You may believe that since you rarely use hair appliances to style your hair, your hair isn't heat damaged but you cannot be more wrong. On an everyday basis, all of us face heat that damages our hair. To give you a fair idea, most of your hair issues like thinning, breakage, premature greying, hair fall, and much more derive from excess heat to our hair and scalp. Hear us as we break down this issue to make your hair easier to manage!
How does heat damage your hair?
If you’re someone who stays in a very hot environment or you style your hair often with chemical treatments and hair appliances then you must look out for the ways heat damages your hair. Here are a few ways heat damage shows up on your hair:
When the temperature around your scalp changes, your scalp pores will open up only to give you more hair fall. On an average, an individual with healthy scalp loses about 50-100 strands every day. Keep an eye on your hair fall and if they seem to be falling more and more every day, it is a sign that your scalp needs a soothing environment.
2. Split Ends
Due to heat, your hair will lose moisture. This will make the ends of your hair only worse. They may seem brittle with split ends. You can take a haircut to get rid of them temporarily but if the split ends are due to heat then they may persist and come back soon after a trim. To know more about split ends and ways to manage them click here.
3. Porous and lifeless hair
Your hair growth and health depend majorly on moisture and protein. To maintain the amount of protein production, your hair needs moisture. So when you constantly heat your hair, it will lose moisture and protein structure. This leads to very porous and breakage-prone hair. Not just this sound trouble but also looks like a trouble for your hair. Say hi to lifeless locks!
4. No shine
It is obvious that the lustre to your hair is due to the health of the hair and moisture. When you expose your hair to heat constantly, it will lose moisture periodically. And that is just going to give you limp and matte finished dry hair.
Heat first damages your scalp. The effect of it shows on your locks. As we know by now that heat pulls out all the moisture from our hair and scalp, this damages your scalp’s protective barrier. Dandruff and itchy scalp is due to damaged barrier and irritated scalp. So to get rid of dandruff that has rooted due to heat, you need to first soothe your scalp.
What are the ways to check if your hair is damaged?
There are a couple of ways you could test your hair to know if they’re damaged or not. The three main factors to look at are- Elasticity, Porosity, and Texture. Here are a few quick tests you could take to test your hair:
1. Water test
This one is to test the porosity of your hair. Take one strand of your hair and drop it in a glass full of water. If it stays on the surface of the water then it is healthy. If it sinks then it is porous.
2. Shine test
You should preferably do this test during the day. Run through your hair and see if the light is reflected on your hair when you run your fingers on it. If your hair texture seems a lot more limp and matte, then it means your hair cuticle needs some extra care.
3. Snap test
For this, stretch one strand of your hair between two fingers. If your hair snaps immediately then it means that your hair lacks protein. Also, if your hair curls up on the end when it breaks then it means you can have split ends since your hair lacks protein. This test specifically tests your hair’s elasticity. When you lack protein, your hair will lack elasticity and structure.
What are the ways to reduce heat damage to your hair?
1. Blow-dry but from a distance
While it is not advisable to use hair dryer washing every time after washing, it is equally not good to step out of the house with wet hair. So in case when you need to rush out after a shower, we advise you to blow-dry your hair from at least 5 inches away.
2. Use a microfiber towel
To reduce the time you will need to use the hair dryer to dry your hair, wrap your wet hair in a microfiber towel. It will effectively seep in all the excess water from your hair and make it easier for your hair to dry.
3. Switch your pillowcase
When you have two days of functions and you need your A-game in hair, you don’t need to style them on both days. After styling them on the first day, sleep with them on a satin pillowcase which will help you retain your hairstyle for the next day. This could be a game-changer for those who resort to styling very frequently.
4. Use a heat protector
Always. Before styling your hair, you need to prep your hair with a heat-protecting spray. Think of it as a blanket over a child in cold weather. It is necessary for your hair!
We recommend Coccoon Safe Styling Combo- Protective Hair Serum + Polishing Hair Mist. While the serum protects your hair from heat and has anti-frizz properties, the mist will add shine and fragrance to your hair along with making it easy for you to detangle.
How to treat heat-damaged hair?
1. Switch to mild clarifying shampoo
Your scalp has seen some unfavorable hot environment and that has left your hair’s health in shambles. What you need is to soothe your hair and gently exfoliate all the product buildup off your scalp. Something like Aloe Vera, Charcoal based shampoos can help. Learn more about Aloe vera here.
Sublime recommends, Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Shampoo that soothes irritated scalp and helps you gently remove the product buildup.
2. Use a deeply hydrating hair mask
Your hair has lost a lot of moisture due to heat. This has taken a toll on the health of your hair. To revive your hair, you need to make sure that you’re using a deeply hydrating hair mask. You can even pick on a DIY mask. Mix overnight soaked and crushed fenugreek seeds with curd and mashed ripe banana. Keep it for 30 minutes and wash it off. Luckily for those who can’t pick DIY masks, there are many options for densely hydrating masks.
Sublime recommends- Flawsome Wild Bananas Moisturizing & Smoothening Hair Mask that has bananas, Shea Butter, a mix of Jojoba, Argan, and Coconut oil with Provitamin B5 to seal in moisture.
3. Focus on your diet
So much starts with your diet. What you eat, shows on your body. So include a lot of Vitamin B, B12, E, and C. Something to add to your everyday diet is coconut water or dried coconut. Another genius way to make sure your hair has everything that it needs for nourishment and growth is to go for supplements.
Learn more about the right diet for your hair here.
Sublime recommends, Within Nutrition Flawless Hair Gummies that are packed with all the Vitamins, Minerals, and Antioxidants that your hair and scalp need to be happy and healthy.
For those who’d prefer a healthy drink over gummies, we’d recommend Cosmix Healthy Hair that has Amla, Sunflower seeds, Moringa, and Hibiscus to fix almost all the hair concerns while promoting strong and luscious locks.
4. Maintain your oiling routine
Oils like Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, etc, not just nourishes your scalp to promote healthy hair but also protect your hair from heat. Almond oil, specifically, has a high heating point. Which means that it does not heat quickly. So when you apply Almond oil before stepping out, you’re doing a bit to protect your hair from sun (heat) damage.
Sublime recommends, Sova Brahmi & Hibiscus Hair Massage Oil is a delightful concoction of 16 exotic herbs including Brahmi, Shikakai, Amalaki that will soothe and improve blood circulation in your scalp. It also has Hibiscus that promotes hair growth and has anti-greying properties.
5. Cut heat for a while
Your hair has had enough! Step back and do some damage control before abusing your hair again. This means instead of using a straightener and curler, resort to heatless methods to straighten and curl your hair. And switch to a cold setting in your dryer while drying your hair. Give your hair a few weeks to repair before jumping back to the heat-induced styling methods.
Heat is one of the prime causes of hair damage. While we might not be able to completely cut off heat from our hair care and styling routine, we can do so much to treat the damaged hair. Pay attention to moisture and a good diet to repair and bounce back to healthy hair. Hair is our crown and it is time we invest more in taking care of it instead of styling it!
- Divya Salvi