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Hairstyling/Burnt hair now smells like chemicals


Hi Sear,

Please help! A hair dresser burnt my hair with curling tongs about 5 days ago. My hair is very fine and has never been dyed before, I have only used heat on it limited times so it's virgin hair.
He did not use heat protectant on it and left the curling wand in for approx 20 seconds each section of hair. After washing my hair after the style my hair is now visibly burnt, lifeless, split ends formed and the natural colour has turned a burnt orange where the natural blonde highlights were.
My hair has turned from a burnt smell to a strong ammonia/chemical smell and I do not know what to do.
I went back to the hairdresser today and the owner did a treatment and gave me some products. But the chemical smell is still there! Is this a reaction my hair has had to the heat? Will it go away? Please help I'm so embarrassed and cannot stand the strong toxic smell of my hair.

Hi Char,

It sounds like it. Yes, the smell will go away and I doubt anyone else will notice. I will assume that they gave you protein based products for repair. That will help. A dry shampoo will too. they are designed to neutralize odors like smoke, products, etc.

Did the treatment you received at the salon seem to make a difference? Did the mgr give you detailed instructions on how to use the products they sent home with you? If not, tell me what they sent you home with and I'll see if I can give you some tips on restoring your hair.  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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