Q: I had really nice hair and now since I have been using a straightener for the last year or 2 it ruined my hair. Now, every
time I wear my hair down I have to straighten it. If I don't, it is really frizzy and puffy. How can I get my hair back to the way it
was with out spending too much money?
A: Well, I tend to follow the philosophy the NRA uses with guns when it comes to heat styling appliances: “Straightening appliances
don’t ruin people’s hair, people ruin people’s hair.” By this I mean simply that you have to use these appliances responsibly and
always take the appropriate measures to prevent or minimize the potential for damaging the hair. I would urge you to read our
articles on the use of heat styling appliances and flat-iron styling. These articles will hopefully help you identify anything
you may be doing wrong, and allow you to avoid any further harm to your hair.
To address the damage your hair has sustained, you need to get your hair’s moisture levels up and
restore its healthy condition. To do this, make sure you are using a protein-rich shampoo and conditioner formula – particularly those
that offer ‘smooth and sleek’ hair. Twice a week, you should use a moisture-rich conditioning cream to give yourself deep conditioning
treatments. To do this, apply the moisturizing cream to the hair and carefully comb it through from scalp to ends with a wide tooth
comb. Arrange the hair onto the head and cover it with a plastic cap, then wrap your head with towels warmed in your clothes dryer,
or sit under a hair dryer, for at least 15-20 minutes. After the allotted time, rinse the conditioner from your hair with lukewarm to cool water.
You should always remember that your hair needs to be conditioned every day, even if you don’t
shampoo. In addition, when you are using heat-styling appliances like blow-dryers, curling irons and flat-irons, you need to add in
the use of leave-in spray conditioners to further protect your hair from heat-styling damage. It also helps if you use appliances with
adjustable temperature settings and always use the lowest setting necessary to straighten, dry or curl your hair.
Do remember that the deep- and daily-conditioning routine isn’t going to resolve your problems
overnight. The damage you’ve sustained accumulated gradually, and you’ll have to repair it gradually. But have patience and you’ll soon see the results you want.