How Heat Damage Led to My Mini Big Chop Heat Damage Mini Big Chop
My hair after my mini big chop in February 2016

Stubborn.  I guess that’s the word for it because I have no other way to describe it.  I keep trying to straighten my hair until it is laid to the gods and it keeps coming back with heat damage.  Yes, I have now, to date, given myself heat damage more times than I can remember.  There isn’t a stylist to blame or even a lack of knowledge on my part.  I knew better and still wound up damaging my hair while straightening it.

I blame Youtube.  We’ve all seen the videos where people are cranking their flat irons up past 400 degrees.  Well, I thought maybe I could too.  I mean why not?  My hair was getting longer and healthier.  I was doing protein treatments and using multiple heat protectants.  Sometimes I even thought I could just wear my hair straight whenever I felt like it.  I found out the hard way that those things would certainly not work for my hair.

 In the past, when I noticed a little heat damage, it was near the ends of my hair resulting in loose curls.  Last year, however, I noticed that the hair from midway down the strands to the ends was thinner than the new growth coming in.  A lot thinner.  That eventually led to some breakage which sent me into emergency repair mode.  Of course I tried protein treatments; usually the 2 Minute Reconstructor by Aphogee.  This time though, I knew that the damaged hair would have to go.  Finally, I decided to do a mini big chop to get rid of the damaged hair.  This left me with a very teeny afro.
My hair now
Jan. 2017
(curls are back after straightening)


That was in February of 2016.  My hair feels completely different now almost a year later.  It’s even back to my old length from before the heat damage.

Of course, I’m stubborn, so I still like to use heat on my hair.  As far as avoiding heat damage, here is what I have learned, again.

  1.  Always clarify hair prior to straightening (A must!)
  2. Always use a heat protectant (Duh!)
  3. MY hair cannot withstand heat over 400 degrees (anything higher = heat damage)
  4. Touch-ups are the Devil!  Pincurls, wraps and rollers only for styling after straightening.
  5. Use heat less frequently (no more than 1x per month; less is even better)
I would like to think that this time I have finally learned my lesson.  What’s good for some may not work for others.  I know that I sound like a broken record but it’s true.
Have you ever tried something you saw on Youtube and it went horribly wrong?  Leave a comment below.

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