Using a curling iron can give you shiny, manageable locks, but what happens when it goes wrong? In this article, we’ll discuss how to fix burnt hair from a curling iron.
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In A Hurry? Best Products To Fix Burnt Hair
Can You Fix Burnt Hair Without Having to Trim It?
Sometimes, when the hair has suffered too much damage from heat styling tools, the only option is to trim the damaged hair off and start over again.
However, that’s not always the case. There are many ways that you can reduce the damage and repair the hair strands without getting a dramatic haircut.
It begins with caring for your hair from the inside and the outside; giving it some much-needed TLC.
6 Tips to Fix Burnt Hair from Curling Iron
Heat styling tools are often set to high temperatures and when it’s used repeatedly against a piece of hair, it can burn and weaken the hair.
Cutting your hair doesn’t have to be the first resort; there are other ways to correct this:
1. Apply Olive Oil
A simple way to treat burnt hair from a curling iron is to apply a small amount of olive oil to the affected hair.
Olive oil is a good source of omega fatty acids and contains antioxidants that help to soothe, condition, and hydrate the hair.
Start by warming up half a teaspoon of oil in your hands for a few seconds, then apply it to the burnt area, being as gentle as possible to avoid damaging the delicate hairs.
Use a wide-tooth comb to brush it through and leave it in. Don’t rinse it out as it won’t have enough time to heal and repair the burnt area.
If you don’t have olive oil, you can use a small amount of leave-in conditioner as a substitute.
Just make sure that the product you use is free of harmful and irritating ingredients like sulfates and parabens.
2. Do A Protein Treatment
Using a curling wand at a high temperature can damage the cuticle, resulting in cracks, but a good protein treatment can help to fill in those cracks and strengthen the hair.
Burnt hair is fragile and weakened, so applying a protein treatment can help to repair it and leave your hair in a healthier state.
There are many protein treatments on the market that target dry and damaged hair, so opt for one containing natural, organic ingredients that will truly nourish and heal the hair
3. Apply Hot Oil Treatment
Regular hot oil treatments are beneficial to keep your hair healthy and manageable.
If you have burnt hair, your hair will need more than just shampoo and conditioner to restore it.
Hot oils restore shine, rebalance the scalp, and strengthen the hair to prevent further damage.
If you have thinner hair, sweet almond oil or argan oil will help to repair your hair without weighing it down.
You can experiment with different oils until you find one that works best for you.
Heat up a little bit of oil in the microwave (1 to 2 tablespoons should be enough) and apply this all over your hair, paying special attention to the burnt area.
Make sure the area is fully saturated. Leave the oil in your hair for 1 – 2 hours, then rinse it out with a mild shampoo and conditioner.
You can apply hot oil to your hair once or twice a week until the condition of your hair begins to improve.
4. Switch Up Your Hair Products
Even if your current hair products work well for your hair type, it might be worth considering if you should switch it up for a while.
When you burn the hair, it becomes drier and weakened as a result, so your current products might not be suitable anymore.
Look for products that include nourishing plant oils and specifically target dry and damaged hair; these will help to restore and protect the hair against heat damage.
When you’re looking for new products, always make sure that you look for hidden harmful ingredients that could contribute to hair damage.
Some of the culprits are sulfates, parabens, Isopropyl alcohol, Formaldehyde, mineral oil, and synthetic fragrance and coloring.
Many brands can label their products as ‘natural’ so look for organic, plant-based ingredients instead.
If you have any doubts or concerns, try to get in touch with the brand before making a purchase, or look for reviews online.
5. Give Your Hair A Break
It might sound obvious, but it’s essential that you stop using heat and chemical dyes on your hair while it repairs itself.
Applying a curling iron to burnt hair will further increase the damage, and in the worst case, it could break or snap off.
To control frizz, use a gentle leave-in-conditioner spray instead and wear your hair in loose hairstyles to prevent breakage.
You don’t need to avoid heat forever, but you do need to consider limiting how often you use your heat styling tools, especially in the first few weeks when the hair is very fragile.
6. Get A Trim
Depending on the level of damage and the overall condition of the hair, you might have to consider getting it trimmed.
How much you need to have cut off depends on whether the damage is just confined to the ends of the hair or if it’s made its way up the shaft.
In some cases, cutting off just 1 – 2 inches will be enough to keep the hair healthy and manageable.
But in more extreme cases, you will need to have a more dramatic haircut to remove any dead or severely damaged hair.
This could mean cutting off a few more inches. The most important thing is that your hair and scalp are healthy – so if that’s what needs to be done, then it’s worth it.
How to Avoid Damage When Curling Your Hair
You don’t have to avoid heat forever to protect your hair against damage, but there are ways to get great results with your curling iron without burning your hair.
Use A Good Heat Protectant
Before curling your hair or using any heat on your hair, you should always prepare it with a heat protectant spray.
This helps to form a protective layer, preventing the cuticles from getting damaged from heat exposure.
It can also add shine to the hair and prevent frizz and flyaways.
You can apply heat protectant on damp or dry hair, just make sure that you follow the instructions on the bottle.
Spray it evenly throughout the hair and use a wide-tooth comb to distribute it. Avoid putting heat protectant on the scalp as this can make it oily and itchy.
Make Sure Your Hair Is Dry
Have you ever felt impatient and used a curling iron on damp hair instead of waiting for it to fully dry?
You will probably notice that when you do this it makes a sizzling noise. This is your hair getting burnt!
The hair is delicate when it’s still wet because the cuticle remains open. When you apply heat directly on wet or even damp hair, it can make the hair weak and brittle.
Always make sure your hair is 100% dry before curling it.
Adjust The Temperature
It’s important that you adjust the temperature to suit your hair type to avoid damage.
Those with fine hair should set it to no more than 200 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas people with thicker hair can adjust theirs to between 200 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can adjust this depending on the thickness of your hair and the type of curl you’re looking to achieve, but remember that the lower the heat, the less damage it will do to the hair.
Brush Your Hair Thoroughly
Brushing your hair for a few minutes before you begin curling your hair is essential.
You need to make sure all knots and tangles are removed so that the curling wand can easily move through your hair.
Having smooth, tangle-free hair, to begin with ensures that you get great curls in a shorter amount of time.
Separate Hair Into Sections
Putting your hair into sections saves you time and makes the whole process run smoothly.
The sections should be 2 to 3 inches wide and you should have 3 sections from the top, middle and base section.
You can adjust this according to the type of curl you want.
Sectioning your hair ensures that you don’t curl the same piece of hair twice and that you spend less time using heated tools in general.
Watch The Time
You only need to use the curling wand for 8 – 10 seconds on one section of hair.
Using it for any longer than 10 seconds can burn the hair and cause damage. In extreme cases, the hair can break off, and this damage is much harder to repair.
Using a timer on your phone or counting out loud are the best ways to ensure you never go past 10 seconds.
Products to Use For Heat Protection
A good heat protectant can make all of the difference, that’s why we’ve rounded up the top 5.
This multi-tasking heat protectant spray from MATRIX is suitable for both fine and thick hair; it works by adding volume and smoothing out frizz.
By adding moisture to dry hair, it leaves it feeling softer and manageable after drying. Say goodbye to dull and frizzy hair and hello to soft, shiny, and vibrant locks!
This heat protectant spray is infused with argan oil to provide hydration to the hair while reducing unruly frizz and dry strands.
It’s sulfate, phosphate, and paraben-free, so it can be used on both natural hair and human hair extensions.
As it’s a gentle formula, it’s suitable for all hair types, including bleached and colored hair. The added vitamins ensure that your hair stays protected and shiny throughout the day.
If you’re looking for a product that is color-safe, sulfate and paraben-free and works as a natural sunscreen, then FoxyBae has you covered.
This heat protectant both repairs and protects your hair against damage, so it can be used frequently to keep the hair looking shiny and healthy. It contains keratin and biotin to block humidity, seal in moisture and promote hair growth. It can be used on all hair types without the worry of it making the hair look too oily.
This heat protectant spray by Hair Food is infused with argan oil and coconut oil which work in combination to seal in moisture and protect the hair against high heat.
Made with gentle ingredients, this spray is suitable for all hair types and can be used frequently to protect the hair and keep it looking shiny.
This heat protectant is enriched with vitamins and sea minerals that your hair needs for optimum shine and protection.
This formula is gentle and lightweight, so it can be used on both fine and thick hair, without weighing it down or leaving behind that sticky feeling. Using this product will give your hair a natural shine and prevent frizz. It also works as a sunscreen, protecting the hair against the harmful effects of UV rays.
Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on LovedByCurls.com is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.
Coralle is an experienced beauty writer with a passion for wellness, women’s health, and sustainability.