What I’ve learned in my 7-year natural hair journey is that what works for my type 4 hair texture, length, and dermatitis prone scalp may not work for another natural hair wearer. Natural hair to me is chemical free hair. That means no relaxer or straightening system. I’m aware that many natural hair wearers would argue me to a pulp and add hair dye to my definition. However, I believe that as women we sometimes have to tweak our hair to fit our lifestyle, happiness, and do what is physically appealing to our eyes or self-esteem. Always do you, but remember your health is important too! So should natural hair women use heat on their hair? Well, let’s take a look at the failures and benefits of using heat.
Most type 4 hair Queens can use light to moderate heat occasionally and never experience any heat damage. Heat damage is when your hair no longer reverts back to its naturally curly/kinky texture. When it is exposed to moisture it gives off a frizzy, spiked, limp appearance. Twist out’s that unravel during styling and wash and go styles that have mostly straight strands, are all results of heat damage or “heat trained hair”. Many women prefer this texture of natural hair because it closely resembles chemically straightened hair. My motto is that women should always do what works for them. If heat styling is your preference, go for it. It’s important to get regular trims between 8-10 weeks to prevent split ends. If you prefer to wear your crown in its curly/kinky texture pressing minimally should not cause any major damage to your tresses. Make sure that your stylist is aware of your goals of having your hair to revert back, after wearing your straight style. Flatirons should be set under 380° degrees, chased with a comb, and passed over the hair no more than 1-2 times. If you choose to straighten infrequently be sure and get your ends trimmed with each press or every 3 months. Sometimes your ends will only need a light dusting versus a full trim. You do not have to have your hair straightened to have your ends trimmed. Whatever style you choose for your hair always remember to love yourself and do what works for you!