Retaining Length: Heat Styling
Retaining Length: Heat Styling
In the natural hair community so much concern is given in regards to using heat. "No heat challenges" are great but not always practical for every natural. For example, I have been natural for over 8 years. There are seasons where I wear mostly natural styles (twist-outs or wash and go’s), and there are seasons where I wear sleek styles (silk presses). Currently, I am on a mission to grow my hair back from a bob cut I received about 2 years ago.
Due to my texture, wearing my hair straight is the best way for me to reach my hair length goal. Reasons why? My texture is described as having fine/medium strands and low to medium density. Because of this, too much manipulation and tangles cause my hair to pop. When I wear natural styles both of these are increased, and as a result, I do not retain as much length due to the excessive trims that are needed. In the past, when I would wear natural styles, my hair was already at a longer length, as I had already attained my length goal of middle back by first mostly wearing sleek/silk press styles.
Dear friends, Heat is not your enemy! Healthy hair and length retention is achievable (as pictured in my last hair growth journey), but heat styling must be done properly to not create weakness and damage, and you must have balance.
The ability to maintain your texture without heat damage is possible with these steps:
1. Quality Products-
Product choice is essential. It is good to clarify periodically and cleanse with a conditioning shampoo regularly, but when using heat, it is very important to also strengthen the strand with protein based shampoos and conditioners. At Replenish Salon, we use amino acid based protein treatments because the molecules of amino acids make up protein and are smaller than the keratin already present in the hair. Due to their small size, they are deposited without the usage of harsh chemicals and get deeper into the cuticle layer to fill in the gaps and provide the strand with more strength, elasticity, and durability to abstain against elements in our environment resulting less broken ends. I usually apply a protein treatment (Boost treatment on our menu) every 4-6 weeks.
2. Steam Treatments-
Steaming the hair regularly on wash days is a must! It preps the hair for the heat and is the ultimate source of “heat protection.” At Replenish Salon, we go a step further and use Micro Mist Steamers which deposits 4-6 oz of moisture deeper inside the hair strands, giving your hair ultimate hydration!
Micro Mist Steam treatments are included with every service at Replenish Salon.
Benefits of Steaming Hair:
-Delivers restorative vitamins and minerals to nutrient-deprived zones in the hair
-Fortifies and strengthens weak and damaged hair
-Brings hair back to life
-Helps to improve the strength, elasticity, and manageability of your hair
-Reduces breakage/split ends and makes tangles a thing of the past
-Ensures transformation of weak, dry, damaged, and color-treated hair into soft, shiny, and lustrous locks
-Improves the health, feel, and appearance of chemically treated and environmentally stressed hair
-Adds incredible softness, elasticity, and shine
-Allows hair to absorb nutrition quickly and completely
-Leaves hair silky smooth, radiant, and renewed
Use professional tools and/or rollers to achieve straight styling. At Replenish, we have conducted extensive research to provide the best styling tools for our stylists. We use quality ionic/ceramic tools which maintain the integrity of the hair without causing heat damage. Another alternative is to set hair on large rollers or alternate between rod sets or wand curls- if maintaining texture is a concern. I wear mostly straight styles, but occasionally, I will wear a non heat style just for change. The key is balance!
4. At home care-
Once my hair is straight or silk pressed, I usually do not have to re-curl until my next shampoo. Once styled, it is important to maintain your style without the addition of extra heat. To maintain your hair, you can either wrap it, pin curl it, or pineapple it at night and place 1 or 2 Rods in a loose ponytail to maintain curls. Please make sure to cover at night with a satin bonnet or scarf!
Follow these tips and happy growing!