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Ask Kcurly-Breakage and Flat Ironing

by kcurly on July 21, 2011

in Ask Kcurly,Heat Damage,Straight Natural Styling,Tips

An email from SRM:


I love your site!  I am a BC and have been for about two years now.  I flat rion my hair or press and curl it with the comb frequently and am experiencing a lot of shedding.  Mainly short pieces of hair.  I took a break from flat ironing for a few months and did some protien treatment and deep conditioning treatments and my hair felt healthier.

Now I want to wear it straight but have the breakage again and as soon as I walk out side, my hair poofs and reverts very quickly.

Oh, and I workout six days a week, sweating in my scalp often.

Any suggestions?



SRM, thanks for the email. I think you know what needs to happen. Sounds like the flat iron needs to go.

To be clear, if you’re getting a ton of short pieces of hair that do not have a white bulb (hair follicle) on one end, then you are experiencing breakage, not shedding. I hear a lot of people use these terms interchangeably, but it’s important to establish the difference.

Your hair has a natural shedding cycle that it is always going to do. The rate of shed may be increased or decreased by internal factors (ie pregnancy). Breakage is caused by damage or weakness of the hair.

If you want to be sure which is which, examine each hair closely to see what the deal is.

If it were me, I would give up the flat ironing. Especially since you work out so much. I am guessing that “frequently” means every week or more? That’s a lot of heat and a lot of potential damage. I would find that very frustrating: the breakage and the constant flat ironing. Your hair obviously doesn’t like it since it flourished during your break from heat. If you don’t stop completely, at least decrease the frequency with which you flat iron.

If you are still wanting to wear a straighter style, I would suggest trying rollersets on very low heat or air drying. I would also suggest that you leave your hair alone as much as you can. Don’t stop working out because… body /health > hair …any day of the week.

To decrease reversion, perhaps you should try some products that fight humidity. Sabino Moisture Block is highly recommended.  Though I have to admit that these types of products don’t always have the best ingredients.

Also, I don’t know where you live, but in an area of high humidity, you may be better off leaving the straight styles for the fall/winter time when you won’t be battling moisture in the air.

I know this probably isn’t the answer you want to hear, but that’s all I got!

Love, peace, and hair grease!

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