So Your Hair Caught on Fire… Now What?

If you're looking to repair your fire-damaged hair, we've got the TLC you need.

Fire Burning Hair
Photo: Art Elysia Berman

Warm-weather vacations can mean lots of things: cute swimwear, sundresses, and finally the excuse to go makeup-free. It's a February dream come true! But for your hair, it can also mean trouble. No, we're not talking about saltwater and sun damage. We're talking about fire.

With BBQs, fireworks, and campfires aplenty, the battle between the flame and the coif is real. Should you find yourself having a little too much fun with sparklers or leaning a little too close to the tiki torch, don't panic—we've got your step-by-step action plan to bring your strands back to life.

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Leave It to the Pros

You might have become "the girl on fire" IRL, but first thing's first, make sure you put the fire out safely and seek medical attention if you've suffered any burns. If your hair is the only victim, reach for your phone—you're going to need to see your stylist stat. "If your hair catches on fire, it will singe, not burn," says Amit Abraham, fashion editorial hairdresser and former Master Stylist at Dop Dop Salon in New York City. "Your best bet is to go and see your stylist immediately. Do not, I repeat, do not try to fix the damage yourself. You risk the chance of making it worse and suffering for a lot longer."

Once hair is heat damaged, there's no turning back, so a stylist will need to cut the burned portion to prevent further damage and clean up the style. Just remember the good news—hair grows from the roots inside the scalp, so new hair should grow back without a problem.

Continue to Condition

Once your strands have been trimmed, reach for the conditioner. In addition to your regular shampoo and conditioner, Abraham recommends using a hair mask once a week until your hair looks and feels healed. Options like Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask or Rita Hazan Weekly Treatment For Deep Hydration & Superior Shine allow you to soothe your strands at home. Although, Abraham says if you feel your locks need a little more TLC, seek a protein and conditioning treatment such as Aveda's damage remedy™ intensive restructuring treatment, or Aphogee's Two-step Treatment Protein for maximum care.

Embrace Change

Unfortunately, there's the chance a little trim and conditioning might not do the trick. If you find yourself in need of a big fix, don't be afraid to change it up. "In my opinion, make lemonade!" Abraham says. "Go to your stylist and try a fun, shortcut." Opt for a pixie or bob and not only will you be on-trend, but you'll give your hair a chance to start fresh and regrow healthy and stronger than before."

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