The use of heating tools is nothing new in the black community, and for many naturals, it transitioned over to their natural hair routine.
For a lot of natural women, wearing straight hair styles is a must as they transition their hair from chemical to chemical-free, since their strands have varying textures. Then for others, heating tools are needed because it makes caring for their hair easier.
But whatever your reason for using heat manipulation for your natural hair, you can’t deny the fact that overuse can be damaging. Each time you apply high heat to your hair, you’re causing a bit more damage.
Not only can they ruin your natural curl and kink patterns, but they can also cause dryness and weakness, which will eventually lead to breakage or even balding. Hence, leaving you with stunted hair growth.
Of course, it’s all in the method and hair care that naturals use, which will ultimately determine how much damage is done and what type of hair problems it will lead to. So let’s get into the damage different types of heat styling methods can cause and what you can do to minimize it as much as possible.
Blow dryers* make styling a lot faster, especially if you have hair that takes forever to dry. But keep in mind that the water that collects beneath you hair cuticles tend to overheat during the blow drying process, causing them to bubble up and stress out your hair. This can lead to split ends, dullness and breakage.
To minimize this effect, you should try not to blow dry your hair too often. So spread out its use and try using cool air instead. Another idea is to towel dry or use the cool setting to help dry your hair before switching to low heat.
But did you know that if you are using settings that are higher than 212 degrees, that it is actually boiling your hair? This is the same temp that’s needed to boil water, so it makes sense. Although your hair is dry when using these tools, bubbles in your hair shaft can still form, which can lead to brittle strands and breakage.
So it would be wise not to use tools like these daily and when doing so, make sure not to leave it on one spot for too long. Keep the strokes even and quick.