The 4 Fundamentals of Maintaining Healthy Hair While Heat Styling
By Qhemet Biologics
Natural afro/coily hair is fragile and prone to dryness so many naturalistas have concerns about the potential for damage when heat straightening their hair. Excessive heat can open the hair shaft, causing split ends and weak points along the hair strand that become dry and brittle and more vulnerable to breakage. The best way to protect your hair is to avoid heat styling altogether, however, we all like to switch it up sometimes so if you want to rock a different look that requires temporary heat straightening with a flat iron or curling iron but want to avoid damaging your precious kinks and coils, there's hope. Let's dive into some tips on how to protect your hair and keep it soft and healthy while heat styling.
1. Use Quality Styling Tools
When buying styling tools, it's important to consider the materials used in their construction. Ceramic and titanium are some of the better materials for flat irons because they distribute heat evenly, so the likelihood that you'll burn your hair when using them decreases significantly. If you like straightening your hair, choosing a flat iron with nanotechnology can help you achieve a frizz-free, glossy finish while using less heat, so your hair shaft undergoes less stress.
Higher quality heat tools also give you more temperature options so that you can dial down the amount of heat you apply to the more fragile sections of your hair. That means you have more control and are much less likely to overdo it.
2. Don't Over-Wash
Once a day is too much for almost any hair type, but naturalistas with 4C hair should be especially careful about washing their hair too often. Dry, coily hair types need more time to soak in natural oils from the scalp, so it's best to limit your exposure to harsh, SLS containing shampoos and use a gentler shampoo like our Egyptian Wheatgrass Cleansing Tea, that won't disrupt your scalp's natural acid mantle. On average, you only need to wash your hair a couple of times per month. You should, however, use a nutrient rich leave-in conditioner like our Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee between shampooing to help retain the moisture in your hair. This way, your hair will already be strong and healthy going into the heat styling process and better able to withstand it with less breakage.
3. Detangle and Prep Your Hair First
If you plan on using a flat iron, be sure to completely detangle your curls before you straighten them. Tangles can create uneven spots which means the flat iron won't pass over each strand evenly. The Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee is ideal for high porosity hair. It smooths cuticles and restores manageability for easier combing while promoting softness and elasticity. To detangle low porosity hair, try our Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee. This product acts as a detangler to improve manageability and as a prep for hair straightening as its conditioning agents help prevent reversion, keeping hair stretched and elogated.
4. Use a Quality Hair Moisturizer and Finishing Serum
Maintaining hair that's moisturized and supple even when you're using heat tools for styling is difficult, but you can help your locks ward off the frizz and damage by using the right hair moisturizer and finishing oil after shampooing, conditioning and detangling. To keep your natural hair elongated and prevent shrinkage, use products that do not contain glycerin.
For 4C, 4B, 4A and 3C hair, try our popular glycerin-free Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter. The plant wax in this product will help prevent frizz and keep your hairstyle looking fresh for days on end. This semi-firm butter also features mango butter, olive oil, and rice bran oil to add ceramides and further promote softness and strength. Applying the Aethiopika Hydrate & Twist Butter before heat styling will not only enhance the straightening process but also yield satiny smooth results.
To add a frizz-free, glossy finish to your freshly straightened mane, add a moderate amount of our Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum throughout your hair. This highly emollient serum contains coconut oil for slip and luster, green tea oil to add a protective layer of collagen and elastin, and castor oil to soften and seal moisture into the hair. The Coconut & Green Tea Softening Serum is neither too light nor too heavy, ensuring bounce and movement while guarding against moisture loss, brittle ends and frizz.
Heat straightening can be a risky undertaking if the right tools, techniques and products aren't used. However, following the tips covered in this article will go a long way in keeping your delicate kinks and coils healthy and resilient enough to weather the occasional heat straightened style without suffering the damage.