How to Recover Natural Hair Post Heat Damage


It’s easy to go a little overboard with hot tools – TBH we’ve all taken it a little too far. However, how we get back to our happy hair place depends on the steps you take to recover your mane. We tapped celeb stylist and naturalista Annagjid “Kee” Taylor for her tips on getting hair back on track. 

The Recovery

“The good news is heat damage isn’t necessarily the end of the world,” says Kee, adding that does kind of depend on who you’re talking to. “If you wear your hair mostly straight, or even in protective styles, then the process of getting your curl pattern back healthy and strong will be pretty much a breeze because you won’t have to look at it as often during your transitioning stages,” she advises.

“On the other hand, if you are a naturalista most of the time, then you’ll have two options You’ll either have to manipulate your damage with rollers, rods or twist outs to match your original curl pattern or do a big chop to start over from scratch. Unfortunately, once the bonds of the hair are broken down from the heat, it can’t be reversed just replaced,” continues Kee.

Prioritize Hair Health

Though this seems like a harsh truth, getting hair back on track is a process – and you have to trust the process. “It is important to start a healthy hair regimen. With heat damage it is crucial to start with trimming or cutting as much of the damage off that you feel most comfortable with,” she says. Trimming is key, and Kee recommends a trim every two months until the damage is totally gone. “Going to a professional or using high-quality shears like those from is best,” she notes.

That said, a cut isn’t all you need — your products also affect the quality of the hair. “It is imperative to use advanced hair care products,” she says, recommending a Resurrection Masque to bring hair back to life during the process.

Ease Back Into Styling

While it’s tempting to jump at the chance to mess with your hair as soon as it’s back to life, Kee stresses that you’ve got to be patient while transitioning. “You do not want to rush the process nor do you want to ruin what you’ve worked hard for by adding heat or permanent color too soon,” she says. “As a haircare specialist that uses heat 90% of the time, I know it’s possible to transition clients out of heat damage with heat. I know it sounds crazy but heat isn’t the enemy, a lack of knowledge is.” Because of this, educate yourself on the tools to use and the best technique. “Do your research before trusting your hair with anyone including yourself!” says Kee. The one hair process you can begin immediately is extensions, especially if they are fully protective. Kee’s one-note? “Hire a professional… a really amazing professional!”

Avoid Future Damage 

“To make sure you never end up with heat damage again, eliminate all of the things that caused it in the first place,” says Kee. Her tips to do this include using low heat when blow drying, or better yet, cutting out the blow dryer altogether. Instead, she recommends tension rollers, which will cut the heat used on your mane by half, as a flatiron will be the only direct heat to touch your strands. “You also want to make sure to keep your irons on low heat and only use ONE pass,” she says, though notes that the best way to avoid heat damage is to eliminate all heat styling.

“Little to no heat will have your hair stronger than ever!” says Kee. 

If you have to give yourself a blowout, never do THIS.