August 3, 2012

My Transition Lessons: Heat Isn’t Necessary

This was and is a major lesson for me.  When I was relaxed I was a heat MANIAC!  Flat irons, curlers, bumpers, different sizes, different heat abilities, auto shut off for the days I had to run out in a hurry, 60-second heat ups for the days when I needed a quick fix…you name it, I had it.  Two blow dryers, one ceramic, one…not (that one broke) and a hooded dryer.  All for lil ole me!    I used to use enough heat on my hair to cook breakfast and dinner on Easter Sunday!

Needless to say, the first thing I thought I was going to do when I stopped getting my hair braided during my transition was flat iron my hair so that my roots and my processed ends matched.  That’s the easiest thing to do, after all, right?

Well, here’s the reality of what happened.  My last perm was June 15, 2010. I had my hair braided/twisted repeatedly from July 2010 until March 2011. I flat ironed my hair in March 2011 so that my mom could do a trim for me, and again in May 2011 so I could have a nice length check and straight hair for my birthday. Then I did Protecting Your Crown & Glory's Take Back Your Hair Challenge & as a result of actually learning to deal with my transitioning hair textures, then doing my BC, I have refrained from doing any heat styling since May 13, 2011. That’s over a year! I have only applied heat to my hair by way of the hooded dryer about every week for my DC.  There were a couple of months when I was working with All Tressed Up and I would have to sit under the dryer for the setting of some of the styles, but that was still only once every 2-3 weeks.

Who would’ve thunk that I could do that?! I surely didn’t. But what I did for the remainder of my transition were roller sets, twist-outs and up-dos that required no heat at all. Truth be told, while I would like to see how much my hair has grown by pulling out the flat iron, I really don’t have the desire to put heat on my hair for styling purposes, so I'll have to continue doing the hair pull down with my fingers.

Now I have all these styling tools sitting latent in my closet.

Now, if you can't tell, that's 8 curlers, 2 flat irons, an electric straitening comb and a set of heated rollers. Then there are the heat protectants I bought of which I've only used 1 of the twice. I'm not getting rid of them because, who knows, in another year, I may follow through on a desire to straighten my hair again, but for now...say hello to the dust collectors everybody!

I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t use heat styling while transitioning.  Correction, you really shouldn't. For the health of your hair, but, if you are properly protecting your hair and not burning or melting it, I don’t think its that much of a bad thing depending on how often you use them.  I would suggest going heat free for a while just to see how you handle your hair and how your hair responds. For me, once I discovered that heat-free styling worked and worked well, I ran with it and I am in no hurry to to go back! I have even made plans to straighten my hair over the past year and every time I go to even blow dry my hair and say..Naaaahhhh! I don't need it.

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