3 Tips for Surviving a No-Heat Challenge

3 Tips for Surviving a No-Heat Challenge 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.

Read More: Why You Don’t Have To Be Afraid of Heat | 5 Ways To Avoid Heat Damage

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!!! .

Stretch Natural Hair without Heat Using the Ole School Wrap

African Thread to Stretch Natural Hair

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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About Sabrina Perkins

Sabrina Perkins is a freelance writer, full-time blogger  at www.serioulsynatural.org and the owner of Seriously Natural Boutique where she creates beautiful clothing for Women of Color. Her blog’s focus is on Natural hair, beauty and style.  She is married, a mother of two teenagers and has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration.

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Comments

  1. I’ve enjoyed being heatless for nearly 15 months now and I have to say that the first year was pretty easy, but now, it’s getting pretty hard. I think the reason it is becoming difficult is because I recently conditioned my hair with a cheap conditioner and my hair suffered for it, it seemed to have had way more breakage than usual & it felt hard and rough, not soft like it normally feels, so of course it was trial & error when I used that conditioner and I learned a great lesson from that experience, which is to stick with what I know and trust. The hair styles I’ve worn to avoid heat are two strand twist, large twist, two braids, and going to different hair schools and allowing them to do a two strand twist updo and letting it air dry. I enjoy not using heat and my goal is to go 24 total months of no heat, but I’m happy to know that I have to stick with the products that work best for me so I don’t hastily resort to using heat because a product I used made my hair feel a way that I didn’t like.

  2. thanks for this post! I, along with other bloggers & naturalistas are doing a No Heat December challenge and so far it’s going well!! hope you’ll all join us!

    http://www.rcsoatl.com/2013/12/noheatdecember-natural-hair.html

  3. I haven’t used heat since last March when I did my “big chop” (below bra strap length relaxed hair to shoulder length mostly natural hair) to be honest, it’s mostly out of laziness since I have A LOT of hair. Doing away with heat altogether has really helped though; when I cut my hair, the back was halfway down my neck and now it’s past my shoulders :) the part about shrinkage is real! But I’ve found that if I don’t wet my hair for a while it stretches on it’s own & I usually wear buns anyway ( tired college student LOL) but being heartless will really help your hair & you grow to appreciate your natural texture especially when it’s healthy! I encourage all my naturalistas to try it and see how you fall in love with your hair ^_^

    • I get that some naturals really like heat and especially to stretch their hair but there are a lot of ways to stretch it without heat. Even just one bad application of heat can cause damage so I steer clear and just trying a no-heat challenge may give a natural a much needed break. Thanks for sharing tired college student. *sigh*…I remember those day. Hang in there.

  4. I decided to do away with heat for my hair about two years ago, and haven’t been back except for that one time I decided to do a blow-out. Oh and that was so not a good idea, I ended up with dry, brittle, hard hair…not good! I guess I did something wrong, crap I dunno. Needless to say, I now use the banding method to stretch my hair. My hair is definitely alot healthier than it was when I was a slave to heat, and my hair needs trimming less as well. Great point about embracing your shrinkage ‘cuz if you don’t, you’ll most definitely become a slave to hair practices that are not necessarily good for your hair now or maybe in the future. Awesome article, Sabrina…I always look forward to your posts! Always on point!

    • Thank you love! I appreciate you sharing and your kind words. I do understand that there are many naturals who LOVE heat and straight styles but doing away with my curls for even one day makes me miss them something awful. Also, hubby is not a fan of straight hair on me. The few times I’ve had it straightened he immediately asked when I was going back curly! I’ve learned to embrace shrinkage and love how it gives me fullness and with winter here I don’t need my hair rubbing on my clothing and ruining my ends. I hope these tips help anyone who is thinking of doing a challenge.

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