesn’t revert back to its curly state after the processes above, it’s time to chop it off or grow out the heat damage while trimming over time.

recover from heat damaged natural hair

Related Content: 10 Most Recommended Blow Dryers for Curly Hair 

How Can I Prevent Heat Damage?

These are the same steps I’ve been using on my hair for years and I have never experienced heat damage. My hair reverts back on wash day.

I do this whenever I want to braid, which is usually 2 – 3 times a year. If I wore braid outs, I would probably use this method too.

This is the combination of products I apply to my hair. You can replace it with something else that is preferable to your hair.

Below are some pictures of my hair after using this method and you can see, it was straight enough.




If you have any questions about avoiding heat damage or what to do about your heat damaged hair, let me know in the comments section.

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.


Monday 19th of December 2016

Great tips. I wish I'd seen this before I straightened my hair :(.

Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Sunday 25th of December 2016

Don't be upset. Now you can do it better the next time around. I know losing length can be painful but it'll grow back eventually. Let me know if you need more tips.


Tuesday 6th of December 2016

Your hair looks so lovely! What's your hair type?

Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

My hair's a combination of 3C, 4A & 4B. You can read more about my hair here - Thanks for visiting :)