Click Read More + Comment to view photos and video. This video was previously recorded a year ago, September 1st 2012 in a video I did not upload. I just wanted to display the texture of my fine, 4c strands with a bit of heat. I know you are thinking a year ago but hey better now than never, lol. My 150 loose twists were 25 inches in length when this video was previously recorded; my hair to date is now 30 inches length.
5 Simple Steps In How I Prepped My Hair For Heat Usage
1) Finger Detangling: Finger detangling is the first step in my washing process. Hair should never be matted or tangled while washing, this only leads to more tangles creating an environment for matting. Believe me I have been there, and is a HASSLE beyond belief! Once hair has been completely detangled I begin my washing session.
2) Wash Hair A Week Prior To Heat Usage with Vo5 Tea Therapy Conditioner: Choosing to wash hair a week before using heat gave my strands a chance to build up the natural sebum or naturals oils that can be stripped during a washing process.
When using heat hair should be clean. Washing hair the night before works equally as well but I find since I have dense and very fine strands hair I have to wash my hair in a protective style which is about 10-14 loose large braids (prevents tangles and single strand knots during my washing process). In addition to protective styling I also seal my strands within the loose large braids with my love potion # 9, which is made up of all natural oils and then let strands air dry. Using heat a week later is a preference that works well with my texture.
3) Stretch: Once hair is air dried I release the 10-14 large braids and twist into my usual 150 loose twists, then stretch the 150 loose twists with large bantu knots or large firm braids. Then once stretched over night or for the weekend release 150 loose twists from large braids or bantu knots and style in an updo. Due to lengthened strands, stretching aids in the usage of less heat. Now since my washing process is exactly how it sounds…a process, I prefer to wash strands a week prior so I can gear up (or have the energy) for the eight hours it takes to straighten my hair.
4) Seven days later and the night before heat usage prepped 150 loose twists with 100% extra virgin cold pressed olive and coconut oil: Similar to the methods of a pre poo but on a lighter scale I concentrate most of the oil towards the ends of my strands since they are the most fragile but the amount of oil I used overall was dispersed in small amounts. If you were to touch my hair it would be soft to the touch with a light residue of oil to prepare strands for heat. Hair should never be drenched or soaked with natural oils while using direct heat on hair contact. Remember when using oils and heat together stick to 100% extra virgin cold pressed oils such as coconut and olive oil. This not only ensures the highest grade of oil (eliminating unnatural highly flammable ingredients) but coconut and olive oil have penetrating properties which allows the oil to actually penetrate the hair shaft providing a percentage of real moisture similar to water. Argan oil and avocado oil also possess these properties as well.
I chose oils over heat protectants because I know how to properly apply heat with no damage while using oils (I have only used heat once in three years, but my Mother used the method of oils in aiding of straightening when I was younger and was successful with each application due to the low level of heat that was used and time). For someone who chooses to use heat more often or consistently, I would recommend a good heat protectant.
5) Applying Heat, Appliances & Time:
Appliance should not be expired and clean. Avoiding these measures can lead to a faulty device or detrimental results
Apply heat to smaller sections which will take more time and patience but you can use less heat with the same results of high temperatures without the risk of heat damage.
Root to 4 inches above ends. If you are not trying to achieve a bone straight look through heat but simply a longer lasting stretch, I usually avoid or apply heat very lightly towards the ends of my strands since they are the oldest and most fragile.
Strands should be free of heavy products, butters and oils. If using any products, butters and oils while using heat remember less is more. Oils increase the actual temperature applied to strands so this why very low heat works well with oils when stretching hair. For example the curling iron I used has a setting of 1-25 (25 being the hottest setting), since there was a light residue of oil on my strands, level 1 sufficed well in stretching my strands.
*I have not hid the fact I am not a fan of heat, using heat consistently will without a doubt damage or bring some damage to your natural strands due to the constant stripping of the naturals oils which can put unnecessary wear and tear to the cuticle of the strand; eventually causing heat damage (destroying the natural elasticity of the strand), mid-splits/split ends, high porosity levels leading to excessive dryness and breakage. Now I have been over six years natural and completely stopped using heat for the last three years. Shortly after, I immediately experienced the results of how eliminating heat from your regimen can do for your strands but just because I am an advocate against heat does not mean I am making voodoo dolls in my spare time against all heat users. If heat is used in moderation then it can have its benefits but the meaning of moderation all depends on:
- How “healthy” your strands are
- Do you use color
- How much heat you are currently using
- What are your porosity levels
- The amount of heat dispersed with each usage
- Are your strands fine or coarse
Making funny faces with my 150 loose twists placed in 4 buns (4th bun in the back)
Close up shot of my texture stretched with heat
Also I have created my personal instagram @CiprianaQuann for more on natural hair, fashion, beauty, art and just people, places and things that inspire me <3