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4 Ways to Incorporate Heat into Your Natural Hair Regimen to Improve Length Retention

Avatar • Sep 27, 2014

blow dry

Heat usage isn’t for every natural, so before reading any further, it is recommended that you view these BGLH articles:

3 Types of Naturals Who Should Avoid Heat at All Costs
The Benefits of Air Drying Thick Natural Hair

Blow dry after a wash – to reduce formation of knots and tangles

If you have mega shrinkage and dense hair, then you are more than likely familiar with single-strand knots (SSKs) and tangles. Maybe you find that braiding, twisting or sectioning your damp strands does little to divert tangles and matting, (especially if you intend on wearing your hair loose). Perhaps, air-drying via other methods (such as threading or roller setting) is just too tedious.  This is where blow drying might be a beneficial solution.

Many naturals who opt to blow dry like to use the tension method or a comb attachment. However, if you are like me and end up with scraggly or tangled ends, there is another more effective technique demonstrated by Reniece, that is fairly gentle on the strands.  (Though this video is not a full tutorial, it is still helpful.)  After blow drying, you can then go into your usual braid/twist routine or a simple bun/updo without the fear of meshing or creating tangles and SSKs.

Additional benefit – easier and quicker detangling prior to wash 

You may find that another advantage of blow drying after your wash is a more efficient detangling process before your next wash. Why is this? Well, with less knots and tangles comes less of a hassle to detangle.  This, in turn, means less time and less breakage. Speaking from past experience, when I would detangle on previously straightened hair, the process was tremendously faster and my breakage was virtually non-existent.

Some precautions:

- Do use a silicone-based heat protectant prior to blow drying.
— Do perform a moisturizing and strengthening deep condition prior to blow drying.
— Avoid being rough while blow drying. (Again, check out the above video.)

Roller set under a hooded dryer – another method

If you would rather avoid direct heat, then another way to get similar benefits as blow drying is the roller set.  After your usual wash routine, apply big rollers to your hair in small sections.  The bigger the rollers, the more stretched (and less curly) your hair will be.  The smaller the sections, the more stretched and smoother your results.  Sit under a hooded dryer for more effective stretching and smoothness via indirect heat AND to speed the drying process.

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Other forms of heat and how to use them

Heat for conditioner penetration –
OPTION 1: Warm your conditioner then apply to your hair.
OPTION 2: Apply conditioner to your hair, put on a shower cap, then blow dry for heat OR sit under a hooded dryer.

Steaming for moisture –
OPTION 1: Use an actual hair steamer or create your own. (There are DIY tutorials online.)
OPTION 2: Leave your hair exposed while taking a warm/hot shower.

How do you incorporate heat into your regimen for length retention?

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About Chinwe

Healthy hair care tips and more! http://www.healthyhairbody.com

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LBell
LBell
6 years ago

I’ve only seen a few of Reniece’s videos, and I don’t know much about her otherwise, but everything I’ve seen makes me think she has potential to really change the game in terms of professional care of natural Afro-textured hair. I wonder how many other stylists she’s trained…I’m thinking she could do for tighter-textured curly/coily/kinky hair what Lorraine Massey did for looser-textured curly hair. As someone who’s never been a huge fan of long straight hanging hair (not even when I had it, even though mine was never truly “long”) but who knows that, despite everything, most black women still see… Read more »

ss (short & sweet)
ss (short & sweet)
6 years ago

Thank you for posting this video — I always end up with dry tangled ends. No more!

Carlee
Carlee
6 years ago

The amount of shrinkage in that top photo is incredible. I personally enjoy using heat on my hair. It has made styling my hair much easier. I do a “lazy tension method” blowout on my hair daily after washing.

Stace
Stace
6 years ago
Reply to  Carlee

Yea I completely agree about the extent of shrinkage in the articles leading photo. In that case, I absolutely think using heat is more than acceptable. Everything in moderation, because the blow out still looks natural and healthy. It doesn’t look like its trying to be something it is not. Heat can help close the cuticle and seal the strand when used properly. I don’t think its the devil its made out to be. Everything in moderation is key.

Zoopath
Zoopath
6 years ago

I rarely use heat but I am definite going to try that blow dryer technique next time that I do.

AnaDion
AnaDion
6 years ago

I tension blow dry every two weeks, and usually keep it in a loose bun in the mornings (it’s so humid when I leave for the day) then take it out over the course of my day. My detangling sessions have never been that bad, but they’re even easier now. I also get less SSK and split ends.
Even though I have the fine hair they usually warn away from heat, I find that the low manipulation method that a blowout allows is more beneficial than avoiding heat.

Karena
Karena
6 years ago

I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE Reniece!
Her videos always help in renewing my appreciation and love for natural hair when I’ve lost patience for my own.

HoneebeeD
HoneebeeD
6 years ago
Reply to  Karena

That video was excellent. I appreciate her presentation and showing multiple heads with the same technique. From her clients texture shots and her own, it is clear that she knows what she is doing and I love her for sharing.

Castor Oil
6 years ago

Here is my heat usage/heat training story: I have very kinky, tightly coiled hair. It had a tendency to knot easily and break.I noticed that when my hair was in a stretched state less breakage occurred. So from there, I discovered lhdc2011 videos and decided to heat train. I heat trained for a year or so and my texture loosened and less knots occurred. However, my hair lost it’s shine and was visibly thinner. I’m currently growing out the damage. Would I use heat again? Yeah, probably, because I like the less shrinkage and less SSKs, but maybe just on… Read more »

naps#1
naps#1
6 years ago

nope

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

funny I have a heat cap on right now. Blow dry dries my hair and it just takes too long. so I prefer air drying. But I definitely like to steam my hair and I do the GHE method.
http://www.coilsandglory.com

Annie
Annie
6 years ago

OH. MY. GOODNESS. RENIECE WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN MY WHOLE LIFE??? I did some blow drying yesterday and ended up with those scraggly ends. I leaving the house right now to get a denman!

Alwina Oyewoleturner
Alwina Oyewoleturner
5 years ago

Thank you for this article. I’m Always looking for ways to minimize breakage, etc. while keeping my hair moisturized. I generally have minimal issues with blow drying and the tension method is great. But those scraggly ends are annoying. I’m going to try Reniece’s method when I wash my hair next. Thank you for the tips!

Vbj
Vbj
5 years ago

Worse advice ever

Varah Potter
Varah Potter
5 years ago

THANK YOU! I just blow dried my hair for the first time and I had those ends that were just UGH! I’m deff going to try using the demi next time! I can’t wait to see the results!

Rachel
Rachel
3 years ago

I would love to enjoy using these hair heating tools but im terrified since I really have a thin hair. I don’t use blow dryers since I feel like it would fall out all the strands of my hair. Do you have any solution for that?

Charlotte
Charlotte
3 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Might I suggest using hair oils? Specifically, heat protection serum or oils? your hair would be fine as long as you layer it with protection.

Rachelle
Rachelle
3 years ago
Reply to  Charlotte

Thanks but ive tried using heat protection serum before. for some reason, it got my hair to fall out more. 🙁

Andrea
Andrea
3 years ago
Reply to  Rachelle

look up castor oil. The oil can do wonders for your hair. just make sure that you have the best castor oil for hair so you can get the promised benefits.

Rachel
Rachel
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrea

Castor oil? u mean the one for constipation? I didn’t know that. Thanks for the tip. i’ll look it up.

Charlotte
Charlotte
3 years ago
Reply to  Rachel

Yeah. Castor oil is great. Though it focuses more on hair growth and strengthening the hair. (check out this guide: http://www.castoroilreview.com/for-hair/) you can add or mix it with pomegranate oil since it has heat protection elements.

Rachel
Rachel
3 years ago
Reply to  Charlotte

I’ll also look that up. Thanks for the help.

trackback

[…] factors. There are many ways of temporarily reducing shrinkage, but permanent alternatives such as “heat training”;  slowly altering the strand by the use of heat to loosen the curl pattern is actual damage to the […]

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