February 7, 2014

Heat Stretching: Length Retention & Convenience

by Alicia James of MsAliciaJames.com

Heat stretching for me is just about convenience and preference. I heat stretch because it is easier for me to manage my hair and I enjoy it. I've used heat for over 2 1/2 years, which is over half of my journey. I've had great success and feel it has helped me to retain length. Keeping the hair stretched minimizes knots and tangles, and makes wash day a breeze.

You have to be careful anytime you are using heat on your hair. Always do your research, learn your hair, and keep it to a minimal. Heat is not required to stretch your hair. There are many great no heat methods to stretch including; twist outs, braid outs, roller sets, etc.

How I heat stretch: 

1.) Cleanse My Hair - I only add heat to clean hair.
*Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Shampoo

2.) Protein Treatment - Heat is known to break down the protein in hair, I like to add a little protection before using any kind of heat.
I've tried a couple of different products-
*Aphogee 2 step
*ORS Hair Mayonnaise (mild treatment)

3.) Deep conditioning/hot oil treatment - Heat can and will dry the hair out. I do a good deep conditioning/hot oil treatment. I mix my conditioner with my oil and sit under a hair dryer for about 30 minutes.
*Herbal Essence Hello Hydration Conditioner
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4.) Air Dry - I put my hair into one low ponytail. I braid the hair and then tie down my edges with a satin scarf. I let my hair dry overnight.

5.) Flat Iron - I have started using the flat iron instead of the blow dryer. My hair tends to hold more moisture when I skip the blow dryer and go straight to the flat iron. When I flat iron my hair the goal is not bone straight hair. The less heat the better. My flat iron goes up to 375 degrees. The temperature is labeled in numbers 1-20. I flat iron on heat setting 10. In the end I have hair that looks like a blow out. I use extra virgin olive oil or Cantu Shea Butter Leave In as a heat protectant. I use heat twice a month or every two weeks on wash day.
*Andis Ceramic Flat Iron

Do you employ heat stretching? 

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