We love a good controversial natural hair topic, and the latest one seems to be about heat trained vs heat damaged hair. Granted it’s not a new topic of discussion, but it seems to be gaining some more traction in light of some pretty famous natural hair “gurus” in the natural hair community chopping off their long luscious locs to start over with healthier hair.
So what exactly is the difference between heat trained and heat damaged hair? Well at the vary basics of each definition
Heat Trained hair
Heat training your hair is the repeated process of straightening your natural hair with heat in order to make your hair a more “manageable” texture. I put “manageable” in quotes because that’s a whole other natural hair controversial issue that we will save for later.
Heat Damaged hair
is hair that has under gone excessive extreme heat and will not revert back to its curly state after several washes.
Signs of heat damaged hair are:
– curls that will not snap back when you gently pull on them (think length check pull)
– hair that is dry/brittle looking and to the touch (often leads to excessive shedding and major breakage)
-hair that can no longer hold on to its original natural curl
So what exactly is the difference?
That is what many naturalistas argue about. I believe it is the semantics of word choice. Naturalistas often associate damaged hair as hair that just looks and feels terrible. Sometimes your “damaged” hair may not look as horrible as you would associate the word damage with. Therefore they refer to their hair as being heat trained. The truth of the matter is the proteins in your hair have been broken down… essentially permanently damaged and will never revert to their original state. That could be the possible look some women are going for (a sleeker/straighter permanent style without adding chemicals to their head) but no matter how we name it the facts are the facts. The hair has taken a physical change and with excessive heat training comes the possibility of breakage.
So remember whichever route you take as a naturalista whether a curly haired or straight haired one the health of your hair should always come first before any styling option. Heat does not always have to be the enemy but always in moderation and with preventative care. Heat protectors and deep conditioning should be essential tools in your regimen that includes the use of heat!
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