Heated Taboo: 3 Steps to Avoid Heat Damage Whilst Heat Styling Your Natural Hair
Here is my stance on the matter at hand. I think heat should be used with CAUTION! with the health of your hair after the fact in mind at all times. What I mean by this is that consideration should be given at all stages of these types of services/styling techniques.
These stages can easily be divided into three steps:
Pre heat use
During Heat use
Post Heat use
1. Before even thinking of applying any heat tool to your mane, the hair should be deep conditioned with a heavy protein at least a week before. I would say 1 heavy protein 2 weeks before and a light protein 1 week before. This is to strengthen any weak bonds by filling any gaps in the strands and prepare the hair for the heat. The Aphogee line is great for protein treatments and I highly recommend the range. I will review this line in the near future
2. Heat should only be applied to freshly washed clean hair. Too much product should not be applied as you run the risk of the product burning, which is damaging to the hair as the heat is no longer consistent to the temp set on your tool. Also using too much hair product can sometimes be counter productive for the results you are trying to achieve. Product build up can mean the hair does not straighten, but instead puffs up. This is due to the moisture in the products. Moisture from the product is entering the strand and causing frizzy hair. Try to stay away from products that contain water when you have straightening in mind. During the application of heat a heat protectent should be applied to the hair to add further protection to the strands.
Appliances should NEVER be set at the highest heat. this is just asking for trouble. Try to limit the heat used in that one session i.e. if you are flat ironing the hair instead of blowdrying the hair try a roller set to straighten out and dry the hair, then flat iron. Once hair is flat ironed, try not to keep going over the hair days after, in fact never do this.
3. Now to the latter, you must treat your hair with a heavy protein treatment the first time you wash after a straightening process. The treatment should be added directly on to the hair before you shampoo. I would say also use a light protein the next wash after that. I recommend Aphogee two step protein treatment (heavy) and the Aphogee 2 min reconstructor (light).
Don’t let the fear of heat stop you from enjoying the versatility of natural hair. Be careful though and be save. Better to be over cautious and under straighten than to over do it.