While most articles are geared toward avoiding heat, and for good reason, this one will discuss situations when using heat on relaxed hair and transitioning hair may be ideal.
Direct Heat vs. Indirect Heat
Before diving into the article, let’s touch on direct heat and indirect heat. Direct heat is any heat source applied directly to the hair. Examples include flat iron, curling iron, curling wand and blow dryer. Indirect heat is any heat source that produces heat but does not directly touch the hair. Examples include hooded dryer and soft bonnet dryer. Indirect heat is healthier for your hair as it poses the least risk for heat damage but caution should always be used when using heat.
— Using Heat On Relaxed Hair | Transitioning Hair! —
Deep Conditioning Your Hair
Deep conditioners work best when used with heat. As with anything, some will debate this and that’s ok but why do you think some products suggest using heat? Heat opens the cuticles, thereby allowing products to absorb better. Despite the lengthy conditioning sessions you see some doing, sitting under a hair dryer anywhere from 15-30 minutes is sufficient to receive maximum conditioning benefit.
If you don’t have own a soft bonnet dryer or hooded hair dryer, simply place a plastic processing cap (or even a plastic grocery bag will do) over your hair and sit with a warm towel on your head for the designated timeframe. You can warm your towel in the microwave or clothes dryer. You can also use handheld dryer for your heat source if you prefer not to use a warm towel. For the heat conscience, using a handheld towel in this instance should not pose risk for heat damage because the heat is not touching your hair directly.
SEE ALSO: Pre-Poo, Deep Condition or Co-Wash
Adding Steam To Your Deep Conditioner
Deep conditioning with a soft bonnet dryer or hooded hair dryer is considered dry heat. However, deep conditioning with a hair steamer is considered moist heat because the water droplets found within steam delivers moist heat to your hair. Just like dry heat, moist heat gently lifts the cuticles to allow for better product absorption. As a bonus, the water droplets found within steam offers additional hydration to your hair that is not present within dry heat.
Hair steaming is an excellent deep conditioning method for any hair type or texture but it is especially ideal for those struggling with dry, low porosity hair. If you don’t own a hair steamer, you can steam your hair by taking a long, hot shower because the moist heat within the shower is enough to give your hair a mini steaming session. Or, if you prefer, simply dampen some towels and get your steam on without spending hundreds of dollars on an actual steamer.
SEE ALSO: How to Steam Without a Hair Steamer
Drying Your Hair On Wash Day
Air drying is not for everyone and if it’s not for you, don’t force it. Instead, use indirect heat from a soft bonnet dryer or hooded dryer to accelerate the drying process. Simply add your leave in products and sit under the dryer until your hair is almost dry or completely dry, whichever you prefer. A major benefit to using heat during the drying process is yet again, opening of the cuticles to allow leave-in products to penetrate deeper into the hair which ideally, should translate to increase moisture! Lastly, you can also use indirect heat for roller sets and flexi rods! This is yet another great reason to use heat!