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How to fix heat damaged hair

Heat damaged hair is common with the use of heated styling tools like straighteners and curling rods. When your hair is damaged like this, it doesn't look its best. Hair that is damaged by heat is prone to frizz, dryness, and split ends. As such, it's important that you correct the damage in order to restore your hair to its former glory and keep it looking its absolute best.

What is heat damaged hair?

If your hair is heat damaged, this means that it has been exposed to high temperatures during styling. These temperatures cause the protein in your hair to be denatured and break down, weakening the structure of your hair. This is why it's important to adequately protect your hair whenever you style it with a heating tool, and even when you blow dry it.

Correcting heat damage

Like any damage to your hair, heat damage can be corrected with the right products and a care regime. The key to this is to target treatment to the components of your hair that are damaged, which in this case, is the protein structure. This means that protein treatments are necessary to re-establish and fortify the original structure.

Protein treatments repair your hair because they introduce new protein into your hair, as well as amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. These ingredients replace damaged hair protein and strengthen the hair significantly with only a few treatments.

Some of the most effective protein hair products include:

Correcting heat damage with a protein hair treatment

It's easy to repair heat damaged hair with a protein treatment because the treatment can be applied when you wash your hair and only takes a few minutes. First, you will need to shampoo your hair. This step cleans your hair and opens the cuticles so that the protein and other nourishing ingredients in the treatment can penetrate into the hair shaft to where they are needed most.

Once your hair is properly cleansed, apply your protein treatment and massage it thoroughly into heat damaged hair, focusing on areas like the ends where damage is generally concentrated. The treatment needs to be left to process for a period of time, and this time period varies with the brand of product you're using.

When the treatment time has elapsed, you can rinse the product out. Some protein treatments, like the Aphogee and Nexxus products, will contain a conditioning base that moisturises your hair during the repair process. There's no need to use a conditioner after the use of these products, but you can still apply one if your hair is very dry.

Other products, like Redken Extreme Cat, are pure protein. These treatments are generally stronger, but they won't moisturise your hair. You'll need to apply a conditioner afterwards to finish the process.

Natural treatments for heat damaged hair

If you can't afford a protein treatment, or simply prefer to use natural treatments, there are still a few options with this route. Natural hair treatments are a lot weaker than their commercial counterparts, but are still a valid option if you prefer to use them.

Natural hair treatments consist of products that contain high concentrations of protein. In particular, ingredients like egg white are most commonly used. Egg whites can be whipped into a mask and applied to your hair for 5 minutes to help add protein back into your hair. Just ensure you rinse with cool water to avoid coagulation of the product.

Other ingredients you may want to try include avocado, honey, and vinegar, which have moisturising and sealing properties to help combat frizz and dryness. These ingredients should be used in conjunction with egg whites for protein. Natural oils can also help with dryness and add a soft fragrance to your hair.

More information:

Do you have heat damaged hair and need help correcting it? Want to know more about how to use a product range to treat it? Leave a comment for tailored advice...

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