I know blow drying your hair or using heat at all is breaking the natural hair rules. But I blow dry my waist length hair without heat damage.
For the last five years, my natural hair journey has reached its planned destinations sooner than I expected. For instance, I reached waist length hair in 3 years and tailbone length within 5 years. With my continued research, studying, and listening to my hair, I use effective hair care methods that my hair likes and I apply these methods consistently.
Many marvel at my hair growth accomplishments and I am surprised at what I achieved. Truth be told, many could reap the same rapid healthy hair growth success if they just focus on their hair’s health.
Have you hear that you’re not supposed to use heat on your hair? What if I told you that was a myth. Just like these 7 Other Myths about Using Heat.
As a healthy hair growth advisor for natural hair, most are amazed that I use heat on my hair because in the natural hair community there are some that believe that using heat on hair is a bad idea. I beg to differ and believe that if you use heat wisely and effectively can grow very healthy and very long hair.
Heat could be a problem for someone whose hair is dry, weak, damaged, and/or brittle. I don’t recommend any heat to be used on hair that fits any of those descriptions. If you are unsure whether or not your hair is healthy, here are 5 Ways to Know Your Hair is Healthy
In order to have success with using heat, the hair must first be in good standing–resiliently strong and full of elasticity. Hair that’s properly moisturized can withstand heat to a certain extent. Applying heat every week may not be healthy, in my opinion.
Use Heat Sparingly
Being consistent with my healthy hair care regimen (visit my hair page for details) makes my hair more tolerable to heat. I co-wash (meaning I wash my hair with a cleansing conditioner or wash with conditioner) and deep condition my hair once a month and faithfully moisturize my hair lightly throughout the week with a cream or two. When I use heat monthly on wash day, any worries regarding adverse issues with heat are at bay because of how I build moisture and seal it into my strands.
Condition, Condition and Condition
Co-washing, deep conditioning, and using a leave-in conditioner are a must for heat users as they keep dryness away. Throughout my journey, I’ve washed with Pantene Co-Wash, Cantu Co-Wash, and Aussie Moist Conditioner. These co-washes moisturize, detangle, soften, and make my type 4a, normal to high porosity hair shiny.
I love ORS Hair Mayonnaise as a deep conditioner/protein treatment because it does exactly what it promises. It moisturizes and strengthens damaged and hair from within the hair shaft and helps mend split ends while providing incredible body and shine. It contains egg protein and olive oil for additional moisturizing ability and is infused with essential oils and organic amino acids for added strength and shine. Parnevu and Curls Blueberry Bliss are leave-in conditioners that bring my hair back to its natural balance leaving it vibrant and strong.
Use Heat Protectant
Before I blow dry my hair, I always apply a heat protectant. I like One n Only Argan Oil. It aids in protecting hair against excessive heat from styling tools. Basically, it prevents moisture from being stripped from the strands by the heat. Even though I use a heat protectant, I still blow dry hair using low heat and cool air setting. I use the cool air near the ends because it’s the oldest part of the hair which makes it more susceptible to damage.
Here’s another great heat protectant: CHI Keratin Silk Infusion
Use the Right Hair Dryer
For the last couple of years, I’ve used my simple yet dependable Conair Cord-Keeper 1875W Purple Dryer that I purchased for less than $20 dollars. But Tamara of Natural Hair Rules uses the Chi Deep Brillance Hair Dryer. There’s not anything super fancy about it. The features are a retractable line cord with push-button control, ionic conditioning, 2 heat/speed settings with cool air button, and folding handle. It gets the job done right. I like it because it didn’t come with the attachments and I am able to control the distance of heat to hair while blow drying —which is a plus against heat damage.
Work in Sections and Detangle With a Brush
I blow dry my hair in small sections (12 sections) because it is manageable and I use the tension method along with a Denman-like brush for a better-detangled stretch. I extend my hand a section of hair and blow dry. Slowly brushing through that stretched hair helps remove any small tangles that might have been missed during the detangling process.
According to research, it is important to blow dry about six inches away from your hair. Avoid blowing dry in an upwards motion, since this leads to more damage. Blow dry in a downwards motion. Lastly, never keep dryer blowing in one spot. Your dryer should move about evenly.
I like blow drying my hair with the tension method (see video below) because the stretch will last longer and my hair won’t revert back to extreme tight coils. With my hair stretched like this, I am able to trim and style hair efficiently. Although I apply heat, I still make sure I moisturize my hair with a water-based cream during each week. Dabbing a little bit of cream does not cause quick reverting. It will give your hair an ample amount of moisture needed to remain resilient and thrive as it slowly reverts throughout the month to its curl pattern.
Flat ironing is used even more sparingly than blow drying. I flat iron my hair up to 4 times a year. The longer my hair gets the more limitations I apply to keep my hair in good standing. Healthy hair is top priority.
To conclude, sporting hair in protective styles like updos, buns, and high ponytails assist in length retention –which supports growth.
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