Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Heat Styling: How much is too much?

Small heating appliances has always been key, in how most of us learned to style our hair. As  a teenager I’ve lost several locks, and even the entire temple area of my hair due to heat styling!  But like many, it wasn’t traumatic enough to keep me away.  I’d always find myself giving into the temptation to get that perfect curl or straight section of hair which always lead to a cycle of dry damaged hair. 

There are many naturals that love the versatility of going from textured to straight hair, but soon realize that their love for this versatility can come back to bite them in the rear if done too often

 Heat Damage or Heat trained hair is what the end result of this practice is often referred to.  
 Many are finding that once they wash their textured hair back in, or revisit their favorite all natural hair style, that it isn’t as textured or curly anylonger.

Natural hair that has been damaged or has its disulphide bonds broken down by heat is more noticeable, than hair that has already been broken down with chemical relaxers.  I’ve had people say to me, that they don’t use heat "often" to style their hair, but how often is too often? I am a witness that you can experience heat damage in just one heat session. So, make your decision of how often,  based on your long term  goals for your hair.  

 Ask yourself this question:  How serious am I about the health of my hair?  If you are natural, decide how much you really like your hair in its natural state. (For those with relaxed hair, heat damage manifests itself through dry lifeless hair, split ends, and breakage).  Naturals may lose their texture, resiliency, and curl pattern)  If you are a natural that love your hair straight and textured, and you’re serious about the health of your hair,  then decide which one you love the most, and adjust your regimen  accordingly. 

Remember, it's important to know that if you choose to heat style often, you may be gambling with the the texture, strength, and resiliency of your hair.  And just because you do something ALL the time doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to remain full proof. 

However, if you choose to heat style, and still desire healthy happy hair, here are a  few tips you can use to  help reinforce the strength of your hair’s natural bonds.  

*Be sure your hair is currently strong and healthy
-         Don’t use heat to style your hair if it is currently damaged, or weak. Heat will make it worse.     
*Increase how often you deep condition your hair, and DC the night before heat styling(alternate between moisture and protein conditionings to keep the hair balanced.)  

*Don’t blow the hair out prior to flat ironing, let it air dry in a stretched state.

* Use a good heat protectant

*Use irons that have precise heat settings, (fyi..temps above 300 puts the hair at higher risk.)  
These methods are not full proof, but may help lower the risk of damage.   As far as how often, is too often? That is completely up to you, and you will make this decision based on the quality of hair you want to have in the long run. 

Until Next time!!!!

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