Heat Styling

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When it comes to heat styling multicultural hair, it is important to use hot tools and styling products correctly. Proper use will protect the structural integrity of the hair and especially on natural hair being worn smoothed, it will protect the curl pattern for when the consumer decides to return curly. Let’s take a look first at the products that should be used on multicultural hair before the hot tools are applied.
After shampooing and conditioning it is good to use a protein-based deep treatment to strengthen the hair. Adding more protein to the hair will not only keep hair healthy and fight breakage, but it will protect the natural curl pattern as well. Once the hair is cleansed it is now time to begin styling. Always begin the styling process with some type of style primer to put a barrier between the hair and the heat from the finishing tools. This can be in the form of styling gel, foams, sprays or lotions. Usually these products will say “Heat Protectant” on them, but if not, just look for ingredients in the formula like PVP/DMAPA acrylates copolymer, quaternium 70, hydrolyzed wheat protein and silicones (silicone quaterniums, dimethicone). All of the mentioned ingredients have been proven to protect the hair against excessive heat. When applying these products, make sure they are thoroughly distributed throughout hair, especially towards the ends of the hair where heat damage occurs first. A great product to use is the Dark and Lovely 6 Week Anti-Reversion Crème Serum or the Optimum Silky Blow Out Elixir. Both will provide silky results on all textures of hair and block out the excessive heat from hot styling tools. Next, use the setting method for the desired style, whether it is molding the hair and setting under hooded dryer, blow dried or set with some type of rod or roller. If a blow dryer is to be used, the position of the dryer is critical to not cause heat damage to the hair shaft.
When blow drying hair, take small controlled sections to begin the blow dry. Hold the blow dryer on an angle parallel to the hair and not directly on top of hair section. This allows the air to blow across the hair and smooths the cuticle for shinier and smoother results. Holding a blow dryer to blow directly into the hair will cause internal damage to hair by breaking down the proteins and will lead to dryness and loss of curl pattern on multicultural hair. To know if there is already heat damage, look at hair when it is wet. If the hair has straight ends to it, the straight ends are heat damaged. Currently there is nothing to cure heat damaged ends on textured hair but to cut them off and properly maintain the hair afterwards, making sure heat damage doesn’t reoccur.
In addition, a light silicone-based spray or serum is good to use before a flat iron or curl iron is used. This will help to absorb and even out the heat to the hair, and help to prevent heat damage. Then take small diagonal partings and start with the flat iron close to the scalp; in one continuous motion, slide iron to ends of hair. Do not let the iron sit still on the hair at any point, especially at the ends. If a curling iron is used, make sure not to hold the iron on the ends of hair too long. Start with the iron in the middle of the section of hair and allow the ends of the hair to go into the iron last. This will protect the ends of the hair and create a curl that will last longer when styled.
Using hot tools and heat protectant products correctly can give multicultural hair many different style options without sacrificing the natural curl pattern or integrity to the hair. Women have always been style chameleons with their hair, and now they can change up looks while maintaining healthy hair without sacrificing their natural curl patterns.