Reader Q&A: Blogger CurlyNikki on Preventing Heat Damage

Alicia Spl327464 007

Calling all naturalistas: Do you have urgent tress questions? If so, you're in luck. Every Thursday, natural hair blogger extraordinaire CurlyNikki will be solving your curly hair conundrums!

Check out the newest installment in CurlyNikki's reader Q&A series:

READER QUESTION:

I'm straightening my hair tonight. Any tips on preventing heat damage? -Shauntie

CURLYNIKKI’S RESPONSE:

It's totally possible to achieve a sleek natural 'do in a safe way (just check out naturalista Alicia Keys' healthy straight style). Here are my tried and true tips along with info on the most popular and least damaging methods straightening methods:

  • Cleanse thoroughly (shampoo, not a cleansing conditioner), condition and deep condition for 30 minutes.
  • Apply a light coating of leave-in conditioner and/or oil (locking in your moisture) and apply a heat protectant.
  • Skip the blow dryer. Instead, chunky braid, roller set, or pony tail roller set (“cheat set”) the hair to stretch it. Air dry overnight or sit under a bonnet dryer.
  • If you must blow dry, blot excess moisture and allow your hair to air dry for 15 minutes prior to starting. Blow drying wet hair can lead to loss of elasticity and in the long run, breakage. Keep the heat setting as low as possible and hold the nozzle a few inches away from the hair. Also, make sure the hair is detangled prior to blow-drying. 
  • Flat iron hair in VERY small sections with your ceramic plated iron using the chase method. Detangle the section thoroughly with a wider tooth comb, then grab a comb with closer teeth and comb from the roots down, just enough for the flat iron to fit (between your roots and the comb) and chase the comb with the iron, on your way down to the ends. The tension should only make one pass necessary to get your hair its straightest.
  • Keep the temperature as low as possible. Start on a cooler setting and go up incrementally until you reach an effective temp. The straighter you get your hair in the stretching process, the less heat you'll need while flat-ironing. I'd recommend staying under 400 degrees.
  • Finally, no touch-ups! When your hair is beginning to revert, bantu knot or twist it to achieve a wave pattern. Never flat iron dirty hair. Sleep in a satin cap at night.

 Leave-in Conditioner Recommendations:
***Salerm 21 A thicker leave-in with moisture, silk protein and lots of slip. Love it!

***Lacio Lacio  My favorite right now for roller-sets. It's lighter than Salerm 21 and leaves my hair strong, soft and moisturized. It also aids in detangling. It's another one that has a good mix of moisture and silk protein.

Redken Anti Snap  People love it. I don't. I really wanted to, but it makes my hair feel weird. I think it's the hydrolized wheat and soy proteins. Maybe it'll be your fave!

Heat Proctectant Recommendation:
***Sabino Lok and Blok  My absolute favorite and I like that it's not a spray... I also use this in the summer as an anti-humectant. It smooths the cuticle, locks in moisture, absorbs heat and leaves a lovely shine.

What did I miss? Help Shauntie out!