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The beauties of blow drying

Avatar • Jun 24, 2011

Reader Janeica says;

I loved your article entitled ‘When the love of finger detangling goes too far’. I think it was great to show that natural haircare is not homogenous. I also wanted to bring light to another practice that is, at times frowned upon, but important for some of us — blowdrying. It took me a while but I’ve finally realized that light blowdrying is essential to my regimen.

My hair is extremely coily and the coils are of different widths and, after wetting, shrink down at different rates. I found I was getting a lot of breakage and knots doing wet styling, and that stretching by re-braiding wasn’t getting the coils stretched out evenly. I finally decided to incorporate light blowdrying to my regimen, with great results! I keep the blowdryer cool enough that I could run it an inch away from my skin with no pain, and basically use the light heat as a tool to stretch out my hair. So today I was wondering;

Do any other naturals make use of light heat styling as a tool for hair management? Where does it fit into their regimen. And do they get any flak for it?

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Tamera
Tamera
9 years ago

I actually just blow dried my hair yesterday for the first time to stretch it out. I noticed that my twists would shrink down so I wanted to see how my twist out would look if I stretched my hair prior to twisting. I’m LOVING the results. I used grape seed oil to protect my strands and blow dried on a low setting. I think that I may consider blow drying whenever I want to wear a twist out. I’m hoping this will help cut down on single strand knots.

Ballerina Girl
Ballerina Girl
9 years ago

See, i experienced the very same thing. My hair is extremely coily with 80% shrinkage and when it dries no matter what I put in it it gets hard and tangly unless I lightly blow dry it to keep it stretched. Since implementing blowdrying into my regimen I have noticed much more length retention. I make sure I use the appropriate heat protection products and am careful so as to reduce mechanical damage. I think everyone should be true to what suits them, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. I have retained 4 inches of growth in… Read more »

Sieta
9 years ago

Heat styling just doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t give me the stretch I want and also I don’t want to use too much of a high heat either so I don’t bother, I just stretch hair through braids, twists etc.

Tonya
Tonya
9 years ago

I think that, as with a lot of things, the overall focus should be on getting rid of unhealthy hair habits, but also there could be a good focus on reducing them too. Yes, if you blow-dry and flat-iron your hair all the time you’re not going to see a lot of growth, and if you cut them out completely you may see more, but someone going from heat all the time to no heat will have several issues learning how to style and be happy in the meantime. They may feel more comfortable and find it easier to do… Read more »

Eboni
Eboni
9 years ago

I don’t bother using heat on my hair, just because I’m not willing to do that EVERY day or even every week. not paritcularly my cup of tea. plus, I’d much rather be less dependent on it, so that way if there’s a case where I can’t use heat on my hair, styling without heat won’t be a problem for me.

I don’t even use heat to do “length checks”, because that’s not how I wear my hair every day. I’m just letting my hair as “she” pleases, lol.

Eboni
Eboni
9 years ago
Reply to  Eboni

*particularly

lol 🙂

PaintedSkin
PaintedSkin
9 years ago
Reply to  Eboni

hehehehe… nice remix of the word 😛

LRJR
LRJR
9 years ago

I have very thick and full hair. I do blowdry my hair almost every time I wash, which is about once a month. I do a light blowdry however because what I want to achieve is hair that is easy to manage not straightened hair. The last question “do you get flak for it” is interesting to me. Get flak from whom? Hair care and regimen is sooo personal and varies from individual to individual. My thought is that it does not and should not make one less natural if she chooses to blow dry or hot comb her hair.… Read more »

Monisola
9 years ago
Reply to  LRJR

I am much more “able” to style my hair when it’s in its natural state (no heat syling). Heehee!I guess it depends on the kind of style you are going for, what you are trying to “manage” to do, since we are talking about manageability. I ilke less smooth less defined styles that are more representative of my natural texture. So i don’t find it harder to make my hair look like “something” without heat.

LBell
LBell
9 years ago

When I look at the total length of time I’ve been natural, and average out the number of times I’ve blow-dried over all that time, it comes out to being somewhere between “once every few months” and “once every few weeks.” There was a period when I was blow-drying once a week after every shampoo with the comb attachment and that was the only time I ever experienced serious split ends. The last time I blow-dried was right before my latest BC a little over a year ago. I used the tension method and it worked MUCH better. As someone… Read more »

Sue
Sue
9 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I’ve had similar experiences too. Less blowdrying, less split ends. I’ve also gained more length on the sides. I always thought the hair there was naturally shorter than everywhere else!

All the same, I identify with Janeica. I have thick hair and I noticed that anytime I blowdry it, there’s less tangling. I typically stretch it by braiding but I have to admit sometimes a *little* heat does help especially if I’m wearing it out. I use the tension method,it’s the best way to go.

Courtnee'
Courtnee'
9 years ago

I try to avoid heat as much as possible. I don’t have a “cool” setting on my blow dryer so if I can help it, I won’t use it. Instead, I’ve found that ghana plaits are the best way for me to stretch my hair. I wash, condition, detangle, spray my spritzer (water, shea butter, any oils I have on hand, and oyin hair dew), and then do 6 ghana plaits. I take my hair down the following morning (it’s always a bit wet) add a curl creme and twist or braid for a twistout or braidout. This leaves my… Read more »

Ardis
Ardis
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtnee'

What are Ghana plaits?

Courtnee'
Courtnee'
9 years ago
Reply to  Ardis

Here’s a video about them. It’s basically just taking a section of hair and wrapping it with string.

http://www.youtube.com/user/GirlsLoveYourCurls#p/search/2/nG2Kn2GznMY

T.
T.
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtnee'

Oooh, I really like those corkscrew type Ghana plaits, those are really cute! Thanks for the link.

Ardis
Ardis
9 years ago
Reply to  Courtnee'

Thanks.

vonnie
9 years ago

I have avoided heat for the past 2.5 years and realized that it would have helped me so much. My hair tangles like the dickens and single strand knots are driving me crazy. I did my first blow out last week adn OMG it was amazing.…the big fluffy hair, ease of twisting, reduction of knots.…love it and will do a lot more often 🙂

Vonnie
http://www.socialitedreams.com/

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  vonnie

Amen. You echoed my experience with blow drying last week! I’ve also noted that skipping the ends when blow drying makes a big difference — my fine, fragile ends don’t like to be tortured. I might also add that roller setting hair prior to styling is an AWESOME way to stretch it, but that’s off topic. :o)

Robin Wilson
9 years ago

My mom was “suggesting” that I incorporate the blow dryer in my routine just yesterday. She thinks my fro looks “too packed down” (not that I disagree, but you know how our mama’s can be)… I am really wanting to get my hair cut into this Nefertiti-esque style soon , and I know I will need the blow dryer often to achieve the look. Like Janeica, I have very coily hair. I am not 100% against blow drying, but I have not used any heat on my hair in about a year and a half, and I don’t want to… Read more »

binks
binks
9 years ago

I was thinking about adding blow drying to my hair regimen as well. Single strand knots are starting to kick my butt…lol and so far that is the only grievance I have with my hair. I tried everything from oil rinse and protective styles but still get more single strand knots than I thought I would. I’ am thinking about just doing it once a month and just leaving it in a protective style for 85% percent of the month to see how it fairs. As for getting flak I wouldn’t care, it is my hair, if someone feels that… Read more »

Anu
Anu
9 years ago

She doesn’t use a ‘little heat’, she heat trains her hair. Although she does give good tips that can be adopted for genaric hair care.

amber
amber
9 years ago
Reply to  Anu

I don’t think enough information was provided by her to make that determination. She does not say her hair does not revert any longer, she just says she doesn’t allow it to shrink up any longer, simliar to those who wash, condition and dry in braids or twists and only do stretched styling.

However, I do like her message that what’s being demonized by one person (ie. blow drying, relaxers, texlaxing, heat-training) may actually do wonders for your own healthy hair journey.

Anu
Anu
9 years ago
Reply to  amber

You have a point, she didn’t say that it doesn’t revert anymore, but she did say that she only applies the heat to her roots, as that was the only part of her hair that hadn’t been heat trained and was still ‘wavy’ — she applies the cold air to the rest of her hair, as this part was already straightened. This does indicate a level of heat training. However she did also say that she wasn’t trying to get rid of ALL of her kinks. The fact that she used heat protectant makes everything all the more confusing, though… Read more »

Lisa1
Lisa1
9 years ago
Reply to  Anu

I think the both of you are talking about different people. You are referencing the video, while Amber is referencing Janeica.

Anu
Anu
9 years ago
Reply to  Lisa1

Oops! LOL!!!!

Shelli Gillis
9 years ago

I don’t blow dry my hair as it’s not tightly curly, but I do stretch it with twist outs and twist and curls because of the same reasons outlined above. I don’t see anything wrong with blowdrying because you want straight hair or because it makes styling and managing your hair easier. Mwedzi is a beautiful natural who always lightly blow dries her hair as it prevents the damage that many have discussed from single strand knots. Her hair shrinks from almost waist length to chin length. That’s shrinkage and I can only imagine how difficult it would be to… Read more »

Jonesable
Jonesable
9 years ago

When I want big hair quickly tension blowdrying is the GOAT.

Frankie
9 years ago

I have started blow drying my roots when I do a wash and go. If I don’t my roots will literally be wet for days. I also noticed that when I go ahead and dry my roots my scalp doesn’t itch as much. I do feel kind of guilty about it-not that anyone in my daily life cares what I do to my hair. The threat of heat damage is just really present in my mind… I probably cruise too many natural hair blogs.

DanaMichele
DanaMichele
9 years ago

I have only blow dried my hair twice, once at the salon for a straight style and once by myself to see how my twists would look without major shrinkage. I used the cool setting on my dryer and denman brush. I did not completely dry my hair, just enough for it to be stretched out. The results were nice, but I really want my hair to grow to a certain length before I blow dry again. This past week, I twisted my hair after washing, wore a twist-out for a few days, then twisted my hair again to try an… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

When I first BC’d, I tried out the tension blow-dry method w/ cool/low-heat. It was good for getting a big fro is a small amount of time. With that said, I got rid of my blow-dryer after I discovered the wonderful world of braid outs and twist outs. Why? Blow-drying is too much work. I prefer braiding or twisting to stretch my hair. If I want to stretch my hair for a certain style or just want a blow-out look, I’ll band. I tried it out a couple times and got blow-out results with no heat. I’ll revisit banding in the… Read more »

luvmylocs
luvmylocs
9 years ago

tension blow-dry is just holding the hair but not using a comb attachment while blowdrying? i had someone blow-dry my hair with a comb and i just really do not feel comfortable with my hair being blow-dryed in that manner.

Jade
9 years ago

I would really like a blow dryer that has a cool setting and a diffuser. But I rarely blow dry my hair. When I do it’s because I’m rushing to stretch my hair, but I prefer using braids and twists.

Darby
Darby
9 years ago

I usually use my blow dryer to stretch some of my styles (i.e. Wash n gos and twist outs). I LOVE the results every time… But it does take a bit longer than I would like. It’s totally worth it though because of the amount my hair shrinks up.

My biggest issue however, is maintaining moisture and softness after using it.
It’s a battle to hold in moisture when I air dry… Let alone when adding a blow dryer to the mix.

Twist outs and braid outs and banding just don’t give me the same results though.…

Nicole J. Butler
9 years ago

I’ve discovered the beauty of DIFFUSING, and it has made a world of difference in styling my curls. I probably would have cut it all off again by now if it weren’t for the diffuser.
[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/njbjoysmall.jpg[/img]

Alove15
Alove15
9 years ago

I have the exact same issue as the poster. I would wash my hair once a week and braid to stretch. However, i have also found that uneven stretching leads to knots and matting. I want to adopt a new regimen that consists of blowdrying about once a month. Then placing my hair in mini twists or box braids until the next month. This is very similar to lhdc2011’s regimen but I won’t flat iron.

taurusdragonfly
taurusdragonfly
9 years ago

I’ve said this a few times on here. I have been blowdrying when I wash for about 6 months and it has changed my moisture and length retention. I blow dry on the warm low setting with plenty leaning on the cool shot button with a denman type brush — not enough to get straight, just to keep the ends from snarling on top of themselves so easily. I still get SSKs (mostly because my hair is always loose), but not as many and way less split ends. I style with moisturizing products and this way the moisture doesn’t evaporate… Read more »

mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

Here are steps I followed for my first forays into the world of tension blow-dry regimen: ‑Finger-detangle/pre-poo stretched, dampened hair with coconut oil (in 10–12 twisted sections) ‑Shampoo with Shea Moisture’s Moisture Retention Shampoo (with twist intact) ‑T-shirt blot and air-dry for 10–15 mins ‑spray hair with grapeseed oil (natural heat protectant) and use the tension blow-dry method section-by section (medium heat; using nozzle attachment) ‑apply Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque (leave-in conditioner) and set hair (braids, twists, flat twists, bantu knots, etc) After a blow-out, my hair is elongated, soft and fluffy. Blow-drying results in little/no breakage for me and… Read more »

Jayxox
Jayxox
8 years ago

I always wear my hair in braids. I have been doing so for the last two years. I blow dry my hair once a month in between braid ups. To be honest, the reason why I blow dry muly hair is because I don’t have the time to air dry my hair. I usually get my hair done on a Saturday morning and I work up until about 7pm on a Friday night. Also, I find that it my hair would be incredibly short, knotty and hard without blow drying. I do thank God for whoever came up with the… Read more »

News Direct
8 years ago

very good submit, i definitely love this web site, keep on it

Adobuere Ebiama
8 years ago

Anyone have good list of the best blowdryers? I walked into a beauty store and got so overwhelmed I just left lol…I have 4a
(i think) very curly hair that experiences a LOT of shrinkage
All suggestions arewelcome please 🙂

adventuresofdobs.blogspot.com

ThaliaM2
ThaliaM2
8 years ago

I have gotten blowouts, colored my hair, keratin for several decades — What a disaster! My hair had never been so dry, brittle, and breakable as it was. I tried several of the different brands. In desperation, I decided to try Shielo.com, figuring that if the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner was as good as my colorist recommended, then it would be worth it. Your hair is EVERYTHING! My hair is finally getting healthy again, and noticing a BIG difference, as the Shielo shampoo is noticeably returning my hair to a soft, healthy-looking state once again. I highly recommend this… Read more »

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