Friday, October 26, 2012

Long Time No See & Heat and Natural Hair

Sorry I've been incognegro for a while, but I'm still natural and still growing my hair out.

State of the Hair Update:

I've been thinking about this subject of heat & natural hair for a while. I know some naturals believe that heat on natural hair is analogous to damaging natural hair. Yet, a lot of the naturals I’ve seen with “dumb long” (hair that has grown to at least BSL in a matter of 2-3 yrs) hair use heat at least occasionally. I especially see that as true for women who have hair in the 4 category. My theory is that the heat enables them to bypass the single strand knots (SSK) and damaged ends that can come with extremely coiled/nappy hair.
Personally, my hair has grown well with wearing my 4 hair out in wash and go (WNG) puffs for the majority of my time as a natural. However, my ends have been a bit on the atrocious side and I had to trim them recently for that reason. Now of course I could have worn protective styles (PS) for the majority of the time and maybe I wouldn’t have had that problem. However, at this stage in my life I have neither the time to twist my hair all the time, nor do I necessarily want to rock short twists all the time.

Here's a picture of my stretched hair after being almost a year natural.  I can't remember when I got my last relaxer and I inadvertantly transitioned when I put in genie locs on Dec. 24th and I kept them in and re-tightened the roots until May (I was going to transition into locs w/o cutting, but changed my mind). 

Hair Stretched from Havana Twists

Heat Challenge: 

So, I’ve come up with a heat challenge for myself. The plan is pretty simple in that I plan on blow-drying my hair at least once a month. After that I will either wear it in a straight style, do twist/braidouts, or protective style with braids or twists. For the rest of the year and probably until spring I think I will be doing PS because I am currently 31 wks pregnant and due in December, so I don’t feel like doing ANYTHING to my hair myself if I can help it. Plus, I want to be able to look good w/o a lot of effort during the holidays, the birth, and with the inevitable visitors that come after giving birth.
In that vein I attempted my first blow-out since I’ve been natural. Here’s a summary of my experience:
1. I washed my hair with Creme of Nature Shampoo & Nature Valley or Something Conditioner (basic products).
2. I did not deep condition.
3. After washing (I did two latherings because I hadn’t done a shampoo wash in a while), I detangled my damp hair with a comb (couldn’t find my fake Denman  ) and put it into sections.
4. I moisturized each section with Whipped Shea Butter and put it into a Bantu knot. I had about 8 sections two in the back, two in the middle, two on the top, and two on the sides.
5. I then blow-dried my hair in those sections using the kind of blow-dryer that is shaped like a brush with the comb attachment (narrow tooth). This was easier than I thought it would be. However I noticed that the ends on my left side were harder to do, the ends were more tangled and crunchier. I don’t know why this is, but now I know to pay more attention to this side. Oh and the left side is shorter than my right as well.
6. HERE’S WHERE I MESSED UP! When I started flat ironing I sprayed a “heat protectant spray” on the section, then I had to go over the section like 3 more times…1 to re-dry/straighten it because the spray made it reverted, the 2nd to straighten better, and the 3rd to bump it. I had the temperature on 350 degrees.
7. So, I figured out like a million sections in that this was not helping make a very straight flat iron. When I started doing the left side I also started trimming the crunchy ends. So hopefully I can do some remediation by taking better care of that side.
8. I didn’t end up wearing my hair out, but did two chunky flat twists on the side meeting up to a bunny tail in the back.
Good News
  • My hair is as long as it was before I went natural.
  • It seems healthy for the most part.
  • It was pretty easy to blow-dry.
 Meh News
  • The crunchy ends I had to trim.
  • iFailed on the flatiron portion.
  • Took forever for the flat ironing part because my hair is so thick.
 In conclusion, I will still be doing this once a mth. I think it will help me in the least check on the condition of my ends and take care of them. In about 6mths I'll go to the Dom. salon around here and have them do a good straightening and style. It'll be April and hopefully I won't sweat it out to easy.
Here are some of my inspirations that use heat:

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