Heat damage can sneak up on you like extra pounds after the holidays. You think you’re on the right track, until you look in the mirror and it’s all wrong. It’s devastating to transition to natural hair for months—or even years—and realize your natural texture has been altered by heat. I’m aware that staying away from heat is easier said than done, but using it in excess can cause major harm to the natural curls you've nurtured throughout your transition.
Most of us think our hair is so "nappy" we could use it to scrub pots and pans, but contrary to popular belief, kinky hair is soft and delicate. It only takes one time to permanently alter your strands. Here’s an example: My sister, Chanda, flat-ironed her hair throughout her transition. When she big chopped she noticed the front of her hair was much straighter than the rest of her hair. It instantly reminded me of younger girls with naturally curly hair and a straight bang. Not cute! I warned Chanda that she would damage her hair because she flat ironed it too often, but she brushed me off. Later, she told me that she didn't think any amount of heat could change her 4B texture. She was wrong. Heat causes limp and lifeless curls, so if you must use heat, do so in moderation.
My best advice is to only style your hair in ways that don’t require heat at all. If you really want it straight, try rolling or twisting your hair, then sitting under the dryer for 30-45 minutes. But, if you can avoid the heat (which can call your name as loud as creamy crack!) when it's time to big chop, your natural curls and kinks will be intact. Trust me!