[Pics] Black Women on Instagram are Sharing Their Heat Damage Transformations

There was a time when heat damage was actually a goal of some women – nicknamed “heat training,” it was a method that included consistently straightening one’s hair in order to achieve looser, “more manageable” curls. While some women were able to achieve the hair texture they were in search of, it left a lot of people with limp, uneven curls. Others also experienced heat damage by accident from straightening, constant blow drying, or straightening their leave out while protective styling.

But many black women are now sharing their stories of growing out their heat damage and showing off their healthy, revived curls and coils. A lot of the photos reveal a totally new head of hair, and they’re simply gorgeous. Check them out:

Remember the last post when I said my hair literally would start falling out in gobs? That's exactly what was happening in the top photo. My breakage was so severe that I could literally see through my hair. This was in August 2011. By March of 2012 I was at my wits end (don't ask why it took 6 months from THIS point… I was in denial😩), and finally decided to put down the flat iron. I went from flat ironing every 2 weeks to ever 3-6 months, and never looked back. For info on the styles I wore while transitioning, look no further than #ontheblog – just click the #linkinbio or go to bit.ly/TransitioningStyles and you'll see them all! #naturalhair #transitioninghair #protectivestyles #naturalhairstyles #heatdamage #transitioningtonatural #bblogger #maneobjective

A photo posted by Christina Patrice (@maneobjective) on

Left: March 2016, my curls were damaged by extreme heat from using the flat iron weekly and from using chemicals. My curls were limp, stretched out and lifeless. To be honest, I had no idea what to do with my curly hair, that's why I straightened it all the time. I heard a lot about the Deva curl cut from @hif3licia and decided it was time for a drastic change. Right: The present. With time patience and consistently doing the right thing, I have seen my curly hair revert to its original state. Be mindful that hair will not come back overnight. I had to chop off 8" of damage. The health of my hair became top priority over length. This Deva curl cut gave me a customized shape with weightless layers that helped to show my natural texture. The only regret I have is that I wish I started a long time ago. Styled with: Shea Moisture leave in jbco, Au Rebelle lemon coconut butter & DevaCurl B'leave in. #healthyhair #teamnatural #curlyhair #curlygirl #curls #naturalhair #naturalista #perfectcurls #berrycurly #transformationtuesday #curlyhairdontcare #curlsfordays #heatdamage #kinkycurly #naturallycurly #frizzfree #hairinspo #hairinspiration #hair #goals #haironfleek #sheamoisture #anunaturals #aurebelle #transitioninghair #devacut #hif3liciahelped

A photo posted by ⓋⒺⓇⓃⒶ 🇵🇭🇺🇸 (@vmuse919) on

When you stop using heat and your hair transforms! #transformationtuesday

A photo posted by @mztaweezy on

Dear god this head has came a long way ❤️🙏🏾 #heatdamage #hairjourney #naturalhair #babyfro #braidouts

A photo posted by Nash-iee The Fluffy Goddess (@nashiee) on

Yaaaas, ladies! We are feeling the healthy hair and wish you well on your natural hair journeys. You can check out more transformation pics and natural hair inspiration by searching the hashtag #heatdamage.



Elle is the editor and creative director of the YouTube channel and blog, Quest for the Perfect Curl at www.questfortheperfectcurl.com. Her channel focuses on natural hair, beauty, and fitness. She loves products that smell like dessert, yoga, and glitter. Follow her @qftpc.

59 thoughts on “[Pics] Black Women on Instagram are Sharing Their Heat Damage Transformations

    • Black people can be lightskinned and still fully black. My mother, father, and myself are all 100% Tanzanian, and we are all very lightskinned, lighter than even some of the girls in this post. Am
      I not black? this kind of color-checking within our community HAS TO STOP.

      • I asked why they are ALL biracial (which they are, *except for the last picture added AFTER my comment*), NOT why aren’t any of them black. You can actually be both, which I actually am.
        And “color-checking” won’t stop until lighter-skinned black women stop receiving privileges/attention over darker skinned women. This whole article points to our privilege.
        Stop trying to derail the legitimacy of colorism outrage by making it about you and your obliviousness to your light-skinned privilege.
        I am a light-skinned black girl myself. I can acknowledge my light-skinned privilege. Can you??
        How can we ask white people to acknowledge their privileges and men to acknowledge their privileges, but when it comes to colorism in the black community it turns into “Am I not black enough?” *forever rolling my eyes with that one* That’s not the issue here. The issue is light-skinned black women getting preferential coverage over dark-skinned black women. Acknowledge it, and stop gas lighting others in the black community with your deflecting.

        • Wow I didn’t know it was so serious. I agree with most. I privilege myself and have always. With God, an education, and a lil common sense I feel I’m doing it *cheesing* To us: Privilege yourself and stop waiting on others to acknowledge you first, they eventually will.

      • Mansa, I can understand what you are saying to a point. However I think you also must understand the impact colorism has had on Blacks in America. While you may disagree with what some women are saying, you also have to understand the source of some of the comments.

        • No, it isn’t. There are tribes in the southern African nations that are naturally light skinned. Ever heard of the Khoisan? They have “Asian” facial features and skin coloring, yet they are 100% black. All the southern African tribes mixed with them such as the Zulus, Xhosas, etc. Therefore, you’ll see many Zulus, Xhosas, and many other tribes with light skin.

      • I have seen what passes for ‘light skinned’ in Tanzania, but if you don’t post a photo of your color no one can confirm. In Southern Africa where I am from, we are lighter skinned but with the kinkiest 4C hair on the planet because we are descendants of the Khoisan tribe.
        No one said you are not black, just that there is not a broader representation of what majority of black women look like hair wise. I think for some reason in the West people love to claim many races, even when they don’t look it. Then when photos like these surface purporting to represent black women they complain because they know deep down they don’t look like what they claim.

        Deep down they still want some representation.

    • Hi! I know for a fact that they are not ALL biracial. But yes a lot are. I don’t think that should discredit the fact that they have black in them. Back in the day if one had a drop of black, they were black. They should be featured on this page just like any other melanated girl. Unless they don’t want to identify as black. That’s a different story lol

    • Where do you see all biracial women pictured? You probably need to get some glasses. I see at least 7 of what I consider to be Brown girls. And the last girl Is 4c.

  1. These photos remind me of why I love textured hair so much…and why I stay away from direct heat. It’s been 13 years since any kind of iron has touched my hair.

  2. Hmm, its always the softer textured hair featured to represent ‘black’ women. Interesting that. I haven’t seen one 4B or 4C hair there :(

    • I saw at least 3 that can be typed as 4B even though typing hair should be archaic. What this article did was search the tag heat damage on Instagram. I haven’t seen any 4B or 4C pictures heat damage pics on IG and I did a quite bit of scrolling.

  3. 1. The girl in the thumbnail (and many of the girls in the article) is not black. Bi-racials and mixed race people are not black. I swear black people will claim anybody ?
    2. Isn’t this the same website that 2 or 3 years ago let some girl write an article about how her hair isn’t heat damaged, but “heat-trained”? ?

    • dang, V.M.! didn’t realize no black people could be lightskinned. I am 100% from Tanzania, fully black, and I am lighter than some of these girls in this article.

      Do we need to start carrying our Black Cards just in case we get called out by mean people like you? You gonna start up a one-drop rule for Black people? If you even have a smidgen of non-black in your blood suddenly you don’t count? Stop that ignorance, it has no place here.

      • 100% tanzanian? really? the arab slave trade was prominent there and they took black wives. lots of indians also were. there. i’d like a dna test to prove you’re 100%. lol. i know there are some naturally lighter skinned blacks in africa – botswana and south africa and namibia.

        i think a lot of east africans are more mixed than they care to admit.

    • Why are you so angry though? Sheesh! Also, biracial black and white does make you black. The black gene is the most dominant gene on earth. Thousands of books and places to look that up. However, there could have been some 4b and 4c hair types included. I’m sure there were plenty of pics to choose from.

      • The black gene is not the most dominant gene on earth. Biracial means two races so someone who is biracial is biracial. Not black. I don’t know why so many black people love the one drop drop rule so much that they’ll call other black people names if they disagree.

        Biracial is not an insult, that’s just biology jeeez

      • In your context, black is a race, white is a race, therefore “biracial black white does make you black” is an oxymoron.. biracial is biracial.. two races not one or the other but two.. simple.. what’s so hard about that.
        Black americans.. your mixed citizens (black white) are not black but mixed, period. they can only be both or neither.. that’s how to end all this shaninigan . *they can adopt the culture or whatever culture they are raised in but genetically no..

        • And why should “biracial” be just biracial? Personally, I’m not a fan of the term “biracial,” because unless you’re part-Faunus or something (RWBY reference), you’re of the Human Race. For argument’s sake, let’s say a girl is “part-Faunus”: it doesn’t make her less human or less Faunus. She’s both, one, the other, neither, and a combo, all at the same. So in a sense, being “biracial” is in and of itself an oxymoron or a conundrum. (This is not so much a show-off argument so much as it is a factual thing.) Plus, if you feel it’s fit to use the term “biracial,” please note that it can be applied to people of any two ethnicities, or “races,” if you will. The reason there mostly light-skinned, loose-haired, and/or multiethnics on here, is that we (yeah, I’ve fallen privy to it) have used some form of heat tool, for purposes of 1) ease of multi-day styling, 2) it holds better than braids or buns, 3) the cruel reality that we were more acceptable in society with straight hair. Thankfully, the times, they are a-changing. I’ve noticed more people — of all ethnicities — tend to prefer my hair in its curly glory. BOOYAH! #BlackSpectrumLove2017

  4. Biracials have become the FACE of the natural hair community and we, black women, have allowed this to happen because of our low self esteem. I

  5. Sometimes I feel like the natural hair movement isn’t for dark skinned women with 4c/b hair textures because you never see anyone with your hair texture anywhere. Yes, lightskin women are black, don’t deny their blackness, they are more privileged than us dark skinned chicks but at the end of the day, racists will still see them as niggers, they carry a lighter package then us while we carry the full one. But I feel like the natural hair movement only shows girls with looser curls and have become the face of the movement because that’s what society likes. I haven’t gone natural because I can never find any help from a naturalist who has the same hair texture as me. It’s really sad, why can’t we just include all shades of melanin. Colorism is well and alive worldwide and it’ll never go away just like racism.

    • They are on Youtube you just have to search them out. NappyheadedJojoba has a great Page and it’s very informative page. https://www.youtube.com/user/nappyheadedjojoba Naptural85 is great, she has type 4a hair and she stretches it a lot and uses a lot of her own DIY Prducts. Go natural for you and to hell with these people and their blatant colorism issues.

    • I cant believe I read it.
      Be yourself the example: begin you being an inspiration! Dont spread this hate, because in the end of the day, as you say, we are all black and the package is full for every black woman, dark or light skined!
      Get up and stand up, stop to raise against your sisters.

      • How tf am I supposed to be natural when I can’t find help from youtubers or them IG natural pages when all that is showed is light skin or black women with really loose curls. I’m only 16, live in Australia where alot of things for black women are rare and hard to find. Honestly you’ve misunderstood me. I’m not for spreading hate but you can’t deny that lightskin women get treated better.

        • There are many type 4s on youtube: Westafricanbaby, taiwo, Dephne Madyra, naptural85… Note that a lot of women will do videos with their hair in stretched style, but when you see their hair right after washing, you will see that it is shrinkalicious type 4 hair. Dephne is one of those.

    • You’re not wrong but I’m 4b/4c natural, and when I want to find 4b /c vloggger and stylist and the Internet I find them. Be natural for yourself and if you can do your own blog

    • Your first sentence is bizarre. I’m 4c. When I went natural, 15 years ago, people in the online community vehemently argued that my hair was a myth and didn’t exist! They quoted Andre Walker like the bible. Some called it “scab” hair or unkept hair. To them, well cared hair meant curl definition. None of the hair products they raved about worked for me so they decided I must be doing something wrong. I’m a hairstylist, mind you. There is nothing I didn’t hear. Smh. Anyways, moral of the story, if you want to be natural, be natural. Stop looking outward for validation. Validate yourself. Yes, there seems to be a preference for looser textures in the natural hair media, unfortunately, but again, do you and stay true to yourself. If I told you my routine, your jaw will drop because it is pretty much the opposite of what you hear being preached in our natural hair community. I even use mineral oil on my hair. If you listen to what your hair wants and thrives on, you will be fine. It might be rocky at first but you will get there. It took me over a decade to figure out what works for my hair. I’m still figuring it out and that is the beauty of it.

        • Don’t agree with that at all. None of the people that I consider icons of the natural hair movement fit that description. Unless you are talking about some newbies who just came on the scene in the last couple of years. My icons, e.g. on youtube, are Kimmaytube, Alicia James, the late great longhairdontcare2011, naptural85, Charyjay, Chime / Haircrush, Mahogany Curls, fusion of cultures, etc… Wouldn’t call any of them light-skinned or biracial.

          • Diversity of hair texture rep shouldn’t have to be only in the “real hub for natural hair info” only, it should be everywhere. That’s like saying, oh I don’t care that there aren’t diverse actors in this show/network because this show/network is the real hub for diverse actors.

          • Hmm. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say it doesn’t matter that (according to you) diversity of hair texture isn’t on Instagram. What I did say (or at least imply) is that if you are *genuinely* looking for information on how to manage your hair texture, then you should go to platforms, e.g. youtube, where such examples may be more highly represented. Search for solutions, instead of problems. Also recall that IG isn’t an institution. It’s a voluntary platform. There is no “Institution of Natural Hair” deciding that these are the only natural heads worth seeing on IG. Instead, individual natural haired women are deciding that their hair has that worth and are posting pics of it. If there are few kinky-haired women who are doing this, maybe you can become one of them. Be the change you want to see.

  6. I’m dark skinned…my family is from Panama, Barbados and Saudi Arabia. And yes, I identify as Black. I can only speak for myself, but bothers me is the lack of representation of other dark skinned, 4C Queens. More research could have been done and other sources used besides Instagram. This blog used to be about hair, but now it seems to be more of a gossip/drama column. Where did the old BGLH go?

  7. I’m going to assume that instagram was the only source used to find these photos, using the hashtag #heatdamage. If that is the case then it seems like the majority of women using the #heatdamage hashtag are women with textures ranging from 3a-4a and so the author used what was available at that time.

    I rarely see 4c naturals with heat damaged hair on instagram. You may find many of them transitioning from relaxed to natural but not necessarily heat damaged and remember, this article is specifically about heat damaged hair.

    It seems like the author of that article was specifically looking for before and after photos, so it’s quite possible that not many dark skin, kinky curly haired naturals post those sort of before and after heat damaged photos?

  8. Many are asking about 4b 4c. Does 4bc damage as easily? Yes hair but for real. My 4bc daughter’s hair can take a mean straightening, flaunt the runway, and bounce back with no effort. Where as, my other daughter’s 3b hair is overfacilely capable of heat damage, as has happened before. Not to dismiss color and smote texture but seems to me highly textured hair is as strong and powerful as we are. Kisses curlfriends

    • The tighter the curl the more it’s prone to damage. As a type 4 that relaxed and used heat for years, type 4 is very capable of heat damage.

  9. I see the lack of dark skinned, 4c curly haired women in this article and I agree that they were woefully underrepresented. The same old spirals are boring and the beauty of our hair is the variety of kinks, curls, lengths and colors. However, as a lighter skinned, non bi racial BLACK woman, it makes me sad to see the very negative comments from my sisters here. Seems with the BLM movement and us finally starting to come together, here we are splitting up and hating again…this time by tones and shades. The only people who don’t see light and dark seem to be white people; we’re all just black folks to them. This is the one thing they do that I wish we could too.

    • If white people don’t see light and dark how tf are some of em racist as hell? A few comments under one article hardly is representative of the collective thoughts of black people. I’m dark skinned and it is SAD that most of the women posted about don’t represent me and my hair type, that doesn’t mean I am not 100% in support of the black women in this article who took steps to embrace their natural curls.

    • That “White people don’t see light or dark” is a myth. And why are white people used to define the black identity anyway?

  10. The first time I saw this article, I noticed that there weren’t any 4c girls included. I wasn’t shocked to be honest. This happens EVERYTIME, it’s nothing new. So, for those looking for 4c girls to follow on youtube and instagram, check out, lets support ourselves:
    1. Westafricanbaby

    2. Igbocurls

    3. NappyFu

    4. Nappyheadedjojoba

  11. This article is about transformations from heat trained hair to healthy hair. Not just healthy hair. How many 4C girls do you know that maintained heat trained hair, and have pics showing the difference between that and their healthy hair? As a type 4 myself, heat training my hair is not something I ever attempted. Would take way too much effort. And would no doubt eat my hair alive.

  12. sounds like the author actually searched the hashtag via IG. if 4b/4c girls didn’t upload the pics or participate in the challenge then there wouldn’t be many to post. plus, I do see some of them up there. also, not all dark-skinned women have kinky hair. not all light-skinned women have loose curls. and to see someone who is light and automatically assume mixed is ridiculous when there are plenty of dark skinned women who are half something else that isn’t black.

  13. I feel like it’s rare to even see 4c haired girls with heat damage tho… like it takes so long to straighten 4c hair that I feel like many women just decide to relax there hair rather than straighten it so much that they acquire heat damage. It’s much easier to go through the routine of straightening regularly when you have a looser hair type.

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