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Monday, December 13, 2010

PREVENTING HEAT DAMAGE....



Good morning ladies!

Hope everyone had a productive and beneficial weekend. Today  I wanted to talked a bit about heat damage, tips on how to prevent it, etc.   We all know how fragile natural hair can be so being delicate and gentle with our hair should be our #1 interest.  Every natural is not interested in adding heat to their hair.  I  for one  have no interest in doing so EVER but just because were rocking a natural doesn't mean we must stay in fro mode all the time.  As I quickly found that out, after trying something new, and loving it.  And this also doesn't mean to rock other styles heat is necessary.  In fact it is best to stay faaaar away from heat.  But, for those who choose to use heat on our natural tresses it is imperative we use a heat protectant.  So lets talk a little about heat damage...

HEAT DAMAGE

Heat damage can be a direst result of using curling irons, flat irons and hand held blow dryers on full blast which would include very high heat levels.  If left unprotected ( with out applying a heat protectant) the cuticle layer of the hair is almost guaranteed to be damaged due to an over load of heat.  What does the cuticle layer do ?....The cuticle layer is covering of the shaft of the hair and protects it's fibers.  Once this is damaged, its pretty much damaged for good, there is pretty much  know way to directly correct this problem.  Which in turn exposes your natural hair fibers and results in split ends, etc. 

Heat damage causes many, many problems in the health of our over all hair. It also breaks down the chemical structure of the hair , with that comes less elasticity.  Wet, healthy and undamaged hair can stretch up to 30% its length and return to its natural state.   Using direct heat causes breakdowns of the structure of our hair along with dryness, with heat damage you will probably notice that your hair will snap and break easily.

LESS TALK POROSITY

The porosity of your hair can also be damaged by using direct heat. Healthy hair is much more less porous than unhealthy hair , meaning water is not able to enter your hair as good.  Or water leaves your hair very quickly.  I've notice this quite often, my latest memory is when my oldest daughter had a relaxer.  After washing her hair, it would dry naturally super fast, it would not hold water at all.  Now, that her hair is natural, 100% healthy her hair has blossomed and water is her hair's best friend.

MOVING ON

A great way to protect the cuticle of your hair is by making sure your hair is moisturized and sealed with an oil, or  creme of your choice.  But we all know water is the BEST and ONLY moisturizer.  You can restore the elasticity of your hair with a little ( Sabr) Arabic for patience, moisture and improving the health of your hair.  Great elasticity is a good indicator to the overall health of your hair.

Now, that you've corrected some of the problems mentioned above we can look at ways of preventing heat damage all together.  Which must start with getting rid of all if any split ends, a great hair care regimen, understanding what your hair needs, and knowing what your hair doesn't need.  As I've been speaking about in the last few post.  The best way to change from rocking a fierce fro to rocking a fierce straight look, is by roller setting your hair and using hooded dryers to dry .  Hooded dryers are safer in this case because the heat is evenly distributed and not applied directly to your hair.  Plus, your precious ends ( the oldest part of your hair) the part that needs super, duper love and attention is nicely tucked away from the heat by being set on rollers while drying.  Roller setting isn't for everyone, its pretty easy but it can also be something that takes practice . 

IF YOU REALLY NEED TO USE HEAT

Limit...limit...limit your heat usage to very little to maybe once or twice a month.  But, personally I advise all of the fabulous naturals out there to stay way from direct heat. But, if you must its said to invest in high quality heating appliances such as  Jilbere de Paris Titanium Tools Professional Flat Iron or Tourmaline Series Flat Iron.   They say, These products are coated and durable, and distribute the heat more evenly than cheaper brand flat irons.  I really wouldn't know how well these tools work, because I have never used them personally.

Blow dryers, by nature are slightly more harmful to hair than flat irons. Consider air drying in a ponytail or bun and then flat ironing. If you must blow dry, use the medium or low setting on warm or cool air.

Before using any heated styling appliance, use a heat protector, like Ion Heat Protection Spray. Heat or thermal protectors work by forming heat absorbing polymers around the hair. Many thermal protectors also use protein as reinforcement against protein breakdown in the hair by heat.

Many hair experts warn against flat ironing hair while wet, citing "bubble hair" as a side effect. "Bubble hair" is a pocket of air in the hair shaft caused by water vaporization. The heat causes the water particles on the wet hair to literally boil and steam, causing the cuticle to burst, leaving a sponge-like consistency. This leads to knots in the shaft that eventually break or cause split ends, and even alopecia.  AWFUL!!!

So, in short.... ladies know I am a no heat advocate.  But, if you must use direct  please be extra cautious when doing so.  Try some of the tips provided above.  Hope this helps! :)

Thanks a bunch for reading! and remember to always stay........naturally fabulous!

                                                                           TAKE CARE:)

2 comments:

Tinuke said...

wow!!! Zainab, this is an awesome post. I am no fan of heat either. I even cringe at using a hooded dryer. I prefer air drying but thanks for the tips, in case I need to use a hooded dryer for emergencies

zainab1 said...

@Tinuke..Thanks! and you are quite welcome.

Thanks for stopping by Tinuke, take care.