Straightening & Destroyed Natural CurlQ: Can straightening hair too much (with a flat iron) destroy the hair's natural curl? My hair at the front of my head is drying straight now and it never did before. I am afraid I destroyed the curl. What can I do to correct the problem?
A: It is always possible to damage the hair from heat styling. One of the first signs of hair damage is loss of elasticity and strength. This is why it is so important to use extra protective products when you are planning to heat-style the hair.
My first suggestion is to give your hair a deep conditioning treatment. Look for a conditioning cream that is rich in moisture and proteins. Apply the cream to the hair, cover it with a plastic cap, and wrap your head with a warmed towel (from the clothes dryer). Leave this in place for at least 20 minutes. Afterward, rinse the hair using lukewarm or cool water and blot the hair with a towel to remove the excess water. Allow the hair to either air-dry naturally, or wrap it in a towel turban fashion and allow the towel/turban to wick away the moisture.
Restoring the moisture/protein balance in the hair should help to restore its elasticity and curl, but you will probably need to repeat the deep conditioning at least once a week to ultimately see better results. In the meantime, try to avoid heat styling the hair when possible, to allow the hair to rest and recover of it own. (The natural oils produced by the scalp and follicles are perfectly suited to restore moisture and protect the hair from environmental damage.)
Flat iron styling
Signs of damaged hair
How often you can use hair straighteners
How badly will straightening damage my hair if I straighten it more than 2 times a week?