HEAT! NO HEAT! HEAT DAMAGE! "Straight Natural" "SILK PRESS" of course..," Alternative Straightening" The hottest debate in the social media world of natural hair is "Heat or No Heat" on the crown..
The dialogue usually starts like this:
FB Post: “ I can’t wait for my silk press
appointment..the shrinkage is real!”
In the comments: “No sis” don’t do it!” “Issa no on the Heat"
So what’s the skinny on heat styling your hair? Some claim that they can use heat styling and their curls pop right back on wash day; whereas other curlies go in for that press to “length check", only to end up with dry straight pieces of hair interrupting the "Queen Flow" of their beloved fro. There a few culprits that can have you on either end of the spectrum: (Your stylist, your hair care regimen, moisture lock technique variations, weather and so forth, however frequent use of heat styling (no matter how carefully done) will result in hair that is harder to keep moisturized when its back to it’s curly state.
Exactly what you do think happens to the hair? Let's use frequent super cute gel polish manicures as an analogy: The nail bed has to be soaked and scraped to remove that hot pink from last week to glitter red that you want to rock this week. But this time you notice something different, a slight twinge of pain as the nail tech buffs your nail. Your nail plate has been compromised. The nails that grow out over the next few weeks will be dry and brittle. Time to give the nails a rest- you opt for clear polish. So apply this same concept to our curls. If we frequently blow dry, wand curl, silk press our hair, pretty much manipulate to alter the original state of our tresses, the exact same concept applies; overtime the hair cuticle will be compromised. Especially in the hands of someone who does not understand the necessary steps to protect natural hair from heat damage.
What’s the safest approach to get leek and silky tresses? Seek referrals for Exclusively Natural hair stylists that are well versed in Natural Hair Care, capable of achieving many different styles as well as healthy maintenance . There are stylists that will take the time to ask you about your hair and make suggestions on the best styling options for your hair. They will hand you the mirror during your trim session to gain your trust and most importantly, a Bona Fide natural stylist will never say “Natural ain’t for everybody”, cause they have the ability to curl train or style the smallest coil or curl.
Sooo...Heat or No Heat Sis? Let's just be open to all, and state PREFERENCE. The natural hair journey requires a commitment to "preference" and awareness of your own personal natural hair goals. A good natural stylist committed to healthy hair knows that too much heat can compromise a kinky curly pattern, and will tell you when it’s time to give your hair a break from heat styling/presses; suggesting mini “vacations” from heat with flexi-rod sets or twist outs. Just as with anything else in life that is available for our use and consumption..with a "warning"... Use in Moderation.