Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Using heat to help manage my natural hair

blowout,flat-ironed, dry rod set

Can yall believe it? I flat ironed my hair twice in the same year! Not only that it's August? and I live in Texas!   So I have to explain why I did this. I've decided because of the length of time it takes me to detangle, re-detangle, and detangle again I will start blowing my hair out about once a month and use the flat iron once a month to help with tangles and single strand knots.  Of course I've been dealing this entire time and there are techniques that get me through my hair safely. Its just time consuming.  

The longer my hair gets I don't really have hours and hours to spend on it. So to keep it healthy and to resist the urge to rush through which will result in breakage I am going to give this a try.  I have an ultimate length goal of MBL to WLish! And I believe if  I'm going to get there with this texture,  I need these tangles and knots minimized! 
Shot of hair prior to a detangling session(prepoo applied)

  I have noticed with my natural clients that use heat maybe 3 to 4 times a year, that their hair is a lot quicker and easier to detangle. No tangles No knots, yet their hair is still textured.  It is my goal to keep texture in my hair in order to still wear my favorite style, two strand twists!!!  So I know there is a careful art to using heat to loosen some of the kinks. I've thought about this for about a year now, but have been a chicken about it because I am so anti heat damage and have been my entire journey!  I've always been afraid of my hair not curling or kinking back up in certain places due to flat ironing.  But I have learned a few things so I am not as afraid of heat as I use to be. With this session I prepped my hair with a protein deep conditioner & my hydratherma naturals moisturizing conditioner mixed them! (steam conditioned). Added a leave in, hydratherma moisturizer, and hydratherma naturals growth oil, mixed with safflower oil as a heat protectant. Then started blowing out my hair on a low heat setting. Purchased a great ceramic iron, set the temp to 375, used safflower oil again. I did 2 passes with the iron 3 in some areas where the ends were really knotty.  The next time I do this I will probably lower the temp even more, because my goal is just to lightly use heat to smooth and make my hair easier to style without the tangles. I don't want my hair bone straight.     
Started removing my curls from the rod set in pic 1

  So right now my hair is still straight even though I have been dying to add a ton of moisturizer to it. I couldn't resist adding moisture to my ends and as a result they have started to frizz and curl. So I just plaited my hair all the way to the ends so I wouldn't get knots.  So that is it! I wanted to check in to let you ladies know where my journey is trying to take me!  My four year nappiversary is coming up Sept 27th!  My hair is the healthiest and longest its ever been.   I am really excited with how this journey is going.  As you can see there is still more to learn the longer you are natural. I've never stopped learning. Often times you will have to adjust with the changes in your hair as it grows. Don't be afraid to make healthy adjustments to your regimen that will help you go the rest of the way to meet your goals.   Yes, you are going to hear a lot of  do's and don'ts and won'ts and nevers, even from me! But in the end you will have to listen to your own hair and do what is working for you, and stop doing what isn't working! It's as simple as that.  You have to deal with your hair, you have to wear it out, and you have to be happy with it. So make it work for you! 

Welllll Until Next time ladies!!! I will be keeping you posted!  


TheNEW007 said...

Hey Chan! I smile when I read this post. I've felt that way before (I'm keeping my hair stretched. Heat is much easier to handle this kinky hair). But then I have to wet it, and the kinks come back in stronger (which is a good thing LOL). I've figured out how to keep it stretched by using the braidout (but not that braidout that gives you tight waves). The kind that stretches all the kinks and leaves you with soft waves. Now that hair is much easier to handle. I feel you on this post, because when kinky hair is wet and tangly, you just want to cry (as I've done sometimes when detangling the little one's hair) Great post as usual chica!

TheNEW007 said...

By the way, all that rambling I did. I forgot to mention that your hair is so healthy and thick! Gaining length rapidly, that's great! Yeah, it comes with some frustrations. Gotta figure out the easiest way. My daughter has over 19'' of length, and is constantly finding new and advanced ways to ball all that up into a tangled rats nest of a mess LOL

Chan said...

Hey Tia!! Girl you had me laughing at that comment with your daughters hair that is too hilarious! Little girls can test your patience with their hair. You put so much work into it and they just go and mess it all up in no time it seems! lol.

Yes regarding this Heat thing, its not an easy decision to start using it more frequently because I definitely don't want to mess up my hair. so I am always happy when it shrinks back up! But in doing this flat ironing,I will be treading lightly. I decided just last night to listen to my hair and only do it as I feel the need. Every month may be too much as you can't properly moisturize your hair when its straight? Well I can't! lol. Tia I would like to more about the kind of plaits you are doing? I have always used about 6 big plaits to stretch my hair to about 90% dry and I always end up with textured crinkles that are not easy to finger part through at the roots. Its like my texture resets while drying so I have to re dampen it. So I know I need a smoother stretching technique. Plaits are the only thing I can come up with. tried threading I can't seem to get that down? Of course blow outs but there's that heat again. : ) I don't want to be 100% reliant on heat to smooth.

Age in ATL said...

Your hair is gorgeous! Absolutely love it. I am a strong believer in doing what works for YOUR hair unless the naysayers are okay with coming into your house every wash day and doing it for you!

Alexandria King said...

How long is it now that you you became natural?

nappy headed black girl said...

I know naturals who use heat successfully. I agree that different things work for different people. We often have to modify our routine as our hair grows and changes anyway.

I hope this new addition works out for you.

Cheleski said...

this will be interesting to research vicariously through you! I wish you the best and plenty of healthy hair growth! NO SPLITS ALLOWED!

Chan said...

@ Age in ATL.

Thank you so much for commenting and for your that beautiful compliment! You know that pressure can be strong in the beginning coming from the naysayers, but after you've been in this a while you finally get it! It's like you said. None of them will be volunteering to do your hair for you? Only you know what you have to deal with. I've done a lot of Natural heads, and believe me no two of them are alike!

Chan said...

@ Nappy Headed Black Girl

Yes I know a few personally as well and they have figured out how to make it work. I'm not going to say that some of them don't have some strands that obviously "look" like a loose lazy curl But it works for them! lol. They could care less because they are accomplishing what they want with their hair. I will do updates we'll see how it goes, I may not be doing it as often as once a month because it is kind of drying to my ends and I can't have that. I will be implementing some other things that tend to help loosen my tangles.. Like Yogurt!

Chan said...

@ Alexandra, are you asking how long have I been natural? If so, it will be 4 years on 9.27th. If you are asking how long my hair is. it's APL to slightly past BSL in back. I hope this answered your questions?

Chan said...

@ Cheleski Oh my gosh you can say that again. No splits allowed! Because I do notice them and its usually after I've used a flat iron!
I was mentioning to one of the other ladies that I probably won't be doing this every month that may be too frequent. I find that it is kind of drying,and my ends can't handle dry.

Anonymous said...

your hair is so gorgeous and very stylish.how you got such an wavy hair simply mind blowing.
keep blogging.

healthy hair