Some Words of Caution About Using Direct Heat
Although I’ve long since softened my personal stance on the use of very occasional direct heat, I do believe that its excessive use is extremely detrimental to the quest for healthy hair. I don’t think you can be natural, jump back and forth between thermal and natural styles all the time and expect your hair to not be damaged. And the damage will be most NOTICEABLE when you try to wear natural styles — not when you’re wearing your thermally styled hair.
Even Professionals Can Make a Mistake
Even when you trust a licensed professional with your hair, it doesn’t mean that they can’t make a mistake. It only takes ONE time for ANYONE to put a too hot appliance in your hair resulting in irreversible damange.
So if you choose to use heat on your hair, make sure you KNOW what you’re doing, or if you go to a salon, make sure you KNOW your beautician well and discuss his/her’s use of heat on your hair. If you are not comfortable with what they’re telling you, WALK AWAY FROM THE CHAIR!
Also be aware that although you may not see immediate, visible signs of damage after using heat, it is cumulative, building everytime heat is applied to your hair. Just because you don’t readily see burned straight or scorched hair there is always some measure of damage being done with every application of heat. Over time, the use of heat can result in looser kinks and coils, dry hair that lacks elasticity and possible damage beyond repair. If you do so frequently, you just speed up how fast you’ll see the damage. That’s why, if you’re going to wear you hair natural MOST of the time, it’s important to use heat very sparingly because once you start seeing damage, it’s irreversible and that mean you’ll have to cut it out.
Been there…done that.
So no matter how often you use heat, make sure whomever is doing your hair is taking precautions. Use a heat protectorant and make sure the appliance isn’t excessively hot, by using the lowest possible setting. If you’re using an old fashioned pressing comb, curling or flat iron that is heated atop a stove, they should always be tested on a napkin, some tissue or an old wrag PRIOR to putting it in your hair. If it burns the paper or the rag, it will burn your hair.
Now of course the best way to not have heat damage is to not use heat. But if you’re gonna go there…KNOW THE RISKS, TAKE PRECAUTIONS AND THEN MAKE AN INFORMED, BEST POSSIBLE DECISION FOR YOUR HAIR.