3 Reasons to Use Heat on Your Hair

how to use heat on natural hairWe all know that avoiding direct heat from blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons keeps our hair healthy and reduces breakage. We won’t even mention the risk of heat damage. However, in some instances using (indirect) heat can actually work to your advantage.

Read: 5 Ways To Avoid Heat Damage

When air drying your hair doesn’t seem to work out for you

If you’ve air dried your hair in twists or braids only to wake up to matted dry hair you may want to try using indirect heat from a dryer instead. It will help evaporate excess water and aid in stretching out your hair without drying your hair and scalp out. You don’t  have sit under the hooded dryer or bonnet dryer until your hair has completely dry, you just want to stay under long enough so that your hair is at least semi-dry or set. This may take anywhere from 10-15 minutes or 30-45 minutes depending on your hair.

I’ve had instances where my hair is still somewhat wet in the morning even though my hair was left to dry overnight and then my hair is in a shrunken matted state. Using a hooded dryer to help the moisture seep in has definitely resolved this issue.

To deep condition your hair

Deep conditioners are more effective at penetrating your hair when you use it along with heat. It’s best to sit under a hooded dryer for 15- 20 minutes, however if you don’t have a hooded dryer you can always use a warm towel. While you’re going through the process of washing your hair you can prepare your towel by popping it into your dryer, so when you start your conditioning process it will be ready for you to use.

Steaming your hair

Steam really helps to get moisture nice and locked into our hair. You can do this with a hair steamer or you can just use a nice hot shower to let the steam refresh your hair free of charge.  Steam gently lifts the hair cuticle so water and your products can enter the hair.  This is really ideal for low porosity hair.

You can get in the shower without a shower cap on and let the steam infuse your hair, this really helps to soften and start your moisturizing process off nicely. Or you can do what is commonly referred to as GHE (Green House Effect).  Using the Green House Effect method is super easy. At night time use your favorite oils and butters on your hair (make sure you cover ends well). Cover your hair overnight. In the morning, jump into the shower with the plastic cap to trap more heat from the steam. You will be left with more manageable and moisturized hair.

Frequent use of direct heat is definitely not a good idea. However, using indirect heat sources can be beneficial and help boost your hair’s moisture retention without over drying and minimum risk of heat damage.



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About Ariane Williams

I am a wife, mom and full time blogger at BlackNaps.org where I provide natural hair care + style inspiration for kinky textured naturals. I have been natural since 2006.


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  2. Number one is what did it for me. My hair no longer air dries completely unless I’m outside in warm weather. Now that’s it’s cooler I will have to start using some type of heat. I will probably purchase a hooded dryer as the indirect heat is less damaging than the blow dryer.

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