Thursday, 5 July 2012

Why I ..... Use Heat Protectant?


My Pros
Protects hair from heat damage when applying heat tools
Reduces breakage
The brand I use makes my hair feel really soft and silky during use

My Cons
  None that I know of! 

You Could Use
Any product labeled as a  'Heat Protectant' such as CHI Silk Infusion or CHI Iron Guard, you could even use Grapeseed Oil

What I Use
Treseme Heat Defence Spray £4 - £4.99
 Available from most Boots, Superdrug, Tesco, Sainsburys, Asda etc

I’m gonna be 100% honest and tell you that before I started my healthy hair journey (HHJ) I knew nothing at all about heat protectant.  As a result I never [intentionally] used a heat protectant on my hair. Sure, some of the products which either my stylist or I used on my hair in the past could have an element of heat protection built into them, but I never heard of a product being used on the hair solely with the purpose to protect it from heat styling! I’m pretty sure that had I known this I could have retained more length; this is especially so being a relaxed head.

I remember seeing commercials on TV which mentioned damaged hair, products enriched with avocado oil or ceramides, fortifying this and nourishing that….?! But alas I never ever saw these commercials directed at afro Caribbean hair, especially not in the UK!  I used to think that the difference in our afro textured or relaxed hair meant that products my best friend would use couldn’t be used on my own kinky or relaxed hair. The penny never dropped that hair is hair and therefore the same benefits of some products and negatives of some hair practices, could be helped by using something to protect my strands from the scorching heat of my appliances.

The relaxer process causes irreversible damage to the cuticle and cortex of each strand which is chemically altered making it weaker and prone to damage including mechanical damage through manipulation (such as brushing, combing and normal every day styling) and heat (such as the use of heat tools i.e. the blow drier and flat iron/straighteners). However the same applies if you are natural and like wearing your hair in its curly state, but also sometimes like to flat iron your locks in order to achieve a straighter look, you also really need to enlist the help of heat protectant to prevent heat damage caused by hot tools. Heat damage may rob you of your curl pattern and the only way to effectively repair it and get your hair back to how it was before the damage and back to its former glory is to cut off the damaged areas (bearing in mind this could be widespread) and get your grow on all over again. Pretty serious huh, as this could be 3+ years of progress depending on your growth and retention rate!!!

When I was in my early and mid 20’s I always air dried in a bun and my hair would be super smooth, apart from a pesky dent right at the back of my hair – much to my annoyance! My friends used to blow dry their hair regularly but I never saw the need to do the same. By my early 30’s I was blow drying like a crazy fiend every single wash day because I had learned that this resulted in flowy hair, which I had quickly grown to love! This coupled with the use of my various Babyiss flat irons over the years was just not a good combination. Although in time I did use the heat responsibly when I got my GHD’s, only flat ironing on wash days or sometimes skipping the flat iron alltogether in favour of my Babyliss heated rollers to obtain a result with more body and texture.

If you use any form of heat on your hair be it direct (blow driers, flat iron etc) or non-direct (hooded dryer, hot rollers) you should really start thinking about using a heat protectant to protect your strands from moisture loss and heat damage. It is also worth noting that using a heat protectant won't save you from misuse of heat.  Most products only protect up to a certain temperature (the Treseme product I use protects up to temperatures of 230oc so it's probably best not to assume that applying a protectant product will enable you to fry your hair poker straight using 10 passes of the flat iron at full temperature!!!

Ciao 4 Now

1 comment

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