Monday, January 30, 2012

Can Your Hair Grow Long If You Use Heat? Natural Or Transitioning

 From the start of our transition, T has opted to wear her hair flat ironed straight half of the time as her styling option.

 From the start of my transition, I mostly wore my hair in it's
natural state (with the help of perm rod rollers), occasionally flat ironing just to see my growth progress. It was pretty encouraging to see how long my hair got during transition!
CAN YOU USE YOUR FLAT IRON AND STILL GROW YOUR NATURAL HAIR LONG?   So many people ask me that question because T wears her hair flat ironed straight for 2 weeks out of the month. The other 2 weeks, she wears her hair curly. It's a fair exchange.                                                                                                        We began that compromise a while back, with the understanding that she only apply heat to her hair 2 times a month. Her flat iron regimen includes blow drying hair that has already been 50% air dried. She uses heat protectant, and she wraps nightly. The temperature that she uses the flat iron to straighten her hair has been tried and experimented with. Basically meaning that she started at a low temperature and worked her way up to the low 300's.                                                                                                                                                                 The main question has been is it okay to put heat to your natural or transitioning hair. Will it stop you from growing long, healthy hair?
Judging from the growth that she's already achieved and retained, I would say that it is very possible to use heat in a safe and responsible way, and grow your hair as long as you'd like. I want to put out there that
the condition of your hair should be healthy before experimenting with heat.
Please understand that using heat on your hair can be damaging. It's very important to assess the health of your hair prior to using heat. Also, determine the best heat settings, and use of the proper heat protectant. Lastly, wrapping the hair nightly to retain the "straight" is best, as opposed to "bumping" it with the flat iron daily.

So back to T and her hair growth. The condition of her hair appears to be healthy, lustrous, and is retaining length rapidly. Her ends are trimmed as needed.

 Some people say that length will be retained only if you stay away from heat. But we will be tracking both of our progress. Me being the "non heat" participant. I use heat once every 2 to 3 months. T being the "heat" participant. We began our healthy hair journey approximately the same time. I had a 2 month head start, as I began my transition in July 2009, and hers began in September 2009.
 We plan to track the following:

1) Length
2) Condition of Hair Ends
3) Hair thickness (as it relates to each individual--mine is thicker than hers naturally)
4) Overall hair health (especially while curly)

Our review will take place in March (towards the end). We will report in a post to advise of our findings. I think it will be really interesting, because the outcome could prove to be very helpful to anyone not wanting to use chemicals on their scalp anymore, but still loving straight hair.


 We'd love to hear from transitioners and naturals about their experience with heat and hair length retention. Meanwhile, we'll follow up on this post at the end of March with our results.

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  1. i have been able to grow my transitioning hair using heat too...i use braids for about a month and then flat iron my hair,i have to REALLY deep condition my hair before flat iron other wise it will have alot of frizz! i use heat protectant too,i think thats a must!

    1. @ Naomi Patricia de Carvalho, that sounds like a great low manipulation regimen! For sure you'd see nice length doing that. Thanks for the feedback, we can't wait to see in March if both of us (heat and non heat) will grow healthy lengths!

  2. your hair looks good!

  3. I am loving your hair and this blog. What type of heat protectant do you use?

    1. Hi Brownskin! Thanks for the love ;o) I use avocado oil as a heat protectant when I blow dry and flat iron.

  4. Thank you so much for your prompt response. I will be trying this.