Heat harms your hair—this we know (some of us all too well). See, heat can restructure and restyle your hair pattern by breaking down the hydrogen bonds in your hair, which is what gives us the bouncy curls or stick-straight strands we want. But use hot tools too often (like, every single day), and it can ultimately mess with your natural curl pattern. As NYC-based hairstylist Jenna Pitocco tells mbg, “If you don’t use heat one day, your curls are like, ‘No, we’re supposed to be straight. We’re not supposed to be curly,'” and you may be left with strands that straddle a curly-straight limbo—not to mention they’re frazzled and dull from all the damage.
It’s not a fun situation to find yourself in because you can’t really reverse the damage. (You cannot heal dry, dead hair, remember?) The only thing that can really restore your curl pattern is time—as your hair grows, the new strands will sprout with their natural spring.
That’s not to say you must twiddle your thumbs in the meantime. You can encourage the hair to return to its natural pattern, but you’ll want to think of the venture in two ways: You can coat the hair with healthy nutrients to help it grow, or you can define the damaged curls to help them hold their structure (a relatively quicker “fix,” some might say). Here, we compiled tips for each route: