As a curly girl, you've probably heard that heat isn't a friend to your curls. While we normally advise avoiding excessive use of heat, there are times it can be helpful. When used correctly, heat can be a beneficial tool. Here's how to safely use heat on curls.
How To Safely Use Heat On Curls
There are several treatments that actually work better with heat. This includes deep conditioning and protein treatments.
When applied with heat, these treatments can become even more beneficial for curls. By using heat, you can force the cuticle of your curls open, which will allow the moisture and protein to penetrate more deeply into the cortex of your hair. This enhances the benefits of your products.
Wash curls and remove excess water, but allow curls to remain wet. Apply your deep conditioner or protein product throughout your curls, making sure to completely cover the curls. Cover your hair with a plastic shower cap to retain heat. You can do this by wrapping your head with a warmed towel, or using a steam hood. Sitting under a warm shower or in the tub works well too. Allow the treatment to sit for 30-60 minutes minimum to achieve full effectiveness. Rinse with cool water and style as normal.
There can be some benefits to utilizing heat tools. Curling irons can help wayward curls get back into shape and a hair dryer can help minimize drying time, especially on cold winter days. However, heat tools should be utilized safely to prevent damage.
Before utilizing a heat tool, your curls should either be dry (for a curling iron) or 60-80% dry. Using heat on sopping wet curls will cause damage by removing water from the hair too quickly.
Before picking up a curling or straight iron, make sure you're using a heat protectant spray. This will help minimize any damage the heat tool might cause. Completely spritz curls and then allow to dry before applying heat. This also works well when using a hair dryer. Don't forget the diffuser to dry curls evenly.