I recently got a blowout or silk press, whatever you like to call it. I straighten my hair by first, blow drying then flat ironed it. It was gorgeous!!! You can see it here along with Tips to Keep Your Natural Hair Straight Longer. I enjoy the versatility of natural hair and you should, too.
But I was a little disappointed in the myths and misconception still existing today about heat straightening natural hair.
I wanted to take the time to address 7 Myths About Heat and Heat Damage. Check them out and below in the comments sections let me; Do you use heat? Why or Why not.
See Also: 5 Tips for Preventing Heat Damage
1. Heat Equals Damage
This can be the case, but usually isn’t the case. Your hair can withstand a temperature of 450F before burning or becoming damaged. Simply using heat does not automatically mean that your hair is or will become damaged. In most cases, healthy hair will only experience heat damage with excessive use of heat or using heat appliances at temperatures of 450F or more.
2. Heat Damage Can Be Repaired
When your hair is damaged by heat, it’s permanently damaged. High or excessive heat can permanently break the S-S or disulfide bonds within hair strands that give hair its strength along with protein cross-links. Heat damage can be prevented or treated but not repaired. If you’ve experienced heat damage, you may want to read this: 3 Tips for Preventing Heat Damage & these tips on 5 Ways To Treat Heat Damage.
3. Heat Straightened Hair is Not Natural
4. Once Heat Damaged Always Heat Damaged
Once you’ve experienced heat damage does not mean, you will always experience heat damage every time you use heat. If you’ve experienced heat damage in your lifetime, you don’t have to avoid all heat to completely prevent it from happening again. Heat damage like any other type of hair damage is possible but also preventable. (See 5 Ways To Avoid Heat Damage)
Hair that is weak, fine, and porous is more likely to be affected negatively by heat or anything for that matter. Know your hair and its limitations. If you’re afraid, start with low temperatures on a high-quality heat appliance made for highly textured hair like the Chi Deep Brilliance Blow Dryer or stay away from using both a blow dryer & flat iron in the same styling session.
5. Only Heat Can Damage Your Natural Hair
Anything in excess can be harmful to your natural hair. Heat is definitely not the exception to the rule. But there are some benefits to occasionally heat straightening your hair.
It can help you prevent single strand knots, decrease breakage during styling, minimize shrinkage and the list goes on. Here are the top 3 Reasons I Started Blow Drying My Natural Hair, Occasionally
6. All Heat Appliances (Blow Dryers & Flat Irons) Are Created Equally
This is definitely not true. Cheap blow dryers will overheat increasing your chances of heat damage; the same goes for flat irons. Look for heat appliances that are specially made for textured hair with ion technology that won’t over dry the hair. “An ionic dryer helps to break down water molecules which allow hair to dry faster, but also allows moisture to penetrate deeper so that you dry your hair but still maintain the moisture on the inside,” says lead stylist Joe Calfee. “Ions also help to neutralize positive charged ions in your hair, therefore restoring shine and helping hair to feel very conditioned.”
Wattage is also important in blow dryers. Your blow dryer should be at least 1800 to dry your hair in the least amount of time, meaning less heat on your hair. This is the best blow dryer for natural hair.
When it comes to flat irons, always look for ceramic or titanium irons (they heat evenly and cool quickly) with heat controls; not just a low or high setting. You need to be able to control the iron’s temperature. This way you can start at a low setting and increase as needed or decrease the temperature with ease. The Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Straightening Iron is highly recommended for these reasons.
7. Your Hair Will Grow Longer & Healthier Without Heat
This is not to say that heat is required to grow healthy hair. It’s just to say that it’s a myth that its absences will make your hair healthier or its presences will do the opposite. It’s all about moderation. Minimal heat straightening can be beneficial to your hair as mentioned before. But if you overdo it, it can lead to devastating effects on your hair.
Even without using heat I didn’t see hair growth. I didn’t use heat for a whole year and didn’t see any hair growth. I found out later it was because I wasn’t trimming my split ends. (Went a whole year without a trim.) Read more about that and 10 Tips For Growing Longer Hair Within a Year. It’s not necessarily about using heat or not using heat, it’s how you care for your hair.