(original post: August 2012)

Ok, so I get this question a looooottttttt..so I wanted to update the 'Do's and Don'ts of Using Heat on Natural Hair'. Now, let me first clarify that I do not advise the use of heat as no matter how much precaution you take, you are run the risk of experiencing 'heat damage'. Heat damage is when the protein bond in the hair has been permanently damaged and the hair does not revert back to it's natural curl pattern. It can occur on the first use of heat or after many uses of heat. So these are just some precautions to take when thinking of using heat on your natural hair. And these are precautions that I wanted to put to the test myself to ensure that the method works..Trial and Error, you know how it goes...Hope this helps, everyone!


THE DON'Ts



  • DO NOT...Use heat on unclean hair. Using heat on hair that is dirty hair creates a greater likely hood of experiencing heat damage due to the buildup, oils and..well, dirt.
  • DO NOT...Use a harsh shampoo that contain 'sulfates'. Sulfates is a harsh foaming agent that causes the hair to dry out..exactly, heat is harsh enough so don't add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT..Use a conditioner or moisturizer with silicones that are non water soluble. Heat is harsh enough and silicones are dryings, so we don't want to add fuel to the fire.
  • DO NOT...Blow dry on sopping wet hair. Carefully dry hair in sections using either an old T-shirt or a microfiber towel prior to blow drying. Using a towel to dry aids in dryness, friction and frizz. Blow drying hair that is dripping wet leads to dry, damaged hair. 
  • DO NOT...Use heat that is too high on the temperature setting. When blow drying the hair, be sure to set the blow dryer on the lowest setting. Kinky, coily and curly  hair have a tendency to be on the drier side, naturally,  so blow drying on a high setting is a no no that aid in drying. 
  • DO NOT..hold the blow dryer too close to your hair. Hold the blow dryer 5-6 inches away from your hair. Holding the blow dryer too close to your hair, can also affect your scalp, which can lead to dry scalp and flaking.
  • DO NOT...Try to achieve bone straight hair. This too can lead to the possibility of heat damage, and the temperature must be at a higher setting when trying to achieve bone straight hair. Hair will burn and experience heat damage at 450 degrees of heat, so be sure to use a temperature setting much lower than that and even lower for finer textured hair.
  • DO NOT..Ever attempt to use heat without first using a heat protectant. Many naturals use pure grapeseed oil and many of my customers use their Natty Butter.
  • DO NOT...Straighten the hair on a high temperature setting. Be sure to use a flat iron or straightening tool that has a temperature setting gage. You will know when the temperature is too high due to the smell (you know that burnt hair smell) and the feel of your hair and if you see steam coming from the straightening tool..it's too hot!! Warning, it's tooooo hot!!
 

THE DO'S

  • YES..Blow dry and straighten on clean, conditioned hair that a heat protectant has been applied to.
  • YES..Allow your hair to dry 75% before blow drying. This method helps to lessen how much heat is needed from your blow dryer.
  • YES..Properly detangle hair before blow drying and straightening the hair. Your hair should be smooth and tangle free.
  • YES..before blow drying and straightening the hair, condition with a nice moisturizing conditioner. This improves the moisture and elasticity in the hair. Deep conditioning before a straightening session is key to moisture and shine. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your conditioner as a heavy conditioner aids in buildup which also creates a smoky atmosphere when straightening the hair.
  • YES..Apply a heat protectant prior to blow drying and right before you straighten with your flat iron or pressing comb, especially paying attention to your ends.
 
For my Step by Step of how I used heat on my natural hair, check it out HERE
  • , I hope these tips are helpful in maintaining your beautiful natural curls, coils and kinks. Here are some pics of my results..Hope this helped guys!!