HEAT DAMAGE… A Natural’s Worst Nightmare

For about a year now, I have been struggling with a crucial hair decision. Cut my long curls that are so dear to my heart, or keep bunning my hair away to hide heat damage? Yes, you read that correctly. My hair has been heat damaged, and I’m the only one to blame.

I have never gone to a salon to have my hair straightened, because I have deep trust issues when it comes to my hair. It tangles, it shrinks, and it looks relaxed when I straighten it. I know my hair like no one else does. Its like sending your child to daycare. Except you have to sit in a chair and look in the mirror at yourself giving up control of your baby! Like I said, trust issues….

But now, I wish I had paid the price to sit in someone’s chair and had handed over the reigns rather than doing it myself and causing irreparable damage to my own hair…. This is a sad song I sing!

So now, I’m in the position of having to deal with frizzy, damaged, unruly hair, or having to chop it all off. As hard as this is for me, I don’t want to see any of you all having to make that same decision!

So let’s discuss the infamous HEAT DAMAGE.

According to Curly Nikki (one of my favorite hair bloggers), heat damage occurs when the keratin protein in the hair is heated to over 419 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, the hair is permanently altered on a molecular level. This is why heat damaged hair does not conform to your natural curl pattern and seems to be more dry than usual.

That being said, I suggest that you use flat irons, curling irons and blow driers that have temperature settings instead of the standard “HIGH/MEDIUM/LOW” settings.

I have used a CHI flat iron for years now. I assumed that because the iron was so pricey, and because it has no setting besides “ON” and “OFF,” it would be safe to straighten my hair with no threat of damaging my hair. SO WRONG! 

I assume the makers of the original CHI flat iron discovered this design flaw, because it is no longer listed on their website! The new CHI G2 has temperature settings up to 425 degrees, so that’ll be my next investment!

I know there are a lot of you out there who, like me, rarely straighten their hair. DO NOT THINK YOU ARE EXEMPT! I straighten my hair once or twice a year, and it happened to me. All it takes is too high a temperature or too many passes with the iron.

Be careful ladies! Keep those curls healthy!


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