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How to use heat on natural hair

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

I am one person who was so against heat earlier in my natural hair journey and for a good reason as well. Heat damage is real and that setback was not something I wanted to risk on. My hair got burnt as well, once and I could not wear wash n go’s for a while because my burnt strands would just be straight and not curl up at all. So, to resolve that, I made sure to stay away from heat as much as possible and if I used heat at all, the amount of precaution that I took was hectic when I look back now. Well, they say it’s better to over protect than to be sorry. So I used to use the lowest heat possible, load on heat protectant and yes, it worked. But now, I know that it takes a lot of negligence to actually get my hair heat damaged and doing things right, I can actually get away with a higher heat setting, straighten my hair much faster and not get my hair damaged at all. I have done so, several times now with no heat damage and I can still wear wash n go’s from time to time. So, in this post, I am sharing with you  what I do when using heat to style my hair to make sure I don’t damage my hair in the process.

Blow dried hair

Don’t get me wrong. Using heat carelessly will damage your hair, mine too. So caution is still important. So below is what I do to make sure my hair can withstand the heat.

  •  Make sure the hair is in good health to start with. Damaged hair will just get worse and cause unnecessary breakage.
  • Give the hair a good wash before using heat. Freshly washed hair is at its strongest and the product buildup can cause hair to burn more if heat styling is done on dirty hair.
  • Deep condition the hair to make sure it’s at its strongest. To do that, I do a protein treatment for strength and I go under a steamer for this.
  • A high quality heat protectant is also vital. Gone are the days when we used blowers and flat irons without using something to protect the hair from burning. A heat protectant that has the actual degrees you can put the flat iron at is the best because, then you know how much heat is your limit.
  • Use a high quality flat iron with ceramic plates or one of those new technology flat irons which help to make sure your hair does not burn because the heat is uniformly distributed on the plates and not concentrated in one place.

That’s what I do and so far, all is well. My hair reverts back every time and there is no damage. One thing I should mention though, using heat too often is not good as well. So, make sure you use it sparingly. If you need your hair to be straight more often, there are other methods that you can use that are less damaging to the hair like African threading, twists, bantu knots and chunky braids. I only use heat on my hair, like, once every 6 months or so but only when it’s necessary or I just miss straight hair. It’s like having cake when you are watching your weight. You need to watch your limits.

Silk pressed hair

Silk pressed hair

Well, I hope this helps if you were thinking of straightening your hair some time and you were scared you could end up with heat damage. Do it right and you won’t have to worry about that. And just to remind you, happiness is not in material things, but exists in a grateful heart. Choose to be grateful today even if only for life. But I know you have a lot more things to be grateful for. Let your mind dwell on those and trust me, you will be happier.

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