One aspect of natural hair that many women love is the versatility. You can create totally different looks without adding anything to the hair. A silk press is the go to for a lot of naturals. Unfortunately it can also cause changes to the curl pattern that are unwanted.
Hair is made up of a protein called keratin. With prolonged or too much heat your hair will retain the shape of the melted keratin at a molecular level. Your hair shows you this molecular damage by not going back to the natural curl or wave. It simply stays straighter.
Heat damage occurs when the protein bonds in the hair have been permanently altered to the point that the hair does not return to its natural curl pattern and your hair struggles to retain moisture as it once did.
One way to fight heat damage is to not straighten your hair that often. It does not take much for some people’s hair to change. Your hair may not even appear damaged at first, but after a while you may see a change. It is important to be careful. Healthy hair is key!