Can Heat Damaged Hair Be Reversed? The Truth Revealed

If you’re one of the many people who regularly use hot styling tools like blow dryers, flat irons, or curling irons, you may have experienced the dreaded heat damage to your hair. The question on everyone’s mind is: can this damage be reversed? The simple answer is no, heat damage is irreversible. Once the protein bonds are broken and the hair cuticles are cracked, the inner cortex is exposed to all types of damage, making it weaker and less pliable.

What Causes Heat Damaged Hair?

Heat damaged hair occurs when you use hot tools on your hair at the highest temperature settings over an extended period of time. Most hot tools reach temperatures of more than 400°F, which can affect all hair types, from pin straight to tightly curled.

Why Is Heat Damage Irreversible?

Each strand of hair is made up of a protein known as keratin that has a natural curve called the alpha helix. This is present in both curly hair and straight hair. High temperatures permanently alter the structure of the protein bonds in your hair. When the keratin is heated to temperatures higher than 400°F, the alpha helix begins melting. Once the alpha helix is melted, the change is permanent, and your hair will retain the shape of the melted keratin bonds.

Once your hair starts growing past the follicle, it’s made up of dead cells. Because of this, the cells can’t adapt, and when they’re changed, it’s permanent. There are no active cells that can be sent in to repair the damage.

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The damage done to your hair is cumulative. The chances of you experiencing heat damaged hair after one blow dry or one straightening session are slim. However, using hot tools at high temperatures on a regular basis prolongs the changes to the protein bonds and moisture levels of each strand. Eventually, those bonds are broken, and hair becomes hydrated in a way that can’t be fixed. If you continue using hot tools, the damage progresses as well.

Managing Heat Damaged Hair

While heat damage is irreversible, there are steps you can take to manage it:

– Use a heat protectant spray or cream to create a protective shield between your hair and the hot styling tools

– Avoid washing your hair too frequently, as it can dry out your tresses

– If the damage is extensive, you may need to trim off split ends

– Avoid styling dirty hair with hot tools, as many styling products can lead to more damage

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