I made it! One full year of no heat! The No Heat Challenge is complete!
Well….not really. As I look back at the pictures from my natural hair journey from this time last year to right now, I only want to keep going with this challenge for another year….or maybe another six months at the least. This challenge was a difficult one to start due to me being a straight hair type of female, but after a while I began to enjoy it. While relaxed, my only goal was to keep my hair as straight as possible at all times, so when I completed my big chop three-four years ago I kept that same mindset and it ultimately killed my hair overall. Every chance I got, I would straighten my hair with either a blow dryer or a flat iron so it would flow, not realizing I was doing way more damage than helping myself in the long run.
On August 01, 2016, I decided to cut out all hair heat appliances all together. Yes, on that day I put all my heat appliances in storage cold turkey. I had to learn how to manage my hair the manual way with just my hands, water, conditioner, and rollers from time to time when I wanted to look fancy. This was one of the best decisions I have made for myself in a while. Since then my hair became shiner on its own. I no longer have to apply any type of shining products to my hair anymore, it began to shine on its own. I no longer face extreme shedding, split ends, crunchy or brittle textures to the touch. My hair has began to retain more length over time due to less shedding. My ends have become more healthier and curl one their own once I started to cut off the burned, damaged hair left behind from the heat damage that I was causing myself overtime. Above all, which is my favorite result from the No Heat Challenge, my true curly texture began to come out and show itself fully. My hair has become softer and more manageable. It does not have that crunchy feel and sound to it when I comb my hair, as a matter fact, it doesn’t have any sound to it now when I comb or brush it. Another surprising result from eliminating heat from my hair routine is how cleaner my hair combs and brushes have become on a regular. I don’t have that oil build up on them anymore, I’m assuming is from the increased washing and water usage on my hair daily now.
The main question I get a lot throughout the day when it comes to other African American women’s natural hair is why my styles don’t come out right when I do them, or I will get the famous one, what products do you use to make your styles come out right. Well, unfortunately, I am here to tell you that it is not your products that are causing your styles to not form correctly or to your liking. Your hair may be damaged and more than likely it may be coming from your use of heat. The more heat you apply to your hair, especially your ends, the more it burns off over time. If you keep applying that direct heat to your hair in an unprofessional manner weekly or even daily, your hair will literally begin to burn off from the ends first and then it will move up your hair shaft causing split ends, ultimately into your roots causing hair loss. This is not good for a new natural, or any natural aspiring person for that matter. Even when I used heat, after a while my styles would not stay in my hair at all. My heat appliances began to wear out as well. Due to me going the cheaper route, I would often invest small amounts of money into cheap tools, which began to burn my hair over time the older they got as well. Check out some great heat appliances from out affiliate ISA. They have some amazing heat tools that won’t be so harsh on your strands when you do apply heat to your hair.
Below is a picture of my hair at its worst state with heat damage a couple months before my big chop. The picture on the left is from my more healthier days with a relaxer. It was bouncy and shiny but it was just undergoing the first stages of heat damage even though you could not physically see it. The picture on the right is a couple months later where I physically began to see the damage that was being done. Yes the length was there and my hair fell below my back, which was the only thing I was focused on, but it was thin and lacked body. All that bounce and shine was disappearing daily with every use of heat to my hair.
Below is a look at my progress after a couple months of my hair transition from heat damage. The picture on the right was the last time I got my hair professionally blown out during June of 2015. Once I began cutting off the damage, my hair became thicker and fuller.
Shown below is a then and now view of my curls from my heat damage phase on the left, to my current state now on the right, being 100% heat free 365 days! What a difference one year has made overall!
For the remainder of the year, I plan to be heat free again, possibly going another year fully. I like my progress that I’ve made so far, but I still feel like it could be better. Plus I don’t want to mess up the progress that has already been made by jumping back on the hair heat train again so soon. If you’ve taken on this challenge this year, let me know your results by commenting in our comment section below! Thanks for reading everyone, happy blogging!