Natural, relaxed, and transitioning women are all on very different hair journeys but one thing we all have in common? A fear of heat damage. We love versatility, and going from curly to straight would be nice from time to time, but we know that heat damage is one of those things that can stop our healthy hair journeys right in their tracks and send us back to square one.
Over the years, we’ve learned what to do and what not to do when dealing with heat but just like everything else, we’ve received some information and advice that can actually be working against us. We’ve heard everything from “heat damage can be repaired and reversed” to “it’s okay if you lose your natural curl pattern”, and it’s time to debunk some of those myths!
Below are 4 common myths and misconceptions about head damage–debunked!
You’ll Only Damage Your Hair If You Apply Heat Frequently
A lot of women are under the impression that your hair only experiences damage when you frequently apply heat. The truth is, depending on your hair type, both flat ironing or blow drying your hair just one time and applying heat weekly can actually have the same adverse effects on your kinks and curls.
There are multiple factors that determine why your hair reacts the way it does to heat; porosity, hair type and texture, what products you use, how you apply heat and what temperature you use are just as important as how often you use heat.
For an example, a woman with thick, normal porosity hair may be able to straighten her hair twice a month on a medium heat and still retain healthy hair while a woman with high porosity 3C hair may experience damage after one low-heat straightening session.
The bottom line is, you need to understand your hair and know what you can and cannot do in order to avoid split ends, dryness, curl pattern loss, and all other things that come with heat damage.
Heat Training isn’t the same as heat damage
The conversation about whether heat training is damaging or not has been a controversial one. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, heat training is the regular application of heat in order to loosen your curl pattern. For the most part, heat training is used to make hair more manageable or to combat shrinkage.
Many say that it shouldn’t be categorized as “heat damage”, but in actuality, it is the result of protein bonds in the hair being permanently altered to the point that your hair can never return to it’s natural state–and that is exactly what heat damage is.
Yes, heat training may very well loosen your curl pattern and create the look that you were going for, but that exact change in your hair also serves as a precursor to a more serious form of heat damage. If you continue to regularly apply heat after your curl pattern has changed, you may find yourself dealing with another set of problems soon after.