The other day we did a post talking about using heat in your regimen without sacrificing your curls. In other words using heat but avoiding the damage that comes with it.
Some of us are able to use heat periodically and still retain length just fine but as mentioned in that post there are those of us with fine hair, or even already damaged hair that needs to avoid heat at all costs.
It would make no sense to justify the use of heat in your regimen if it is causing you more harm than good. In this post we will look at just how heat free hairstyles can help to maximize your hair growth and length retention.
What are heat free hairstyles
Heat free hairstyles are any style that you would do that does not require the use direct heat of a blow dryer* or flat iron*. Roller sets that are dried with the use of an over head hair dryer* while healthy because the heat is indirect are not considered completely heat free. If you want a hybrid regimen then a roller set would be the middle of the road for you.
If you want to go completely heat free on the extreme end of things then probably avoiding even the heat from an over head hair dryer* would be the way to go.
Heat free does not mean that you always have your hair in a shrunken state however, you can still effectively stretch your hair without the application of heat by using tools like, curlformers*, flexi rods*, bantu knots, braids or twists.
How do heat free styles help with hair growth
When you decide to avoid heat in your regimen it does not necessarily mean your hair will grow at a faster rate. Hair growth is not determined by what you do with your hair physically but rather how you take care of yourself internally.
With that said, avoiding heat has no direct correlation to growth but has everything to do with how much length you retain.
Sometimes we get confused about growth and how it works, we think that products or techniques influence the behavior of our hair growth rate but the truth is it doesn’t.
This year we have been talking a lot about nutrition and exercise because these are the things that actually influence how fast our hair grows.
How does heat free styles help with retention
Now here is where going heat free is the most beneficial. In simple terms the structure of the strand is determined by protein bonds. When these bonds are broken, the hair strand changes depending on the severity of the effect on the bonds.
Heat straightens the strands temporarily like water would when your strand curls up. The thing is, direct heat can break the bonds in the strand to the point of making them permanently straight, frazzled, and split.
If your hair is frayed and stripped because of the use of heat, it will eventually break or shed based on the damage. Retaining the length of your hair depends on just how much you can keep the strand from this damage.
This means, not manipulating it to the point of causing too much friction, ensuring that your hair is properly moisturized and keeping your ends protected from the elements.
The avoidance of heat also goes a long way to protecting your hair from the friction and possible damage that can come about from frequent use. Even if you don’t use heat frequently, if you have fine strands, it does not take a great deal of friction to cause damage to your strands so many with fine hair find that a heat free regimen will immediately aid in length retention.
How does using heat impede moisture
Moisture provides the best environment for our hair to thrive. Dry hair breaks, it is that simple, moisturized hair has more elasticity and can withstand the impact of day to day manipulation.
When you use direct heat you literally remove a lot of the moisture from your hair causing it to be dry. When your hair is straight we often recommend doing everything you can to give the strand enough moisture beforehand to last the duration of your style. This is because we know that your strands will have no moisture at least not as much as it would if you were spraying it down everyday when you wear curly styles.
A good idea is to use a steam treatment before straightening your hair as it will help infuse your hair with an extra boost of moisture.
How can you maximize growth and retention by avoiding heat
You want to give your hair the best chance at surviving manipulation especially if you are in a situation where your hair is already damaged, from color, chemicals or even because of overuse of heat prior to reading this post.
We would still suggest that you stretch your hair as much as you can with simple methods, like braiding, twisting or banding.
Even with these mechanical method, it is still important not to over stretch the hair, a little kink never killed anyone! As your hair grows, you will be retaining as much of that length as you can, maximizing your growth potential and meeting your growth goals.
If you are ever confused about the types of styles that you can use to both maximize growth and retain length, we have a few suggestions; Braids, two strand twists, buns, or roll and tuck up do’s. You can do braid outs and twist outs as well but you have to be very careful about protecting your ends, or all your effort at avoiding heat will be futile.
Comment below: let us know if you are avoiding heat this year, and how that is going for you.
Originally posted 2015-02-08 15:00:34.