Heat Damaged, but not broken (well, a little)

***Sorry in advance for the long post. I needed to vent!*** And spoiler alert: I’m a little dramatic 🙂

So, after 2 years of taking great care of my hair and seeing decent length retention (on a strict no-direct heat regimen), I finally let a professional stylist touch my strands. I procrastinated and fought as long as I could, but the fact was I was getting married in November ’13 and I did not want to do it myself on my wedding day.

I did my research. I searched online, read reviews and ended scheduled a consultation with a stylist known for taking care of natural hair. I met a girl at a Curly Nikki meet-up with healthy-looking natural hair that recommended him from personal experience, so I trusted her.

My vision was simple, or so I thought. I wanted a low bun with my natural texture (willing to do a blow out if needed, but didn’t want a bone-straight style). Emphasis on my natural texture. I dreaded heat damage. Honestly, I’ve seen too many “gone wrong” videos. So I wanted my hair in its natural state.

Well, during the consultation he agreed with my vision, but when I arrived for the actual hair trial he said he needed to straighten my hair to trim my ends. I stressed that I didn’t want my hair straightened, especially since the style did not require it. He strongly suggested I get it straightened so he could trim, and I’ll be honest, I said “he’s the professional, maybe he knows what he’s talking about”. It’s a little sad how I immediately began to doubt my ability to take care of my hair even after seeing results.

So he flat ironed my hair. AFTER sitting under the blow dryer, and THEN blow drying my hair. Yep, there was heat damage involved (only a little though).

My curl pattern is just too tight, so the amount of heat it took to achieve his definition of straight, was too much for my hair to handle. Now the good news is, because my strands were so tightly coiled, the damage didn’t completely straighten my strands, but it definitely loosened my curl pattern…just when I was falling in love with my curl pattern 🙂

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

September 2013

September 2013 | Before trim

In addition to the heat damage, he trimmed what looked like a good 3 inches. I could be exaggerating…you be the judge. I’m not sure I’m convinced that I needed that much cut.

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

September 2013 | After trim

If I’m being completely real with myself, I was more hurt about the length loss than the heat damage (#shame). I mean, my feelings were really hurt. Not only would I have to learn to deal with a slightly looser texture (which made a big difference in how I styled my hair), but I also had to work with shorter hair (no more faux buns!). Not to mention I was worried about length retention now with the strands being weakened.

For that week, I used pin curls to add volume and provide that curled look.

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

September 2013

September 2013 | result of pin curls

Wearing my hair straight was cool for a few hours, but I quickly missed my texture. Plus I didn’t know what to do with my hair at night, thus the pin curls lol. I’m not knocking straight styles at all. I’ve just learned that I really love my big, curly styles, and I can’t wait until my original texture grows back…no matter how stubborn it is!

After all of my whining, it’s not the end of the world. Many women have experienced much worse (all about perspective right?). The benefit of the looser texture is that it is a little easier to manage, but my ends tangle more easily. I’ve definitely noticed a much higher amount of breakage, but I try not to let it discourage me. After all, mistakes will be made along the hair journey 🙂

Since then I’ve been baby’ing my hair quite a bit. I’ve been doing (almost) weekly protein treatments and making sure my hair is moisturized throughout the week. Of course, back to my no-direct heat regimen. Styling mainly consists of twists to protect my ends. When my hair is “out” it’s usually a twist out from the latest installment of twists (still very low maintenance).

November 2013

November 2013 | twists pinned up in back with bang

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

December 2013

January 2013

January 2013 | twists pinned to a small side bun

December 2013 | Twist out

December 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

January 2013 | Twist out

It’s been about 4 months since the heat damage/trim, and I’ve gained some length back, but I’m looking forward to getting back to a healthy hair state!

Thanks for letting me vent! Actual wedding day hair pics coming soon. Here’s a hint…it was all worth it 🙂

~TS

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2 thoughts on “Heat Damaged, but not broken (well, a little)

  1. Pingback: My 2014 Hair Goals | curlstories

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