A #NOHEATChallenge is a permanent fixture in the natural hair community. Our delicate strands do not fare well with direct heat (flat iron, hot comb, or blow dryer). While heat protectant and lowering the temperature of the heat styling tools are all helpful, laying off heat for a while is even better.
Many who want to try an #noheatchallenge or even just thinking about one have, usually have a pretty big complaint and/or question. What hairstyles can I wear during the challenge? When you are using heat styling tools for the majority of your hairstyles you may find the challenge unthinkable so we've come up with a laundry list of styles that will keep your challenge simple.
Braids & Twists
We love box braids, faux Locs, and every variation in-between. These easy to install or have installed protective styles are excellent choices when taking on a #noheatchallenge and not sure what styles to wear if heat styling dependent.
Remember to give hair a break between installs, and never allow your own hair to be neglected (meaning it needs to still be washed, conditioned and cared for properly!). Also, take them down when you are supposed to and don't have the installer put them in too tight for fear of creating thinning edges.
The biggest challenge you may face is not learning how to wear your own hair with these types of styles but during your in-between installations, give hair TLC and try one of the other styles on this list to ensure you give yourself some real options.
Flexi rods, Rollers & Perm Rods Sets
Taking a trip down relaxed hair lane, flexi rods, rollers sets and perm rollers are another great style to rock when in a #noheatchallenge. Many newbies may still have these hair tools on hand as they still serve a purpose for natural hair. Actually, they are one of the few hair tools that transfer over nicely.
A vital trick that many newbies aren't aware of getting straight hair by first doing a roller set, silk wrapping after tying hair up to create smooth, sleek straight natural hair. Not bone straight, but a less damaging way to achieve straight natural hair.
The biggest problem you may face is fighting frizz and getting curls smooth. Practice certainly makes perfect, taking down rollers when hair is completely dry and doing on freshly washed hair are all going to ensure your curls are fab and last as long as you want them too.
Updos and natural hair go hand in hand and while many assume they are just for special occasions, updos are perfect for every day of the week. Updos can be twist pinned up high, a bun with bangs, or a plethora of styles that never rely on heat to create.
Not sure which one to try? Head over to Pinterest and simple search "natural hair updo" and be amazed at the thousands of pictures and styles that show up that require no heat to create.
Some of these styles go hand in hand like roller setting and updos so experiment with each style and combine some to create amazing looks that last and give your hair some much-needed heat-free TLC.
I love crochet braids and they are still as popular as ever! This short-lived style is great for protecting hair while leaving heat alone. They are super easy to install and the styles are pretty endless.
Crochet braids can be long, short, straight, curly, blond or every other color on the color wheel. The styles are so amazing that often many will never even know you are wearing them.
Crochet braids don't last as long as other braids or twists but they are often cheaper, more versatile and a much quicker install. I have to say this is my fave on this list!
Wash & Go
I understand that for many newbies the wash and go is a challenge all by itself but the true definition of the wash and go is to accept your hair's natural curl, coil or kink and rock that out naturally.
There are numerous variations on this style and yes every type from 3B to 4C can rock a wash and go successfully. The key is moisture and total acceptance of one's own hair type. You also need to find a routine you love and products that work with your hair but this is a style that can be mastered by all.
The biggest challenges with the wash and go is keeping hair moisturized and a wash and go's tendency to tangle. I and many get 2nd, 3rd and even longer days with this style but it is something to master. I added it as it's my day to day look and I no longer use heat.
Wigs & Weaves
I listed this last but know this is a truly viable option during a #noheatchallenge. The styles are endless and the weaves can last as long as your challenge! This is a pretty pricey choice if you are big on rocking human hair or want a wig or weave that lasts a long time but for many, this is the ideal way to go to give your hair a break.
Just like all with braids and crochet braids, caring for your own tresses while wearing a wig or weave is imperative to keep hair healthy while under the weaves and wigs. Never sleep in wigs and never place a wig on wet hair as that's just a breeding ground for bacteria and scalp issues.
The takeaway from this post is the massive amounts of hairstyles you can wear while doing a #noheatchallenge that requires either little to more than a little work on your part. From super cheap to hella expensive, your options are pretty great and you can spend more time allow your hair a much-needed break from heat while still looking too damn beautiful!
How To Care For Your Natural Hair When Wearing Crochet Braids
Have you tried a #noheatchallenge? What hairstyle did you rock during the challenge? Share below!!