Heat damage, split ends, single strand knots, breakage, alopecia, protein overload and many more natural hair terms and words cause every natural hair having, curl defining chick, sleek edge slaying, wash ‘n’ go snatching, boss babe think twice before styling or treating their hair. Why is there so much fear when it comes to the #curlnation. I found myself spending more time “protecting” my hair than actually enjoying it. Tell me what’s the point of having such fierce tresses if one can’t / shouldn’t flaunt them.
After years of trying to find the balance between enjoying my self expression through my hair and keeping said hair, on my head. I have finally figured out how to protect while flaunting.
Today I will focus on the most feared natural hair killer – heat damage.
How To Blow Dry Natural Hair:
When I’m not in a crunch for time, I prefer to stretch my hair using heat-less methods such as African Threading or Curlformers. With life keeping me busy I don’t always have the time to sleep overnight for my hair to completely dry itself. That’s where the blow dryer comes in.
Yes, adding heat to your hair could potentially damage it. Heat damage can however, be avoided.
- Hot oil treatment – A hot oil treatment will help in conditioning and infusing your hair strands and scalp with vitamins, nutrients, proteins and abundant nourishment that will strengthen it.
- Shampoo / Clarify – This step will help to remove product buildup from your scalp but most importantly your hair. Product build-up will weigh-down your hair and this will cause your to be heavy and dull. Choose a shampoo that is gentle to your hair or a clarifying conditioner.
- Deep Condition – I recommend a mask/deep conditioner that has both moisture and protein properties. Heat will break down the hair strands so the added protein will help withstand or endure the heat. The moisture is always needed to keep your hair strands “alive”. Hair always needs moisture because this deters it from drying which causes breakage.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse – ACV rinses help in balancing out the pH of the hair strands. The acidity will also help close the cuticles along the hair shaft and this will enable the entrapment of moisture and the shine that the hair will exude.
- Rinse Out Conditioner – This step is mostly to add the topical nourishment. This helps to create a light layer/barrier that will protect the hair.
- Seal in Moisture – Avoid using oils if you do not have a clear understanding of them. Oils have different burning points and though they will be sealing in moisture, they may also end up frying your hair depending on the heat setting of your dryer. I use a very light layer of raw shea butter.
- Heat Protectant – This is necessary to protect your hair from the heat you are about to apply on your hair.
- Heat Temperature – Ok guys, hair starts burning once the temperature of 450F or 232C is reached! DO NOT EVER EXCEED THIS TEMP!!! I stay at 400 and below when I do my own hair.
How To Flat Iron Natural Hair:
- No products at all? NO! If you want your hair to be #gonewiththewind fabulous, then do not add products that will weigh your tresses down! Trust me, after the rigorous pre-treatment you did in preparation to blow dry, your hair is well nourished and protected.
- What kind of heat protectant? Just choose one that has the qualities you desire. Some provide added shine, moisture, strength. Choose one that caters to YOUR hair needs.
- How hot should it be? Again, hair starts burning once the temperature of 450F or 232C is reached! DO NOT EVER EXCEED THIS TEMP!!! I stay at 400 and below when I do my own hair.
- How many passes? One is ideal, but let’s be real. Many of us have type 4 hair that requires a bit more attention. I do two passes at my root area as it is the thickest part of my strand. Then I do a single pass on the rest of the hair shaft. After straightening the whole head, i then do an extra pass as i curl the hair and style it as desired. So in total, that’s 3.