I understand there are a lot of Naturals out there who find nothing wrong with straight hair. Hot comb, flat iron….they are friendly tools to some of the fine women in the Natural hair community.
I am not one of them….
Now that I have become a Natural and have done tons of hours of research on my hair, I cannot continue to walk down the damaging path of my relaxed years. To me it’s not just chemicals that damage our hair. To me, flat ironing is just another phrase for searing the hair into a different texture temporarily. Now, flat irons don’t HAVE to cause heat damage but if using too hot of a setting you can cause heat damage on even just one application. Flat ironing too often can make the hair brittle and break. This can lead to hair loss and frayed, fly-away ends.
I do understand the right person using the right flat iron and heat protectant can do a wonderful job. The problem is everybody with a stylist license working in a salon ain’t a professional at it. I have heard tons of hair horror stories that will scare your hair straight! Let’s not even mention that just about every black woman I know has a flat iron somewhere in their house. That means quite a few UNprofessionals are damaging their own hair.
I am an advocate of leaving my hair the way it grows out of my head. I try to use natural hair products and trim about 2 or 3 times a year. I’m no saint. According to several blogs, websites and forums, I should be using protective styles but I don’t. I am an avid wash and goer and have been for over 2 years now. I guess everybody has their opinions on how to keep healthy hair and I am no exception. Even though I don’t advocate flat ironing, I don’t hold it against anyone else who does it and that includes my own daughter. I’ve just found the RIGHT person to do it.
Stay true to what you feel is right Naturals,
I like this post. I was so committed to stay heatless that I gave away ALL of my heat producing hair appliances. I no longer own a blow dryer, heat cap, flat iron or curling iron. The only heat my hair will feel is the warm rays from the sun.
I'm with you on getting rid using heat but I'm not completely away from it. I still use my heat cap for deep conditioning. Am I not be true to my Naturalness? hmmm, gonna have to dig deep and discuss in a post on the blog.
As alwyas, thank you for your comment.
Before I actually started taking part in some of the natural hair groups on FB, I had actually NEVER even heard of heat damage, lol. Not sure what rock I had been living underneath. It was very enlightening when I came across the first post of a lady who was thinking that she had heat damage since she had some pieces of hair that would no longer 'curl up'. I knew that I had that same problem and then I realized that I had also been using a lot of heat in my hair…I would practically keep my hair straightened all winter and I'd straighten whenever I felt like and never thought to even use heat protectant. I had always thought the relaxers were the only thing that could damage your hair permanently. I thought that anything that I did to my hair outsede of that, was perfectly fine. I'm so glad that I know better now. I was pretty much under the assumption that "black hair" in it's natural state is so coarse and strong that you could practically do 'anything' to it. Now I know that isn't true either. I've finally started taking out the time to 'baby' my hair and give it the protection and TLC that it needs to flourish. My hair had even gotten extremely dry b/c there were days that I wouldn't do much of anything to it other than wet it with some water and pull & tug until I had manipulated it into the shape that I wanted it to be in. After all of that damage that I did. I'm now on a path to recovery…and I appreciate protective styles b/c it's a reason for me to manipulate my hair less and less while still being able to 'baby it' and keep it hydrated.
KinksOfMind, thanks for sharing. There are so many of us out there learning just how fragile our hair is and how damaging heat can be. You are far from alone and at least you've left the damaging side of going Natural. Chemicals aren't the only thing that can damage our hair and I don't think enough of us are aware of that. Appreciate your candidness.
I am really thinking about going heatless since I've had heat damage in the past and from a professional! I now do have a great stylist but it only takes one time to get damage. Great post.
Yes, it only takes ONE TIME for heat damage. I won't chance it ever again so I understand how you feel. Thanks for sharing.
I like how you specified the difference between a professional flat ironing and the UNprofessional. Very well said! It is true, many are very unaware of the damage that they themselves inflict. Most don't take the time to educate themselves on what's best for their hair.
Yes, we can all purchase a flat iron but we do not all have the experience or the knowledge to use it properly. Oh, everyone can get their hair straight but some walk away with damage that cannot be reversed. It's not worth it to me so I stay curly/coily/kinky and happy. Thanks for sharing.