It’s cold weather, and you know what that means… BLOW OUT SEASON! The one special time of year, all us naturals take down our puffs, twists, and pony’s and trade it in for silky, shiny tresses. Can you see it? I know I can!
Most of us save this special time to break out the heat tools and see just how much length we have retained from one year to the next. But, before you do that, lets connect about the effects of heat on our hair, the best conditions to use heat, and the best products to help you retain your curl pattern.
How Does Heat Damage Our Hair
Moisture levels are depleted by heat. Textured hair is particularly sensitive to temperature changes. Adding heat to the hair disturbs its moisture balance and stresses its naturally dry, porous ends. The heat from heat appliances rapidly evaporates much of this internal moisture from the hair's cortex. Therefore, black hair should be treated with a moisturizing deep conditioner, like Sunny In Denbigh's Overnight Deep Conditioner, before being heated. Hair fibers are strengthened with moisture-retaining deep conditioners by creating crosslinks deep within the hair shaft. Moisture received from regular conditioning has a number of benefits.
It helps absorb and evenly distribute heat throughout the hair fiber while maintaining strong hydrogen bonds between the keratin proteins.
Heat Affects Hair Protein Structure
It is also necessary to deep condition hair subjected to regular heat styling with sufficient protein and moisture on a regular basis. Our hair's natural protein bonds must be disrupted and reform by heat in order to reshape. Hair cannot retain its own moisture without a strong protein backbone. Natural textured hair may lose its curl pattern permanently if heated excessively. Heat damaged hair or hair that has been heat trained to loosen its curl pattern will not be able to reestablish its protein and moisture links. As a result, you will have straight or loosely textured pieces that don't revert to their original shape or curl.
It is important to start protecting your hair from heat as soon as possible. The best way to protect your hair is t properly condition and treat it with a balance of moisture and protein conditioners. Prior to applying any heat source, black hair should always be cleaned and deep conditioned. If the fiber is subjected to multiple heat sessions, the chance of damage increases dramatically. If you wish to protect your hair from the damaging effects of heat styling, avoid blow-drying and flat ironing back-to-back. Try allowing your hair to air dry fully or partially prior to heat styling if you plan to flat iron or hot curl your hair.\
How To Use Heat in a Healthy Hair Care Regimen
We don't have to fear heat. When used sparingly, it can actually benefit the hair. Just remember:
- Heat can be helpful for natural hair that tends to tangle and knot excessively
- Roller setting or "blowing and stretching" the hair can provide relief from knotting.
- In order to maintain healthy hair, it is imperative that you choose quality heat styling tools.
- Blow dryers, hooded dryers, flat irons, crimpers, etc., should all have variable temperature controls. You should always use your heat tools on the lowest setting that will still give you the results you want.
How Much Heat Is Too Much?
Heat usage should be determined by the hair's condition and heat tolerance. In any hair care regimen aimed at promoting hair growth, heat should be limited regardless of the hair's condition. Generally, heat should only be applied once a week on a cool setting. The high level of splitting and breakage that occurs at the ends of heat-styled hair may require frequent trimming to maintain a healthy look. It is important to remember that growing out textured hair with a moderate heat regimen may result in a delay in reaching your length goals.
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