The dangers of heat styling (blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons) textured hair has been well documented. kinky, curly and coily hair is more delicate than straight hair and using heat styling tools too often or incorrectly can cause irreversible damage and hinder a healthy hair path. While, natural hair is versatile, we must ensure we take measures to not damage our strands in our quest for styling options.
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One can lower the risks of incurring heat damage by lowering the setting on your heat styling tools or using a heat protectant, but the best way to lower the risk is to leave heat alone…at least from time to time. Many newly naturals are eager to take a break from heat styling but not sure exactly how to do it. Here’s a how-to on what we call a #noheat challenge and how to do it correctly.
What is heat damage?
Heat damage is hair that has had heat styling tools set on temperatures too high, too long, passed over too many times (or all of the above) and the hair loses it’s natural elasticity. This damages the hair shaft and changes it’s original curl, coil or kink. Heat damage is irreversible AND there is no such thing as heat training. If your hair does not revert back to it’s natural coil, kink or coil, it has incurred heat damage.
What is a #NOHEATChallenge?
A #noheatchallenge is for any individual who uses heat regularly and wants to take a break from heat styling tools to improve the health of her hair or just want to give their hair a heat styling break. This may seem simple to someone who does not heat style regularly, but if you primarily wear your natural hair straight or rely on a curling wand or blow dryer, this can be a daunting task.
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#NOHEAT challenges can last anywhere from a couple of months to a year and many naturals usually do this will a group of others naturals. They do this in a group to help support others who may be tied to heat styling and need the assistance of others to stay on the challenge. You don’t have to do this with others
Benefits of a #NOHEAT Challenge
- Lessen chances of getting heat damage. Even one application of heat can cause heat damage and honestly, naturals should be using heat sparingly.
- Heat styling can cause dryness. Heat styling can whisk away your natural hair’s moisture and over time create dryness in your strands.
- Learn new hairstyles/techniques. If you are hooked on styling hair with heat, a #NOHEAT challenge forces you to learn new styles.
- Connect with other naturals on a hair goal. The natural hair community is amazingly supportive and you can make some seriously great friends when doing these challenges.
- Learning how to limit your heat. Yes, you can use heat effectively and without damaging your hair but when you are dependent on heat styling you increase your chances for heat damage and hair dryness. These challenges give you the tools to lessen your heat usage and may help you from using heat as often as you do if you feel you are using it too much.
Now that you know what a #noheat challenge is, are you going to give one a try? If you are ever looking for others to do the challenge with just look up the #noheatchallenge hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or even Tumblr.
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My next post up will be on styles to rock when doing a #noheatchallenge.
Have you ever tried a #noheat challenge?