Tips on How to Blow Dry/ Heat style your Natural Hair using the tension method to avoid Heat Damage

I love the diversity in the natural hair community, ranging from hair thickness, hair porosity, hair density, curl pattern, texture, sebum level and perhaps many other traits. People with less dense, high porosity, looser and finer texture would most likely not need to use heat to achieve stretched hair.

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Your hair thickness will determine whether a blow out is as beneficial or not. Since our hair thickness varies, our regimen for length retention can’t be a one size fits all. Curl patterns that are S-shaped or very tightly coiled, tight textured, thick and low in porosity will get awesome results from a heat regimen.

IMG-1452
Stretched hair ready for protective style

It is an added benefit to protect your hair from heat damage both internally and externally. A protein treatment before using heat will give you that internal protection, while using a heat protector (Amazon), by evenly coating your hair with it, will give you the external protection you need against heat damage. I came across someone who also incorporates, a light spritz consisting of a humectant (vegetable glycerin(Amazon), mixed with water, also containing aloe Vera juice (Amazon), that prevents the blow dryer from drying out their hair completely, and they state that the spritz’ low pH helps their hair cuticles lay flatter to reduce the risk of chipping at the tips from dryness.

I personally tend to be in a hurry when blow drying, because I want it to dry as fast as possible, lol, don’t we all! So, am sometimes tempted to set the heat to maximum, but this habit will leave you prone to heat damage and excessively dry hair. However, this process requires patience which individuals and some hairstylists don’t usually have because they are just trying to get to their next customer. Growing up, the salons I went to, used such high heat that smoke would be seen, and the hair would smell burnt for at least a week.

Here are a few tips; using the tension method and working in sections, as seen below, demonstrated by blackhairinformation.com, you will be working in three parts, about a 1/3 for each section along the hair strand you are holding.

tension
A capture of Blackhairinformation.coms’ tension method

Starting with the roots of your hair. If it takes too many passes (about 20), to get your hair dry and stretched, you might need to increase the heat setting, and vice versa, if it takes only three passes to dry the section, the heat is too high, you might need to reduce it. You would need a hair dryer (Amazon) that allows you to change the heat settings.

 

Starting with the roots of your hair. If it takes too many passes (about 20), to get your hair dry and stretched, you might need to increase the heat setting, and vice versa, if it takes only three passes to dry the section, the heat is too high, you might need to reduce it. You would need a hair dryer (Amazon) that allows you to change the heat settings.

clicking on image will take you to amazon purchase link

On to the middle section of your hair, since it is slightly older that the roots, less tension is needed here, but maintain the heat setting used previously.

Moving on to the tips finally, this hair is the oldest and most prone to heat damage, avoid blowing very hot air onto it. Use the low heat setting and make a few passes until that section is slightly dry.

After all three sections are dried, you might have noticed that your blow dry has a cool setting, which you probably might not have used before. I recommend using this setting to cool and calm your hair and use this setting to dry the tips of your hair further.

Keep the hair in a stretched protective style like twist or wear as desired. To avoid heat damage, Apply heat to your hair at least once a month. Some people recommend once in 6 months, but I have found that a monthly stretch hasn’t harmed my hair in any way.

This heat regimen is also for people who might be acne prone and don’t want to have to consistently keep the hair very moisturized, my hair products usually end up on my face and I break out easily.

IMG-1453
Hair to be stretched further in a protective style

Someone asked me yesterday about how to deal with heat damage. I have personally suffered with this in the past and the only way to deal with this well is to cut off the damaged parts.

Unfortunately, most heat damage is permanent, you might temporarily patch it up, but I look at it like trying to fix a torn paper, the damage will still be there regardless of what you do. It is best to cut off the damage.

If you are worried about length, you could consistently use protein treatment until you get to a length you might be more comfortable to trim the dead ends, but it still has to go at some point.

I hope these tips were helpful. You may keep trying out different techniques and find what works best for your hair. This is what works for my hair type and I hope it will be useful to someone. I hope to hear from you.

I would like to hear about your heat journey. Please comment below. If you have any questions, you are welcome to ask, I will be happy to respond.

*Remember, you are marked by Flawless Craftsmanship*

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