Healthy Hair Care Tips For Relaxed & Natural Hair From A Professional Hairstylist

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pt. 2- Can Heat Destroy The Curl Pattern in Natural Hair?

After the first post on if heat can destroy the curl pattern in natural hair (see post here) I got a few questions.  I figured that if someone was asking that meant other were probably thinking the same thing so instead of responding to each person seperately, this was much easier. So here we go..

One of the questions asked was do I not think heat damage is possible or did I believe that it existed.  Let me address this first.  Yes, I absolutely believe heat damage is possible.  Of couse if the hair is damaged it will permanently affect the curl pattern of the hair.  When writing the post, I was speaking of healthy hair, not damaged hair.
If your hair is healthy, and you are using a safe heat temperature and also doing the necessary things to protect your hair, your curl pattern does not disappear.  You can however, train your hair with heat by putting heat on there every 1-2 weeks.  If you always wear your hair straight but do not have a relaxer, you are heat training your hair because you are consistently putting heat in it.  If your hair is healthy and one day you choose to stop getting heat put in your hair, over time your curl pattern will come right back.  If your hair has been damaged as a result of the heat it will not come back. I talk about ways to avoid heat damage here

Also, I will admit that the model that I used in the first post may not have been the best choice.  For the sake of time, I pretty much chose a more recent picture than going through them to find a better one.  The client that was shown had already shampooed her hair before coming in which is why her hair pretty much looked straight.  She does this sometimes because she was given a prescribed shampoo by her dermatologist to treat her scalp condition.  That was my bad! Here are some better pics.

The client shown above comes in on average about twice per month or every other week.  Her hair curls right back up to the top left pic at every visit.  She is 100% chemical free and does not have any relaxed hair still on the ends.

Same thing with this client.  She doesn't come every two weeks, only when she comes in town.  Her curl pattern is the same every time.  She does not really do anything to it when she is not in the salon but wet it and comb it straight back.

This client's before pic was actually taken after I shampooed it, detangled, and combed it straight down with some Nairobi foam wrap so her curl pattern is actually tighter than the picture looks.  She always wears her hair straight so when she first came in her hair was already straight and taking a before pic would not have shown her natural curl pattern.  Her hair always reverts right back to its original curl pattern.

Going back to your curl pattern is very simple to do.  Once your hair is straight don't keep trying to straigten it every time you see frizz or a little curl somewhere.  Instead wrap the hair every night.  Also always use the lowest setting that still gives you results instead of using the highest setting possible.  If your hair can not handle high heat, it could lead to damage, which will destroy your curl pattern.


  1. Hi, I recently got my hair straighten and I only do it once a year. The first time I did it myself and washed my hair a week later my curls popped back instantly. The next time I went to a salon she blew my hair out with a hand dryer and then flat ironed it. She did this twice as she said my scalp was dry and washed it again and then blew it out and flat ironed it again.I washed my hair a week later it was still straight. I soaked my hair in water and my curls still wouldn't come back. I went back to the stylist and she said the type of shampoo I used caused my hair not to revert back. My question is will shampoo cause your hair not to revert back??

    1. Sounds like your stylist heat damaged your hair. Your curl should always come back. It may come back over time but no shampoo will do that to your hair.

    2. Thank you! I knew I wasn't crazy.

    3. That sounds like the process of a smoothing/keratin treatment. I can't think of any other reason a stylist would completely flat iron you and then wash and flat iron again.

  2. I got a "silk press" from my stylist almost 2 months ago. Ive been natural for 2 years now and this was my first time getting my hair straightened. My hair has not reverted back at all! People keep telling me it takes time but im convinced its fully damaged by the heat. I cant do anything to it. Are there any products i can use to help my hair until i am mentally ready to cut it again

  3. so thankful I found this. To me heat damaged is heat damaged whether it reverts or not. Back when I was little I stopped getting perms and transition to natural about 2 years ago. Recently I got my first sew in and left it in for a little less then three months. I clefts hair out to blend in with my weave. I flat ironed it during the time almost every day. Now I have heat damage hair which is reverting back naturally on it own. I kept seeing people say that if you have heat damage it won't come back. Mine does it just take a few months of no heat.


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