Welcome, to a new series! One where we talk to actual hair stylists and get them to give us insider tips on how to maintain or attain healthy hair. I have teamed up with Nat. Mane of Deep, Brown & Kinks for this. She is the best hair stylist I know and I love her work and how she pays attention to detail. I hope to do a lot more with her as the year goes on but we’ll start here.today we deal with the question of heat and how it can be safely used in your hair. There is also an question covering alternatives to heat! Enjoy!
What can I do to protect my hair from heat?
To avoid heat damage, wash your hair of any product residue and follow up with a moisture treatment. Protecting the hair strands from direct heat using products that slow down the transfer of heat from the appliances (e.g hot iron) to our hair is another important step. My favourite is CHI silk infusion for hair and skin by Farouk Systems. (Insert chi silk infusion picture).
What precautions must I take to protect my hair from heat damage?
Always select a blow dryer and flat iron with multiple temperature settings. This allows you control how much heat is applied to your hair. Also, try not to use your appliances set at very high heat. It is better to spend a longer time drying your hair with lower temperatures than using too much heat for a shorter period of time. Bubble hair and moisture loss (causing dry brittle hair) are side effects of overheating. A safe way to blow dry your natural is MsAliciajames blow drying method.
What are the alternatives to heat?
One of the reasons we ladies with kinky hair use heat is to stretch out the kinks. Sewing thread or what we call “plaiting thread” in parts of Africa can be a good replacement for your blow dryers. Just take a section of hair, smooth it with your palms and fingers and then thread from the roots to the end. This can be done on dry and damp hair.
You can also opt for air drying your hair in braids or twists. While this might take a longer time, especially during rainy season, it is the safest way to dry natural hair. Please note that allowing tightly coiled natural hair get dry without threading, twisting or braiding can make it shrink and coil on itself causing knots and sometimes matting.
Hooded dryer OR blow dryer. Which is better?
In my opinion, hooded dryers are better at preventing damage than blow dryers. Although it takes a longer time to dry hair using hooded dryers, I get better results (softer and bouncier curls). Furthermore, with hooded dryers, manipulation is reduced but with blow dryers the hair has to be manipulated a lot in order for it to take the shape of the desired style.
With hooded dryers, diffused heat is used to dry the hair but with the blow dryer you have direct heat being concentrated on one section of the hair at time. If the blow dryer is not set at low, the heat coming out can cause drastic loss of moisture leading to dryness and probably raised cuticles, making your hair strands feel rough and look dull.
Picture 1: Wet hair stretched out with sewing thread and air dried Picture 2: Dry hair stretched out using thread Picture 3: Fluffed threaded hair Picture 4: Hair was damp when it was threaded (results) Picture 5: Hair threaded without spacing (as seen in pic.1) using yarn will give straighter hair strands (see pic. 6)
Nat. Mane is a professional hair stylist working from Abuja, Nigeria. She can be contacted via her blog: Deep Brown and Kinks for stylist appointments.