Friday, 31 January 2014

How to protect natural hair when using heat

Hello there!

Last week, I talked about the Heat vs No Heat in the naturalista's world. I promised to continue this week with steps that should be taken if you do intend to use external heat on your natural hair.

Source

  1. Choose your tools wisely
    Whether you choose to use a flat iron, curling iron, blow dryer, etc, one of the first things you need to look out for is the settings. Does your tool of choice have different heat settings? If it has just one or two, be more wary because those settings could possibly be too hot for your hair. Granted, the more expensive tools are the ones with more settings, but would you rather burn your hair or pay for a good hair tool? Talking about heat settings... did you know that hair burns at a temperature of 233C or 451F? The problem with tools that have fewer settings, is that they don't tell you their exact temperature setting. "High," "Medium," and "Low" are not exact, are they? In such cases, I would just go for the low setting, to be on the safe side.

  2. Know your hair
    Is your hair thick and coarse, or thin and fine? The amount of heat your hair responds to can depend on your hair texture. Fine hair will need less heat then a head of thick hair. The hair at the top of my head is a little straighter than the other parts of my head. I noticed that it takes a longer time for the tight curls to come back after I used heat, relative to the other parts, so this tells me to use a lower heat setting and be more careful.

  3. Make sure your hair is properly cleaned, conditioned/moisturized
    Before you even think of using any external heat on your hair, make sure that you have adequately prepped your hair with a wash and moisturizing deep conditioner. Proteins in your DC will help to reinforce your hair fibers, and moisture will help to evenly distribute the heat across your hair.

  4. Stretch hair before applying heat
    After washing your hair, stretch your hair using twists, braids, bantu knots, whatever method you use, to keep your hair as straight as it possibly can. That way, you will not have to use a higher heat setting, or use heat for a longer period of time. Some would suggest to air dry your hair as long as you can, in its stretched state, before using your heating tool.

  5. Protect your hair using heat protectant
    Never ever attempt to put external heat on your hair, if you have not yet used a heat protectant. Heat protectants work by absorbing the direct heat from your tool of choice, and then conducting the heat to your hair. There are many heat protectants available, but some natural ones include Coconut Oil, which can penetrate the hair shaft and aid in moisturizing your hair. This leads me to the debate as to whether or not, natural oils are good for heat protection. A lot of information I sourced say that products with silicones are the best as heat protectants, while others say that since silicones are supposed to be bad for your hair, it's better to use natural oils with high smoke points (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, etc). A smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to smoke.

    I personally wouldn't use an oil as a heat protectant on its own, just because I'm afraid of frying my hair. I probably would use the oil in my DC beforehand. You know your hair best, and what you can live with, so do your research before making a decision on the best heat protectant for you.

  6. Keep it moving
    Don't concentrate the heat in one spot for too long. The longer the exposure to heat, the more likely it is for your hair to get damaged. So keep the blow dryer moving in an even movement across your hair.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - if your hair is smoking at any point during the heating process, you're well on your way to damaging it!

I hope you've learned something, even if it's one thing, from the points stated above. If you use heat on your hair, how do you protect your hair? Let us know in the comments...

The first person to comment about this post will win a N500 recharge card on any Nigerian network. Add your email below your comment.

Kisses from moi! *I'm already in the Valentine mood*


23 comments :

  1. I don't think I'll be using heat on my hair anytime soon. My hair is in twa stage and I'm still getting to know my hair. I get best results when my hair is damp after conditioning, its soft any I can manipulate easily. So the thought of usingheat is just too scary. Kisses to you too. Poshhosh007@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much to the African Naturalistas team, I appreciate.

      Delete
    2. That's a good way to approach your hair care. When you get more comfortable with your hair, you can decide if heat is something you want to incorporate in your routine or not.

      Delete
  2. I'm in for the RECHARGE!!!!!!
    *tongue Out*

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've always been careless when using heat on my hair.....
    Thanks for sharing!!
    ukamlawrence@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No no no. That's a very fast way towards damaging your hair. Try to be more purposeful about your hair care. At least you can't say you don't know what to do before using heat. You know now so you can put it into practice :)

      Delete
  4. Personnally,I've opted to stop applying heat on my hair. I let my hair airdry or pat it dry with a tshirt. Moisturize,seal and condition before styling.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you! I use heat sparingly, maybe every 2 or 3 months

      Delete
  5. Nahh! Still not using heat for any reason.

    http://itsebunite.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Pls what's the link for how to do a DC

    uforotom@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here it is. http://www.africanaturalistas.com/2011/10/doing-deep-conditioning-dc-on-your.html

      Delete
  7. hi there,tanks alot for ur posts.this 1 is very helpful to me.i usually straighten my hair with shea butter and at sme point my hair begins to smoke.tot it was okay.lol heavengold00@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol, no o. Please don't fry your hair

      Delete
  8. Would shea butter work as a heat protector. I don't think it's as oily as other oils. tuk2fehin@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol at oily as other oils. When shea butter melts, it is quite oily too. I don't know if people use it as heat protectant sha.

      Delete
  9. Noted! Tanx!
    bummiegherit@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. This is very very informative.

    I'm not sure extra virgin olive oil is good as a heat protectant cos we all know olive oil becomes practically useless when subjected to high heat.

    I'm one person that's scared of using heat on my hair sha.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't use heat on my hair either, but when I go to the salon for whatever reason no one will wait for my hair to air dry, so I let them use it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what that's like. Most times, if I'm at the salon and they're done washing my hair, I put my hair in flat twists myself, pay and leave. My hair can air dry.

      The few times I use heat, I make surr I takr charge and tell them what I allow and won't allow.

      Delete
  12. I haven't stretched my hair with heat since I went natural. But I did seat under a hair dryer when I was deep conditioning my hair. I hope that isnt a bad thing.
    Sha my hair felt softer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope, it's not bad at all. I think it helps raise the hair cuticles and therefore the hair shaft is easier moisturized.

      Delete

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