UNITED STATES—If your hair feels and looks fried and brittle, it’s probably suffering from heat damage. Another sign of heat damage is if your hair is naturally curly or wavy, but when you wash it, it doesn’t return to its natural curl or wave pattern. For example, recently I started straightening my hair a bit often and after a while, the ends of my hair started to remain straight while the rest of my hair was curly after washing. If this sounds like something you can relate to, keep reading for some tips on how you can help your hair recover.

Tip#1: Cut Your Hair

I know I probably lost some of you by now, but this is absolutely crucial if you want to recover from heat damage. I’m not saying that you have to cut off all of your hair, but you should probably make it a habit to start trimming your hair regularly. I think that trimming it every 8 to 12 weeks would be ideal because it would allow you to continue maintaining your hair length and maybe even more length while also getting rid of damaged hair.

Tip#2: Stop Using Heat On Your Hair

This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be a hard habit for a lot of people to break. However, this is also a necessary tip to follow if you intend on recovering from heat damage. So, while you are trying to grow out healthier hair, you should try to limit the amount of heat you apply to your hair.

Tip#3: Use Hair Treatments

Depending on your hair needs, I would recommend doing moisturizing treatments and or protein treatments. Hair that is dry and lifeless is lacking moisture and could benefit from a good store-bought or home-made moisturizing treatment. One of the easiest moisturizing treatments to apply is just using a good conditioner on your hair and covering it with a plastic cap for about an hour. You could also use a blow dryer on your hair while it is under the cap to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment.

On the other hand, protein treatments can help fill in some of the gaps on your hair strands that have resulted from the various damage imposed upon your hair, especially by heat. Some of my favorite protein treatments are from the Aphogee brand. I like their Two-Minute Keratin Reconstructor, as well as their Two-Step Protein Treatment. If you chose to go with another protein treatment, you should make sure that it contains hydrolyzed protein, because it is the only thing small enough to attach to your hair.