Stubborn. I guess that’s the word for it because I have no other way to describe it. I keep trying to straighten my hair until it is laid to the gods and it keeps coming back with heat damage. Yes, I have now, to date, given myself heat damage more times than I can remember. There isn’t a stylist to blame or even a lack of knowledge on my part. I knew better and still wound up damaging my hair while straightening it.
I blame Youtube. We’ve all seen the videos where people are cranking their flat irons up past 400 degrees. Well, I thought maybe I could too. I mean why not? My hair was getting longer and healthier. I was doing protein treatments and using multiple heat protectants. Sometimes I even thought I could just wear my hair straight whenever I felt like it. I found out the hard way that those things would certainly not work for my hair. Continue reading “How Heat Damage Led to My Mini Big Chop”→
Naturally curly hair can take some getting used to. When I first went natural I did all that I could to learn more about how to grow my hair longer and stronger. Since I hadn’t worn my natural hair since I was a pre-teen, I was very new to the idea. Because of this my hair journey began with a lot of trial and error. Heat damage ended up being on of my biggest mistakes early on. I created a regimen for myself that included straightening my hair once a month. Of course, I knew about deep conditioning and heat protectant but still didn’t know how MY hair reacted to heat.
At the time I was of the mind that hair of my type required at least 400 degrees or more for straightening. I later found out that using the right
technique also plays a huge role in how smooth my hair turns out. Also, I was of the mind that having natural, unprocessed hair meant that my hair would withstand heat and manipulation differently. This mindset eventually led to my misuse of heat on one occasion that left a section of my hair heat damaged. Continue reading “Letting Go of Heat Damage”→
A few weeks ago I realized that my hair needed a protein treatment. This may contradict what we are told in the Natural Hair community where popular belief is that natural hair doesn’t need additional protein. A protein treatment is often used to give added strength to hair strands. A lot of people think that since natural hair is free from chemicals that alter the texture, then the protein core is safe. However, there may be other times when a protein treatment is needed. The following are things that I look for when caring for my own natural hair
5 Signs Your Natural Hair May Need a Protein Treatment
1. Excessive Shedding
When the hair sheds you’ll find full strands of hair with a white root bulb on one end. Shedding is considered normal at a rate of 50-100 strands of hair each day for most people. However, you may notice a drastic change in your rate of shedding that continues for a prolonged period of time. A protein treatment may aid in reducing the amount of shedding.*
As I stated above, a protein treatment can give added strength to hair strands which in turn helps to protect the hair from breaking. If you are seeing small pieces of hair breaking and it’s not shedding then this may help.
WATCH ME USE THE
APHOGEE 2 MINUTE KERATIN RECONSTRUCTOR
PROTEIN TREATMENT ON MY CURLY HAIR
3. Change in Hair Texture
This can happen after using heat. The higher the temperature the more damaging the heat can be. For this reason you may find your hair is not curling back up or reverting back to your normal texture. I have experienced this several times and I always turn to a protein conditioner to see if that helps. If not, the damage may be permanent but at least the protein gives the hair an added layer of protection.
4. Excessive Split Ends
A few split ends here and there can be considered normal. It’s when you’re seeing a significant number of splits that you should be concerned. This calls for a trim and then maybe a light protein treatment to strengthen the hair and prevent further damage.
5. You Use Direct Heat and Hair Color
Some naturals are relaxer free but use hair dye and direct heat to alter the look of their natural hair. These can potentially lead to damage (cuticle layer damage or porosity issues) that can cause dryness and breakage.
What to Use for a Protein Treatment
A protein treatment can be made at home with mayonnaise, eggs, coconut milk and or avocado. There are also store bought conditioners that claim to fortify the hair with added protein. Look for things that say, “Strengthening” or, “for Damaged Hair”. This means there is protein in the ingredients list that may be helpful for hair that is dry, damaged and/or breaking. I like to apply a light protein conditioner to my hair and sit with it covered by a plastic cap for about twenty minutes. Remember though, anytime you use protein treatment on your hair it must be followed by a moisturizing deep treatment. Too much protein can make the hair feel brittle so the moisture will help to balance things out.
NOTE: If your hair is sensitive to protein then this may not be an option for you.
*Excessive hair loss can also be a sign of stress or a deeper health issue. It may be best to seek professional help if the condition does not respond to the use of protein or other at home treatments
When my hair was relaxed, I never took the time to deep condition my hair. I had a pretty simple regimen which included shampoo, conditioner and a leave-in conditioner. If I had been introduced to do the idea of using a light protein treatment, my hair might have been a lot stronger. Since I was clueless back then, my color treated, chemically straightened hair broke off like mad.
I heard about the Aphogee line when I was doing research on how to keep my hair from breaking. The two step protein treatment sounded a little too involved for me. However the conditioner like Keratin 2 minute Reconstructor I thought was worth a try. I started using it once a month during my transitioning period and experienced a lot more length retention.
WATCH HOW I USE
APHOGEE’S KERATIN 2 MINUTE RECONSTRUCTOR
After doing my big chop I figured I didn’t need the product anymore. I started wearing my natural hair straight once a month and quickly learned that my hair still needed protein. That’s why I still use the light protein treatment by Aphogee. It is my go to product when my curls need a little help. Now, don’t get me wrong, this product will not bring severely heat damaged hair back from the brink. It will however help strengthen damaged hair and lessen the chance of breakage. Take a look at my video to watch a quick demonstration of how I use the product.
DISCLAIMER: If your hair is protein sensitive then this product may not work for you. Be sure to read the product instructions prior to using this product. I consider this to be a light protein treatment but if used too often it can lead to dryness and breakage. Always follow a protein treatment with a moisture deep conditioning.
After spending several months wearing heat free styles, I decided to wear my hair straight for a few weeks. A couple of months ago, straightening my hair seemed silly because I would only get to wear the style for a short period of time. My psoriasis was in high gear so my scalp needed attention every couple of days. This meant cleansing my hair and scalp multiple times each week. At the time, it seemed necessary because my scalp was sometimes unbearable and had to be dealt with. Once my psoriasis calmed down, I decided that I would finally straighten my hair.
Wearing my hair straight during the summer heat may also sound silly but I can get away with it here. In Colorado we have a very dry climate so there is little to no humidity on most days. Still, reversion is always possible with straight natural hair. I have been hearing about the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System or TMS. This product claims that you can use it on natural hair to help with straight styles over a 4-6 week period. After a few weeks and multiple washes, the hair will supposedly return to its natural state. Well, after reading this article by The Natural Haven blog I’m not so sure.
Half up half down style on my straight natural hair
The article gives a breakdown of what happens to the hair structure when using the product. It appears as though the hair bonds are effected but not permanently broken. So yes, the hair does return to a textured state after using the product. However, the product also seems to slightly change the protein bonds. This makes me wonder what would happen after using it multiple times.
Back to curly after wearing it straight
It would be nice to have straight natural hair that lasts longer but I think I’ll stick to my current routine. I use several heat protectants including grapeseed oil, IC Fantasia’s Heat Protectant serum and Tresemme’s Heat Tamer Spray. The serum helps to combat reversion while the spray and grapeseed oil protect my hair from heat damage. While it’s straight I use things like Herbal Essences Split End Protector to moisturize and grapeseed oil to seal. I also do either pin curls or wrap my hair at night to preserve the style. When I’m ready to go back to curly, I use Aphogee’s 2 Minute Reconstructor to give my hair a light protein treatment. My curls seem to always bounce back just fine with this routine so why change now?
What are your thoughts on the TMS system by Beautiful Textures? Please share below in the comments section.