The bottom line is: we grow out our hair to style it. Otherwise, there really isn’t a point. We can’t wear “protective styles” or just hide our hair forever. Where’s the fun in that? :)
There are plenty of great heatless styles, but using heat often adds a quite a bit of versatility. Whether you want to blow out your afro or create some drop curls, using heat makes styling quick and simple. However, heat damage is serious. It can hamper growth and reduce the overall health of your hair. It’s not a good look. But don’t throw away your curling wand just yet. Here are 5 ways to avoid heat damage on afro-textured hair.
- Don’t heat style too often
This is an obvious one. If you try to use a curling wand every day, eventually your hair will not be able to stand up to the heat. Repeated exposure to high heat will damage your hair, just like any other part of your body. Don’t obsessively touch up your heat styles; let them ride out for a few days and fuzz out naturally as the days go on. Just because they aren’t freshly curled does not mean they don’t look great. Lived-in styles have an allure of their own!
2. Don’t turn up the heat too high
Try to use your heat tool at the lowest possible temperature that will get the job done. You are just trying to style your hair, not cook it. Start on the lowest setting, and work your way up until you reach that sweet spot.
3. Use a heat protectant
Heat protectants are instrumental in preventing unnecessary heat damage to your hair. They act as a barrier, protecting your hair from extreme heats. Apply the spray right before you use heat on your hair. We recommend the Oribe Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray, as it provides great protection and speeds up drying times. Take note that your hair is not invincible just because you put heat protectant. Make sure to follow the same rules when it comes to temperature, as you can still get heat damage with heat protectant on.
4. Don’t run the heat tool on the same section repeatedly
Once a section of your hair is shaped or styled how you want it, stop using the heat tool on that section. It will eventually break down the hair and cause damage. For example, as soon as you see your afro blown out adequately, running it back through again will not make the style last longer or reinforce it. Do one small section at a time, and keep it moving.
6. Style using wigs or extensions
While the same rules apply to wigs and extensions that do to your real hair (when they are made with human hair), much less is at stake. Making a mistake or applying too much heat has significantly less consequence. You can always replace your extensions, but it’ll take much longer to regrow your real hair. In addition, you can get a better styling angle by using heat tools on the hair while it is off your head. This will make it easier to section and to avoid using heat too many times on the same spot.
Have any questions about heat styling? Worried that your heat tools are dangerous for your hair? Comment below!