This can be a tough decision for anyone who has used heat regularly. But we want to emphasis that not all heat is bad when used in moderation. And indirect heat is a safer alternative to direct heat from a blow dryer. For example, indirect heat from a hooded dryer can decrease your air drying time and help your styles set with little or no frizz. Read 3 Reason To Use Heat Indirect Heat
For whatever reason a natural may choose to pull back from heat is hers but many have found that constant heat can damage the hair by robbing it of its moisture by creating dry, brittle damaged or split ends. There’s also the concern for “bubble hair” but the biggest reason naturals leave heat alone is the loss of their curls/kinks/coils due to heat damage. Once that happens many find themselves with limp, stringy, brittle hair.
“the water is heated up into steam (essentially air) which gets trapped inside the hair as a bubble. Remember that water forms steam at around 100 degrees C (212 F). Most heating tools go well above this temperature.” The Natural Haven
The no-heat challenge has been done numerous times led by bloggers, vloggers, and Facebook groups as a means to give hair a break from heat especially if one has had heat damage. Heat damage is not always seen when the hair is still straight, but once a natural washes her hair and the curls/kinks/coils refuse to revert back then most likely it is heat damage. This is usually accompanied with excessive split ends and dry, brittle hair.
Now, heat damaged hair CANNOT be fixed. The hair is damaged and the only option is to cut it off. Please don’t fall for products CLAIMING they can fix heat damaged hair. You can apply a deep conditioner or even silicones to the hair to make it feel softer but heat damaged hair is irreverible. All you can do is start over. This is the main reason many find themselves doing no-heat challenges to get their hair back in shape by cutting the damaged hair off and steering clear of heat.
If you are reading this then you probably have decided to do a “no-heat challenge” or are at least thinking about it. Good for you. Even if you plan on going back to using heat regularly, taking a break from heat can only help your tresses. I know it may be hard for some especially if they have become used to using heat regularly so I have come up with some tips that may make the challenge a little easier to accomplish.
Embrace shrinkage. Best advice I can give. If you see shrinkage as the enemy you will find yourself concentrating too heavily on altering your hair instead of enjoying and loving it. Believe it or not but shrinkage is a blessing. It is a natural way for our hair to retain moisture, making our hair look fuller and to keep its own coil/kink/curl pattern. Although shrinkage can’t be eliminated there are a few ways to minimize even without heat. Read 5 Ways To Minimize Shrinkage
Learn no-heat stretching techniques. Yes, they exist and YouTube is full of tutorials as well as right here on Natural Hair Rules!!! .
A little research is all you need to find ways to stretch your hair, heatlessly.
Hide your heat appliances. You know the old saying…”out of sight, out of mind”? Well, utilize it! When I first stopped using heat I placed my curling iron, flat iron, and blow dryer in the basement and it really helped me to forget about them. If that is not far away enough for you then give them to a friend or ditch ém if you plan on doing away with heat all together. You can always donate them.
Realize you’re giving your hair a much needed break. We all need breaks and that includes our hair. By not using heat, you will probably need fewer trims and you will retain more moisture. Even if your challenge is for three months, you will notice a difference in your hair. You will notice your curl/coil/kinks are tighter and may even feel smoother. Remember to seal your ends and enjoy the results because they will be positive and your hair will thank you for it. Going heatless is a way of protective styling your hair. Read Why You Should Protective Style
Would You Take the “No-Heat Challenge?
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