How to Maintain Healthy Hair Despite Heat and Chemical Treatments

The most common tip you’ll hear when it comes to maintaining healthy hair is to avoid using heat or chemicals on it. But what if you have curly hair and like to wear it straight? What if you have brown hair but red expresses your personal style better?

I’m a firm believer in being able to obtain your dream hairstyle – hair that is coloured and styled in the way that best reflects you – while still maintaining its health. If you check out my Instagram, you’ll recognise that my hair is bleached and regularly curled. Not only that, but my hair is very long, which means the ends have been exposed to damaging elements for years.

Over the last 10 years of growing my hair long, and styling it to “death”, I’ve come to thoroughly understand how heat and chemical treatments affect hair and what remedies can effectively restore the look of healthy hair.

Is Your Hair Damaged?

Heat and chemicals are by far the most damaging elements you can apply to your hair. They break down the structure of your hair and causes rips and tears along your strands. Natural factors like UV exposure and abrasion from the wind also causes your hair to decay over time. Signs that your hair is damaged are: dryness, lack of shine or dullness, breakage, split ends, brittleness and easily tangled hair.

It’s essentially impossible to avoid damage to your hair, however, you can combat the signs of it with the right care. The key to restoring the look of healthy hair is to use products that contain fortifying ingredients such as proteins and omega-3 fatty acids that fill in gaps and tears while smoothing out the hair cuticle.

My Hair Care Routine to Repair Damaged Hair

I have different hair care routines for different concerns I experience throughout the year.  It changes throughout the seasons and it also changes when I’m styling my hair too much and it needs some additional care. Currently, my routine contains products from Alterna Hair Care’s Caviar Repair range. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I absolutely adore their Moisture Replenishing line, however, I use their repair range when my hair is feeling brittle and could do with some extra love.

1. Eat Protein-Rich Foods

Before we get into products recommendations, I can’t stress enough how important diet is for maintaining healthy hair. The stronger your hair is to begin with, the more damage it can endure. A high protein diet promotes stronger hair growth, so try to increase the amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to ensure you’re growing the healthiest hair you can.

2. Apply a Heat Protectant Before Styling

A heat protectant is essential in reducing the damage to your hair caused by heat tools. I’m currently using Alterna Haircare’s Caviar Repair Multi-Vitamin Heat Protection Spray. It’s a new addition to my routine and it’s a game changer. I find it different to other heat protectants I’ve used as it has a thicker consistency and acts like a leave-in treatment alongside being a very strong heat protectant. It contains Biotin, Vitamin A, B6, B12, C and E, as well as Copolymers (the ingredient that protects the hair from thermal heat) which repairs damage while protecting it from more. My hair feels full and lustrous after blowdrying and very silky after curling it. It also seems to feel healthier as I continue to use it. I’m daring to call this my new holy-grail heat protectant! I’ll definitely report back on how my hair is doing after using it for another few months.

3. Use a Repair Shampoo & Conditioner

It’s necessary for the health of your hair to thoughtfully select a sulphate-free repair shampoo & conditioner that contains ingredients that restores your hair’s structure. Alterna Haircare’s Caviar Repair Instant Recovery Shampoo & Conditioner is my go-to when my hair is feeling a little limp from curling it so often. This formula is developed to restore the composition of your hair while re-establishing its natural protective layer that has been compromised from heat and chemical damage.

It contains moisturising and fortifying ingredients such as caviar extract and Seasilk, a mineral-rich marine botanical, which promote moisture retention and slows down your hair’s ageing process. It also includes amino acid-rich ingredients, including several hydrolyzed vegetable proteins that effectively fill the rips and tears in your hair, leaving it revitalised and strong. Finally, you’ll find Vitamin E and natural oils such as linseed oil and shea butter that coat each strand of hair with a fine protective layer that helps to repair the cuticle, leaving your hair feeling silky smooth.

4. Brush Your Hair with a Wooden Hair Brush

When your hair is damaged, it is important to avoid brushing your hair with plastic bristles which can pull and break hair. Wooden hairbrushes are much more gentle and are definitely worth the investment. Wooden bristles also help distribute oil from the scalp down to the ends helping to keep them nourished. These brushes used to be quite difficult to find but these days you’ll be able to source them from any drug store.

5. Deep Condition at Least Once a Week

If you’re growing out your hair or applying heat or chemicals to it, using a deep conditioning mask is crucial. A hair mask is similar to a conditioner but has much more potent conditioning ingredients. It’s kind of like sending your hair to the spa. I use the Alterna Caviar Repair Fill & Fix Masque which replaces my normal conditioner 2 -4 times a month. The mask is incredibly dense and rich in strand-building proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A and D, Seasilk and caviar extract. These components strengthen and nurture your strands with hydration and antioxidant protection against free radical damage, preventing future damage.

However, the most magical thing about this mask is that it makes your split ends appear almost invisible after the first use! I was seriously astonished. I love using it before going to an event when I want my hair to be in its best condition!

6. Choose a Leave-In Treatment That Strengthens Your Hair

Unlike a hair mask or a regular conditioner, a leave-in treatment stays in your hair and keeps it nourished until the next wash. This is particularly important for damaged hair as the cuticles are particularly suspectable to damage through abrasion and daily wear and tear. I’ve mentioned my favourite leave-in treatment on Instagram and on my post about protein treatments, and I’m going to do it again: I’m totally crazy about Alterna Haircare’s Caviar Repair Retexturizing Protein Cream.

It coats my hair with a layer of protein that helps strengthen the strands and reduce friction. Oh, and it makes it shine as bright as the sun 🌞. Some protein treatments deposit too much protein into the hair and can leave it feeling brittle. This one is very buildable and leaves your feeling so soft and luscious.

The key ingredients in the cream are caviar extract, Seasilk as well as multiple vegetable proteins. This further helps seal in moisture and fill in broken protein bonds to restore strength. When I apply this to my ends, it looks like a just had a fresh trim. However, I wouldn’t recommend using this as a long-term remedy for split ends. Trimming them off is always the best solution.

I had all the signs of damage before making better-informed hair care decisions, and I can speak from experience when I say that having dry strands, dull hair, split ends and breakage can leave you feeling hopeless. Luckily for us, there are products on the market that help repair damage and restore the appearance of healthy hair. It’s never too late to begin the healing process. With the right products, a consistent routine and attentive care, having perfectly styled hair while maintaining its health is possible for all of us.


Be sure to follow Alterna Haircare on Facebook to keep up to date with the latest breakthroughs in hair care.

This post was made in collaboration with Alterna Haircare. I’ve used Alterna Haircare products for many years before being fortunate enough to work together with them. As always, all views are my own. 💜


  1. Hello Sarah😍
    I have recently followed a diet and not rich in nutrients so my hair looked damaged and wet and dry, and my skin is not in good shape 😟
    I went to the beauty salon and I had damaged hair but my hair became a bit short, I do not like short hair
    I came to you to help me. I still follow a strict diet. I do not want to damage my hair and I want to grow my hair and be long …
    Because there is a very important party for me😋.
    help me plzzz… 🙏

  2. Chị Sarah ơi em hâm mộ chị nhiều lắm.Chị có thể chia sẻ cho em về cách chị chăm sóc tóc hằng ngày và các sản phẩm chị đang sử dụng để chăm sóc tóc được không ạ?Em cảm ơn chị nhiều!!!!

    • Chao em! Cam on em da ung hoi chi. Chi vui qua! Chi muon chia se nhung ma tieng viet chi te lam 🙁 Em co biet doc tieng anh khong?

  3. Hi, Sarah!

    First of all, I want to say that I love your Instagram page—your travels are my dreams.

    Anyway, I know that this post is about treating your hair despite heat. However, I was wondering if you could help me with a different problem. I have always wanted long hair but I have had the worst luck growing it out. I don’t use heat whatsoever. I don’t blow dry it or style it with any heating tools. I also don’t color it and I regularly trim it. Despite that though, my hair can’t seem to stay away from split ends! It’s very upsetting because I feel like I should have pretty healthy hair but unfortunately, it is riddled with limitless split ends. Is there anything you can recommend for me? I would absolutely appreciate any guidance.


    • Hi Sandra,

      Thank you so much for taking the time out to comment and I apologise for getting back to you so late!

      Ah that must be so frustrating to get split ends despite not using at heat on it at all. Can I ask at what length does your hair start to split? What about sun exposure – do you spend much time in the sun? What type of pillowcase do you sleep on? What type of hairstyles do you put your hair in?

      A lot of the time, we don’t realise that sun exposure is seriously damaging to your hair and breaks down it’s structure very quickly. Putting your hair up in a messy bun or sleeping on a rough pillowcase can also cause microtears in your hair which can lead to split ends over time. If you’re already avoiding heating tools, the next best things you can do to avoid split ends is to use a UV hair protectant, braid your hair when you sleep or sleep on a silk pillowcase. Hope this helps! xx

  4. All is purple I LIKE IT😍😍💜💜💜I’m in love with your articles…..your writings make me smile…every time I see you’ve posted on instagram or on your blog I can’t stop smiling;))…….I wanted to ask you some questions since you’ve made this blog but I couldn’t find time ……I used to have thick hair but it’s been 2 years that I have hair loss and I can’t find the reason….I feel sad when I see my hair is gone some people say it’s because I wear hijab and some say it’s because of my shampoo or maybe it’s because I do ponytail most of the time…What do you think??What can I do to bring my thick hair back???and what do you use for your hair that it always shines???

    • There are so many reasons that can lead to hair loss! I think the most important changes you can make to reduce hair loss is sleeping enough and filling your body with the nutrients that promote hair growth (I will write about this more soon). As for your shampoo, if it’s too harsh and you’re washing your hair too often, this can be quite damaging to your scalp and can lead to hair loss. I would also recommend tying your hair in a loose ponytail and wearing a looser hijab so that your scalp can breath and there is not too much pressure on your follicles.

      I hope this helps Samineh!! xx

  5. Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for posting your hair care routine here! I’ve always admired your hair on Instagram and was curious how you manage to keep it looking so heathy even though you said you dye it frequently. I can’t wait to read more of your beauty secrets on here.

    Thanks again!

    P.s. I literally just ordered the protein cream – I can’t wait to see how it works on my hair 🙂
    Have a lovely week

  6. Love this post so much Sarah! I’ve been waiting for your haircare routine for so long! I tried their moisture shampoo after you recommended it last year and my hair has never been better. I’m going to try the Caviar repair range and will forward this to my mum. Btw my mom and aunty are addicted to Alterna Haircare because of you (I sometimes use their products because they can afford to try everything 😂) Anyway, I absolutely love the photos. Would you be able to share how you shoot and edit? You’re my new favourite blogger! Keep up the great work! Much love 😘

    • Thanks for the kind words Sophie! So happy to hear your hair is in great condition! The Caviar Moisture shampoo and conditioner transformed my hair too 😀 My mother-in-law is totally obsessed with Alterna products too and her collection is starting to spill out of the cabinets 😂 I’ll take note to write a post about how I edit my photos in the future 🙂 Take care!! xx

  7. Hi! I’m new to this blog and found it through Instagram 🙂

    I actually have been dealing with brittle and dry hair for years and had no idea how to remedy it without just chopping it all off. Thank you so much for this post. I will try some of the products you recommended and I really hope its the answer to my problems.

    • Good luck with your haircare journey 🙂 Alterna products really helped me and I hope they can transform your hair too!

    • I trim it every 4-6 weeks to keep my ends looking healthy. If you’re trying to grow your hair you should try to limit it to around every 8 weeks 🙂

      • what else can i do to grow my hair long and thick if i dont have these products as they are not available here 🙄 some tips and tricks would help 😊

  8. I love how your posting more often on your blog! I’m going to try to use the products you suggested in this post because I want my hair more longer than the usual medium length. When reading this post, I sometimes wonder if you wanted or felt like cutting your hair because you’ve kept it so long for many years. Anywho, I still enjoy your post because if makes me feel happy.

    • I feel like chopping my hair off at least once a week haha… it drives me crazy! I did it when I was 15 and I regretted it so much that I haven’t dared to do it again.

      That’s so lovely that my posts make you happy. I’m trying to post more regularly but it can be difficult between travelling. I hope you’re having a great week Sarmin!

  9. What? Another blog already? I feel so spoiled! 😉 Another wonderful post! I’m defiantly going to look into Caviar Repair! I dyed my hair a lot when I was a teenager (as teenage girls do 😉), and I feel like my hair’s been damaged from it ever since, even though I still get compliments on how lovely my hair is. They don’t see what I did at home. ☺️ Are you still planning on the blog about your before and after with the Sugar Bear vitamins? If so, I can’t wait for that! And, if you have time, I’d love to keep our chat going on Instagram! 😘 #TeamSarah

    • Also, I love all of the purple! 😉💜 It’s defiantly one of my favorite colors, if not my favorite color, this Fall! 💜

      • Hehe! I was on a roll last week, but I’ve been travelling this week so it’s been a bit difficult to post and keep up with emails and messages! I have a lot of posts lined up for the the last quarter of the year so I hope you’ll be a happy lady 😉 The SBH post is lined up, I just need to document a little more of my journey 🙂

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