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.
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:-
- Your hair doesn’t revert back to its naturally curly state after washing and deep conditioning several times.
- Your hair starts tangling every time you handle it.
- When you run your hand along the hair shaft, it feels rough and prickly especially the ends.
- 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.
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.
Apply a Mild Protein Treatment
A mild protein treatment like Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor should assist with reversion.
Deep Conditioning Treatment
Follow up with an excellent deep conditioning treatment with products such as:-
- tgin Honey Miracle Mask
- Darcy’s Botanicals Deep Conditioning Moisturising Hair Mask
- Camille Rose Naturals Renew Deep Conditioner
- Elasta QP Deep Penetrating Conditioner
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.
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.
- Wash your hair with a great moisturizing shampoo like Crème of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo, Renpure Organics Argan Oil Shampoo, or Giovanni Smooth as Silk Deep Moisturizing Shampoo. I also use Castile Soap diluted with distilled or bottled water.
- Apply a rinse-out conditioner. Wait for five to ten minutes then rinse out thoroughly.
- Deep condition for about 45 minutes with your favorite deep conditioner. Rinse and let your hair air-dry up to around 60%.
- Part hair into 6 – 8 sections. Smaller sections are easier to work with and won’t annoy you.
- Apply a leave-in conditioner (I use Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner/Detangler), then a light layer of oil (I use grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil), then twist each section and pin-up. I don’t use commercial heat protectants because they make my hair sticky but I’ve heard good things about TRESemme Heat Tamer Spray, Giovanni 2Chic Ultra-Moist Leave-in Spray and John Frieda Frizz Ease Heat Defeat.
- Take down each section, finger comb until you’ve worked out any knots, then blow dry with the tension method on medium settings. Once straight, apply a light butter and work through, twist again, and pin back up. Watch this video for an explanation of the tension method.
- Repeat for each section until done, then unpin all the sections and work your fingers through and that’s it.
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.