Seeing the signs of, and fixing, heat damage to hair
Cocktail Hour

Spotting the Signs of Heat-Damaged Hair

Do you have heat-damaged hair? And does your hair need a heat protectant?

You have probably heard that using a heat or thermal protectant on your hair is important for guarding against heat damage, but do you really need a heat protectant? Working around the world, our friend celebrity stylist Cash Lawless keeps beauties like Jenna Dewan and Bella Hadid looking amazing by focusing on the health of their hair as well as proper styling techniques.

Read below for tips Cash shared on diagnosing damage, getting your hair healthy, and keeping it that way.

What does heat damaged hair look like: Noticing signs of heat damage

SEVEN: What are the signs that your hair needs a heat protectant?

Cash: First, look at the ends. This is the oldest hair and has seen the most abuse so signs of damage will show up here first.

SEVEN: What are the signs of heat damaged hair?

Cash: For hair that may not be severely damaged but you’ve got a hunch, I use a “grab test” that almost anyone can do. For longer lengths of straight, wavy, and soft curly textures, grab a small piece of hair about 3-4 inches from the ends. Now shake the hair gently up and down. If the hair bounces and moves you are in great shape. If the hair is dead straight and stiff, you’ve got serious damage.

SEVEN: How can you detect heat damage on shorter or textured hair?

Cash: Feel the texture of your hair at the root in its least exposed and hypothetically healthiest area, then feel the hair at the ends. How do they compare? If the hair at the ends feels crunchy, dry, and stiff compared to the roots, you’ve got damage.

SEVEN: What are the signs of severe heat damage?

Cash: If your hair is severely damaged, no grab, weight or bounce test is necessary. You will see white nodules at the ends of your hair. A quick friction test will tell you a lot.  Slide one hair strand that has a white nodule at the end between two fingernails. If heat damage is present, the white tip will break off easily.

How to fix heat damaged hair

Proper maintenance of your cut and working with a colorist who puts the health of your hair first are essential steps in keeping your hair healthy. If they tell you “no” when your dreams of going platinum are not realistic, you need to listen. And if they tell you to back off on using hot tools for a while, you need to listen to that too. As Cash puts it, the only way to cure damage is to start with healthy hair.

Cash: Prevention is the only way to avoid heat damage as there is no product in the world that can give you back the hair that has broken off. Only time and good choices can help you grow back healthy strong hair. 

How to treat heat damaged hair from the start: Cash’s tips to prevent heat damage and keep hair healthy.

Tip one: Diet for healthy hair.

Good hair starts with good health, so you want to start from the inside. Ensure that your body is getting its minimum necessary protein. Hair is made of protein, and if you have a low protein diet you may suffer from weaker hair strands.

TiTip two: Hair growth supplements.

Get on a supplement that supports the growth of strong hair to make up for where your diet may be failing.  SEVEN’s OPTI supplement is a great place to start. These supplements work, but remember you must commit to them for 6 months or longer in order to see their true difference because the vitamins do not help the hair that is already on your head. It makes new growth healthier.

Read more about supporting healthy hair with supplements here. Discover OPTI biotin supplement here.

Tip three. Hair repair products.

If your hair is already damaged there are band-aids––products that help heal, prolong the life of your damaged hair, improve the appearance, and prevent further hair damage. There have been some strong recent developments with this recently, and companies like SEVEN have been pioneering in this space. The BOND system uses a proprietary formula that mends hair using positively charged ingredients. Damaged hair is negatively charged, and positively charged ingredients cling to the hair shaft, sealing the holes and damage to the cuticle extending the life of the hair and improving shine and strength. This drastically improves the health and appearance of damaged hair.

Tip four. Protect already damaged hair.

Heat damaged hair is a torn piece of paper. No matter what you do, it will not be the same again. So, do you really need a heat protectant? The answer is a resounding yes if you are using any kind of hot styling tools.

Well, that’s motivating…or depressing. But mostly motivating! The lesson here is that it is important to treat damaged hair differently. Damaged hair needs help staving off future damage and sealing the cuticle to protect the delicate inner cortex. The Beauty Launchpad 2018 Readers Choice winner for thermal protection, our HEAT DEFENSE spray locks in luster, preserves the health of your hair, and guards against heat damage. Whether you already have heat damage or are trying to prevent it, it should be your first choice when using hot tools—including a blow dryer!

Looking for more from Cash? Get his curling technique tips and more on getting the most out of your hot tools here.

For more tips about detecting, avoiding, and fixing heat-damaged hair, check out these articles:

Protect your hair from sun damage

UV spray vs. heat damage spray

How often should you wash your hair?

Related products
BOND system - shampoo, conditioner, and spray
KENTE® BOND reparative system
HEAT DEFENSE hair spray - prevents and protects head-damaged hair