Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How I stretch my natural hair using heat 4C

My experience so far with heating tools have been a pretty okay one. I have never had any heat damaged hair since going natural because I haven't really put any heat on my hair. I think I have blow dried my hair maybe 4-6 times in the last 3 years. And I may have flat ironed my hair about 3-4 times after blow drying it first. I guess you can say I wasn't interested in it before, but now I am very interested in strecthing my natural hair every once in a while. The only issue is finding a good heat protectant. I never really purchased heat protectants before, except for maybe some pressing creams back when I was hot combing my hair. When I decided to go "natural" I didn't actually go natural, I just made a decision to not relax my hair because of cost. I chose to just straighten my hair, this was in Sept 2008. I started hot combing my hair what seemed like everyday and my hair just looking so fried I didn't even know why at the time. I didn't know what heat damage was, nor did I know why my hair was breaking off or was so frizzy looking. I had severe, I mean severe heat damage. So I decided after I got annoyed of straightening my hair daily I'd wear weaves and wigs. That was probably a blessing in disguise because when I eventually had the money Oct of 2009 I went to the salon and didn't have to have that much hair taken off. Which was great to me because I had liked my length at the time it was short but easy. I had also asked my beautician before she permed my hair if I had to get a relaxer or could she just continue to hot comb it. She told me that once you get a relaxer you have to keep getting them, so I got one. I wish she had told me that I could just cut off my ends every 6 weeks until the relaxer was completely gone. But salons are out to take your money, any means necessary. I had one relaxer in Oct 2009 and then kept getting it straightened every few weeks I had money and time to go to the salon. Then I think I got another relaxer in Feb 2010, but after that I stopped completely. I didn't learn about the Natural hair community until summer 2010 which is when I decided to go through my transition process. I didn't blow dry or flat ironed my hair as often, I honestly don't think I did either but can't remember. When I Bc'd my hair in Dec 2010 I just air dried for a few months and then in 2011 I blow-dried my hair. I didn't use a special technique on how to blow dry my hair I just used it the way I used to before going natural, which was a big no-no. I used high heat and the comb attachment kept pulling my hair out real badly. I didn't really know what it meant to try and retain as much length as possible. I just wanted to make it straight. It has taken me a very long time to understand that my hair will never be bone straight, without some kind heat damage. I don't care how much my heat protectant cost cause without it I'd probably end up with that hideous frizzy mess I used to get when I a relaxer. AKA the frizzy mess was heat damage. I really can't go through that process anymore. So this past weekend (June 2013) I tried my hand at Blow drying my hair the "proper" way. Like most recipes and instructions I took a whole bunch and remixed it to work for me. My First Blow Dryer on natural hair experience I went to multiple websites such as Curlynikki, naturallycurly, and my fave blackgirllonghair.com. I used some tips here and there, while using some of their sources to make up my own regimen depending on how well it worked after a few times. Some sites said if you want to retain length don't put heat on it, while others said it was fine as long as it was limited. I say go with your hair intuition, if your hair starts to look dull or drying after a few tries I probably wouldn't straighten my hair ever again using heat. 1) First I shampooed my hair, but since I don't own a gentle shampoo like most sites said I made a mixture of 1]Dr. Bronners Castile Soap with some water. I know this has worked on my hair before without making my hair feel too stripped afterwards. I also added a little olive oil. This was just to get my hair cleaned. I definitely recommend this, or a "co-wash" product that they make now just to get all those products out your hair. 2) After shampooing I deep conditioned with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque. I was supposed to had left it in for 30 mins, but I got lazy and left it in for a few hours with my plastic bag on top of my head. I also finger/wide tooth comb detangled my hair and put into a few chunky twists before placing my plastic cap on. I rinsed out my DC and conditioned with Tresemme' Moisture Rich conditioner. I wanted to really make sure my hair was well conditioned before applying heat to it. Then I tried another go at my Infusium 23 leave-in that I've had for years but it seemed to never really work on my hair ever. I tried it as my water based product before sealing my ends with my Castor oil on the left and Shea Butter on the right. I only did this to see if I'd notice a difference but so far I haven't. I recommend both as great sealers. I plopped my hair with a tshirt because my hair was soaking wet still. I let the tshirt sit on my head for about 20 mins before blowdrying my hair. I blow dried half my hair on wash day and then the other half the following day. This step wasn't necessary to break up but it was like 1am and I needed to get my rest. I used the Tension Method to blow dry my hair. It actually worked well with drying and straightening my hair and since I didn't have an actual heat protectant I used Grapeseed oil and my Cantu Shea Butter Conditioning Cream. Not sure if this is actually a good combo but it has the same ingredients as most heat protectants did so I tried them both together. I used a low heat setting with a cool shot towards my ends. But my cool shot button broke on my dryer so I now have a permanent cool setting hair dryer. LOL. After blow drying my hair I put each section into twists to keep my hair stretched. And I just re-do them at night time before bed to make sure my hair stays stretched for the next day. Daily maintenance included staying moisturized, and well oiled to make sure my hair didn't frizz up. My goal wasn't to get bone straight hair but to just try something new. I plan to keep my hair this way for at least two weeks and may try my first protein conditioner to revitalize my hair after the blow out. I used either olive oil, coconut oil or Shea Moisture Curl&Style Milk. I will definitely blow dry my hair using the Tension Method vs with my comb attachment which obviously takes your hair out. I only had breakage when I detangled not when I blow-dried. And when I retwisted my hair at night I didn't have that much breakage. How do you stretch your hair? Pynkstarr

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