Q: I recently bought a ceramic flat iron and probably have used it 4 times. I got great results, but after doing it back to
back in two days, my hair is noticeably less curly, especially the front sections of my hair. It is not frizzy and actually feels
softer, but I miss my ringlet curly hair. I can also still smell a burned smell when I wash my hair. Will it ever go back or will I
have to wait till it all grows out? Do you have any suggestions? It has only been 3 days since I last straightened it.
A: Well, the first warning signal that goes off for me is your statement that you “can also still smell a burned smell”. You should
never smell or see smoke when you straighten your hair – to do so means that your flat iron is too hot for your hair and is causing
damage. You should always select heat styling appliances with adjustable temperature settings, and only use as much heat as is
needed to get the hair straight. Furthermore, you should always test your appliances before actually touching them to your hair. You
can find the method for doing this and other tips and guidelines to flat iron straightening here.
Since you aren’t seeing signs of frizz, and the hair still feels soft, the damage seems to be
slight, but should be taken care of immediately. If you are going to flat iron your hair, you need to begin now giving yourself deep
conditioning treatments at least once a week. Use a moisture-rich conditioning cream, apply it to the hair, cover with a plastic cap
and wrap the head in warmed towels, or sit under a dryer for 15-20 minutes. Afterward, rinse the hair with lukewarm-to-cool water.
Do this in conjunction with a daily routine of shampooing (if needed) and conditioning (whether
shampooing the hair or not) and using an additional leave-in spray conditioner to protect the hair from heat-styling damage. As you
restore your hair’s moisture levels and maximize its condition, you should see your natural curl begin to reemerge. And be prepared
to give your hair a little time to recover. It always takes longer to undo damage than to cause it, which is why we always urge caution.