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 and you’ll see them all! #nat­u­ral­hair #tran­si­tion­ing­hair #pro­tec­tivestyles #nat­u­ral­hair­styles #heat­dam­age #tran­si­tion­ing­to­nat­ur­al #bblog­ger #maneob­jec­tive

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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

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

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This is an updat­ed pic­ture of my tran­si­tion from heat dam­age. Every pic­ture is of a wash and go. Top Left — Before first deva­cut (Aug ’14) Top Right — After deva­cut (Aug ’14) Bot­tom Left — A year lat­er (Aug ’15) Bot­tom Right — 2 years lat­er (Aug ’16) I trimmed my hair often, stayed away from heat and stuck to a reg­i­men that worked for me. I also deep con­di­tioned week­ly, used pro­tein treat­ments as need­ed and was EXTREMELY patient. At times I felt like my hair wasn’t grow­ing but it was. If you’re tran­si­tion­ing, stick with it. Be patient with your­self and enjoy the jour­ney. Thank you to every per­son that’s encour­aged me along the way. I real­ly appre­ci­ate y’all!! #tbt

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In 2012 I Was #Team­Nat­ur­al How­ev­er.…. I Was Get­ting My Hair #FlatIroned Every 2wks, It Was Trained To Be Straight. . I Tried to Do a #Wash­n­Go & Thought My Hair Was #DaBomb #Lol Now… 2016, I’ve Flat Ironed My Hair Once In 9/2015 & 7/2016.…. My Hair Was Healthy Then w/ The Style That I Was Wear­ing #Silk­Wrap & Now w/ Me Wear­ing My Hair In It’s Nat­ur­al Pat­tern This is My 2016 #Wash­N­Go.… Only Dif­fer­ence Is The Full­ness & No Heat Dam­age.… Ladies, It’s Pos­si­ble You Have To Be Patient. #TheStrug­gleIs­Re­al Even w/ My Own Hair… #WishIt­Would­Grow #Nat­u­rallySh­es­Dope #Nat­u­ral­Hair­Rocks #MyHair­Crush #Nat­u­ral­Straight­en­Hair #Nat­u­ral­hair ##Heat­Dam­age #TBT

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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 Her chan­nel focus­es on nat­ur­al hair, beau­ty, and fit­ness. She loves prod­ucts that smell like dessert, yoga, and glit­ter. Fol­low her @qftpc.

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

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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.

S. Williams

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.


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.


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


Wait — Did the pics get addi­tions since the orig­i­nal post?

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… Read more »

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


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.


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.

Victoria Owl
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… Read more »
Mimi Merder

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?

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… Read more »

Oh please, there are PLENTY type 4 girls on youtube if you are real­ly look­ing.


Still doesn’t change the fact that light­skin bira­cial peo­ple are the face of the nat­ur­al hair move­ment does 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.


Check IG pages for nat­ur­al hair


Am not on IG. No inter­est either. Youtube is the real hub for nat­ur­al hair info.

Riak Mary

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… Read more »
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… Read more »

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

Ana Lucia

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.

Ana Lucia

Dare to begin it. Be the inspi­ra­tion you want.

Jacque Michelle Golden-Raines
Jacque Michelle Golden-Raines

They are on Youtube you just have to search them out. Nap­py­head­ed­Jo­jo­ba has a great Page and it’s very infor­ma­tive page. 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.


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


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”? ?


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.


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… Read more »

You do know that the one drop rule was invent­ed by white peo­ple for peo­ple who looked white but had negro blood in them, right??


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


Huh? That’s wrong.


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.


Does the aver­age tan­zan­ian look like you are you try­ing to be dra­mat­ic for no rea­son?


So dra­mat­ic. No one has said that. Way to blow things out of pro­por­tion.


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


12 and 14 look like com­bi­na­tion of 4a and 4b. The last on looks like 4c to me.


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.


Not one case of 4C hair.


Hmmm the last young lady appears to have 4c hair. 12 and 14 look like com­bi­na­tion 4a and 4b.


Those pic­tures were NOT a part of the orig­i­nal post. I had every right to call them out.


Search heat dam­age on Insta­gram and see if you find 4C hair. There’s few to none and the ones that are on IG aren’t of good qual­i­ty to be post­ed.


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.


Why are they ALL bira­cial?


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.


There were all bira­cial before dam­age con­trol


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


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 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… Read more »

That is a LIE.


LMFAO why because you’re too full of igno­rance and only think that real africans are only dark skinned. try again


Real sub Saha­ran Africans are most­ly dark. We aren’t as light as we fan­ta­size we are. We are called blacks for a rea­son.

Ebony Allen

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.

Carla Thomas

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.

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… Read more »

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.


This is com­fort­ing they a look beau­ti­ful.