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4 Month No Heat Challenge Results

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length checkI finally completed my No Heat Challenge which went from October 1, 2013 to February 1, 2014.  It may sound crazy but it was the longest that I had gone without using heat since my transition to natural hair.  At first, I thought maybe I was going to succumb to the urge to straighten my hair or use a blow dryer.  Once I got the hang of styling my hair in other ways, it ended up being easier than I expected.




During the challenge I allowed myself the use of my hooded dryer for roller sets and drying my wash n’ go curls.  Other than that, I usually just air dried my hair.  My favorite styles ended up being braid outs and ponytail roller sets.  These were easy ways to stretch my hair that also gave my hair manageability.

www.curlyincolorado.com no heat challenge length check
My Current Hair Length
February 2014

Once the four month challenge was over, I straightened my hair for a length check.  I was happy to see that my layers were finally growing out.  After flat ironing my hair I decided to give myself a much needed trim.  One of the things I noticed though was how many single strand knots I had to cut out.  Not good!  My thoughts on that were that maybe I should stay away from tightly curly styles until I get to a length where I’m comfortable with just maintaining.  For now, I’ll be using stretched styles to try and keep the knots under control.

I’ve decided that I’ll probably go another three months before using heat to straighten my hair again.  I really liked how the new hair growing in felt so much thicker and healthier.  I don’t want to damage it by using excess heat.  Overall, I’m pleased with the results and am glad that I challenged myself in this way.  I learned a lot about my hair and what it needs, which will help me obtain my goals.

Have you ever participated in a hair challenge?

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Straight Natural Hair: Prepping My Hair for Heat

www.curlyincolorado.com  Straight Natural Hair
“Platform” Flat Iron with 1″ plates
by FHI 

I am proud to say that I’m finally coming to the end of my four month No Heat Challenge.  The challenge started on October 1st of 2013 and ends on February 1st, 2014.  I was able to get through the holiday season without using heat to style my hair.  This is a first for me because I’m known for wearing my hair straight for special occasions.   This challenge taught me that there are plenty of other styles for when I want something more exciting.

In my no heat challenge video I explained that I would be straightening my hair and doing a length check in February.  Then I will see if giving my hair a break from the heat resulted in more length retention.  Now that the day is fast approaching, I’ve been thinking of ways to fortify my hair so that it will be ready for the heat.  My first thought was to use the Aphogee 2 Step protein treatment because it is known for it’s ability to strengthen the hair.  I’ve been experiencing some breakage though so I thought maybe I would address that issue first before doing such a strong treatment.

www.curlyincolorado.com Straight Natural Hair
Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment for
extra protection against heat and breakage

That led me to thinking about some of the things I did in the beginning of my journey when I had fewer problems with my hair.  Back then, I used a whipped shea butter mix that I made myself.  I was also a huge fan of olive and coconut oils for deep treatments.  Another thing I did were deep conditioning treatments one time per week, without fail.  Well, my regimen has gotten a little simpler but I think that some of these things were working for me so I’m bringing a few of them back.

Whenever I had dryness or breakage before, I always did moisturizing deep treatments twice a week until the issue was resolved.  After that, I would go back to once per week.  In that fashion, I deep conditioned last week using Tresemme Naturals Conditioner, for moisture, under a hooded dryer for about 30 minutes.  A few days later, I co-washed and  then used the new Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Strong version.  I would consider this conditioner a light protein treatment.  I wanted to alternate the moisture and protein treatments for balance.  Thankfully the Aussie conditioner also gave excellent slip so detangling was a breeze.

This week I still may do the Aphogee 2 step treatment but then, the day before straightening, I plan on doing nothing but moisture.  For this, I revisited an old video by Patchouli85 where she explains how to deep condition with coconut oil for moisture and honey for shine.  It’s a pre-poo treatment so you end up washing it out before using the heat.  The last time I did it my hair was so shiny and soft.  That’s exactly what my hair needs.

It’s so funny how right now the best thing for my hair is what I started doing at the beginning of my hair journey.  I’m just glad that I’m finally getting back on the right track.

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Finally on Facebook and Instagram

I know I’m pretty late on this but bear with me.  I started a page on Facebook sometime ago but was never really sure how to keep it separate from all of my other Facebook ongoings.  My friends and family already hear enough about my hair as it is and I didn’t want to blast them with it on there too.  So the Facebook page for my blog was born but then it just sat for a while.  Fast forward to this fall, where I’ve been a lot more productive for some reason and got back to this whole social media thing.

I also decided to start an account on Instagram because I really like photography.  I figured it would be a fun way to update my YouTube subscribers on some of the daily styling I do with my hair.  Since I upgraded to a new phone I thought it was a good time to check it out.  I have since found out that there is a ton of stuff to see on Instagram and I’m having a lot of fun with it.

MY VIDEO INTRODUCING MY SUBSCRIBERS TO MY FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM

I’ll be using the two social media sites to keep everyone up to date on what is going on during my four month No Heat Challenge which will take us into early 2014.  For now I’m just enjoying my new “online life”.

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My Staple Hair Products

As a follow-up to my No Heat Challenge video, I decided to let everyone know what hair products I’ll be using over the next few months.  It turns out that I feel the most comfortable sticking with what I know.  That brings us to what I would consider my “Staple” products.  These are the things that I keep coming back to after trying other products.  Sure, sometimes I like to change things up a bit, but right now I have this desire to just keep it simple.

MY YOUTUBE VIDEO ABOUT THE HAIR PRODUCTS 
I’LL BE USING FOR THE 
4 MONTH NO HEAT CHALLENGE

One thing I want to mention, that is not shown in the video, are my moisturizers.  I’m still in love with the Hollywood Beauty Olive Creme but I’m also using the Elasta QP Mango and Olive moisturizer.  Otherwise, everything else is in the video.  You can also take a look at what’s listed in the tab above named “Hair Regimen” to see some of the things I do on a weekly basis.

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4 Month No Heat Challenge

Finally!  I’m gonna stop being stubborn and just own up to the fact that using heat on my hair is keeping me from achieving greater lengths.  I had my suspicions of this earlier this year but now I’ve decided to put myself to the test.  Even though I like the look of straight hair, I’m going to go without using my flat iron until February of 2014.  This may sound like a walk in the park to those of you who gave up straight hair a long time ago.  For me though, I’ve actually kept up with wearing my hair straight every other month.  Sometimes I even straighten twice in the same month.

Of course I saw how other naturals who were gaining two to three inches of growth every time they decided to lay of the heat for a 4-6 month break.  Still, I kept up with the same regimen hoping that maybe my light protein treatments would rescue my curls.  After having to trim some loose curls last month I decided that that was the final straw.  Using heat means I’m gonna be up for a trim so the more I use it, the more hair I lose.  I just can’t keep doing it so it’s time for me to step away from the flat iron and just style my hair in other ways.  Here’s a video discussing the, “rules,” for my personal no heat challenge.  Feel free to join in!

4 MONTH NO HEAT CHALLENGE