“Aghhhh, My Hair Won’t Grow!”

Posted on November 4, 2010


…..That is what I’ve been hearing from so many women that ask me about hair care and growth. What they all have in common is excessive HEAT usage.


What women fail to realize is all the damage that flat-irons and blow dryers cause. My chemically relaxed friends swear their doesn’t grow. However, every 6 to 8 weeks they are faithfully back at that shop getting a relaxer put on their “new growth”. My natural friends have problems with their texture. One area of their hair curls, while another area has lost its natural curl and looks straight to wavy.

I was a victim to this just last year. I would flat-iron my hair every other day. Just HAD to get those “edges” laying down or do my hair over if I was going out. Not realizing all the breakage that was on the floor. As soon as I eliminated heat usage from my mane is when I saw a drastic change in retaining my length.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s to school you guys on what heat does to our hair and how you can prevent it.

Styling tools (i.e. flat irons, curling irons, blow dryers) apply high levels of heat directly to the hair. Unprotected hair or hair that is subjected to such heat will eventually have its cuticle layer damaged by the excessive heat. The cuticle layer covers the shaft of the hair strand and protects your hair fibers. Once this layer is removed or damaged, it cannot be fixed. Therefore, your hair fibers are exposed and vulnerable. Split ends will look like a “Y” shape at the end of the hair strand, and there can be multiple splits on the same strand.

Healthy Hair Strand

"Y" Shaped Split End

Heat damage also breaks down the chemical structure of your hair. The more structure that is lost, the less elastic your hair becomes. Wet hair can stretch up to 30% its length and still return to its original state if it is healthy and undamaged. Because heat causes structure breakdown as well as dryness, if there is heat damage, you will notice that your hair will snap and break more easily.

Porosity is another factor that is affected by heat. The cuticle layer, as mentioned earlier, protects the hair shaft. Healthy hair is less porous than unhealthy hair, and water is not able to enter or leave as freely.

Damaged Hair Cuticle

Heat, as well as excessive brushing and chemical treatments, open the cuticle layer and eventually damage it. Once this happens, porosity increases and the hair becomes very dry because it loses moisture just as easily as it takes it in.

There is no way to fix this. Once you have split ends or the cuticle has been damaged, its done. Get rid of the bad ends and start adding more deep conditioning and moisture to your regimen.

I know for some women this may be hard to do, but stay away from the heat! Try more heatless styles and see what a difference it can make. For my naturals, try more roller sets, rod sets, twist outs, wash n’ go’s. For my relaxed hunnies try braids, wigs, weaves, or the same styles mentioned above.

If just have to have heat in your regimen, start protecting your hair more. Here are some top-rated heat protectors:

Be sure to use a flat iron that has a control setting on it. The most popular ones are Ghd, Fhi, Chi, & Sedu. Using these flat irons will help you control how much heat is applied on to your hair.

Stop the damage ladies & take care of your beautiful mane!

Thanks for reading!

-Santana Maria

*DISCLAIMER-This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The owner(s) of this blog is not compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owners. If you have any questions please contact the owner.*

Some information taken from: http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1135450/preventing_and_correcting_heat_damage_pg2.html?cat=69