Category: Heat Training
I’ve been heat-training my hair for about 3.5 months.
After the first month (so about 4 “training sessions”) I realized that simply blow-drying my hair alone would yield results that were straight enough to wear in a ponytail or bun (my normal default styles). Additionally, I realized that to get the ‘expected’ silky tresses, I only had to do 1 quick pass-over with the flat iron at 450 and my hair would be silky with no tangled ends (or necessity of a pressing comb or small tooth chaser comb).
This was awesome and it allowed me to have a 2 month break. A break from the hassle of fighting with my hair, or even the necessity of flat-ironing.
But after 2 months, I noticed that I was getting quite a bit of very coily “new growth.” The reversion of the “heat trained” hair wasn’t bad (actually I appreciated my now type 3b appearing coils), although the very ends were straight (which required some scrunching and gel in order to ‘blend in’ better if I wanted the “wet look”). But, overall, I was loving my hair and really wanted to feel my scalp again.
So I decided to attempt another heat training session.
All was well…until I became too aggressive and applied the Organix heat-protectant and “sizzled” the coils straight (step nine of the process). This worked the first time very well. But now, with the prior heat-trained (weakened) hair, I quickly realized that this wouldn’t work well. I tested a few strands and when they became noticeably weak, I decided to forgo any add-on water based product. I instead used a small amount of grapeseed oil and did a once over.
All was well.
The lesson I have learned so far is that the heat-training worked well, but once the hair is ‘trained/straightened’ it’s best to maintain with 450 once a week with no added water-based product with the flat-iron. Instead I used the Chi Silk, the Giovanni Straightening gel and a tiny bit of grapeseed oil. Work into clean, wet hair. Blow dry. And then flat iron dry hair with no additional product added until the process is complete.
Realize that step 9 of the process should only be done once on any given part of any strand of hair. So your weekly ‘maintenance’ heat-training sessions are more like ‘regular’ flat-iron sessions.
Perhaps as the hair grows out even further, a repeat of step 9 may be in order on the new growth only. This is sensitive, however, and so far, has not been necessary for me.
Category: Heat Training
Common sense disclaimer: It’s always important to do an assessment of your hair. Consider your past experience with heat, split ends, and breakage. There are multiple components that make a head of hair unique – including density (how many hairs actually grow from your scalp in a given area), diameter of individual strands (how thick each strand is), curl-pattern (how coily is your hair?), and elasticity (how stretchy is your hair). If your hair cannot tolerate high heat and manipulation, this technique may not be good for you.
Heat training works best on hair with thick strands, is stretchy, and not previously damaged (by over processing with dye, or relaxer). If the hair is dense and coily, the results will be more obvious (as your hair will ‘shrink’ less when wet, so it will appear *longer*, and detangling will be much easier, result in less breakage, that is easily appreciated by ladies with very coily hair, 4a-c)
What you’ll need (most of which are also found in our product review section):
Grapeseed oil (or coconut oil works well)
Beautiful Curls - moisture shampoo
Aubreys Organics Island Natural Conditioner
Giovanni Direct Leave-in conditioner
Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Organix Vanilla Silk Blow Dry Cream
Chi Silk Infusion
Giovanni Fast Straight Straightening Elixer
Authenticity East African Shea Butter
Electric pressing comb
EdgeStick Ceramic Styling Comb
Flat iron – Ion I-PAK Infusion Vapor Styling Iron
Large tooth comb
Small tooth comb
Pony-tail holders, butterfly clips
1. Detangle and pre-treat your hair with pure grapeseed oil. Work it thru your hair and into your scalp.
2. Wash your hair with a hydrating shampoo – such as Beautiful Curls Shampoo for kinky hair. Repeat shampoo if your hair is still too oily . Rinse.
3. Quick rinse with Mother’s apple cider vinegar – diluted with water 1:1
4. Condition hair with Aubrey’s Organic Island Natural conditioner – leave in for about 5 minutes. As you rinse out the Aubrey’s, use a large tooth comb to detangle your hair reasonably well.
5. Final conditioning treatment with Giovanni Direct Leave-in. Apply and work thru gently (as not to re-tangle the hair). Leave on a couple of minutes. As before, comb thru your hair as you rinse out the Giovanni. This last comb thru should be much easier and complete.
6. Do not towel dry hair. Allow it to drip as you add a small amount of grapeseed oil (if needed). Add the Chi Silk and the Organix Blow dry protectant (or, if you prefer, instead of the Organix, use Giovanni Fast Straight).
7. Section hair into quarters. Blow dry each section until dry.
8. Working with small <1 inch sections, comb thru the hair with a small tooth comb. Then use an electric pressing comb and press the section (getting as close to the scalp as possible).
9. Use the iPak flat iron with vapor ON, and flat iron your hair in small <1 inch sections at 450 degrees. Go over each section two or three times, excluding the very ends where you should go over them once or twice. You should hear some sizzle as the vapor is released. You may add a bit more Organix which sizzles a bit as it straightens. For best results, use a small tooth comb to ‘hold’ the hair, and comb thru it as the flat-iron ‘chases’ the comb.
10. For the edges, use a ceramic edgestick iron , small flat iron, or pressing comb to straighten. You may have to add some Organix to the edges (be careful not to burn yourself with steam and sizzle).
Pre oil, wash, rinse, condition, heat protect, blow dry as above.
As you begin the press/flat-iron portion, you may not need the pressing comb (your hair may not be as tight next to the scalp). Most likely, your ends (which received more direct heat as there are less and less hair strands present as you go the length of your hair) will be straighter (maybe even as straight as you’d like them). IF you don’t straighten them, they will wave up with continued washings over time (which is ideal). However, the ends are less likely to tangle into single strand knots causing breakage.
Take the ipak flat iron with vapor on at 450 and go over each section once (but on areas of “more” kink, I still do twice). And any areas that seem like they were untouched (which is possible) I go over 3 or 4 times. And I quickly go down to the ends at 450 once *unless* the ends are already straight after blow-drying, then I stop just before I get to that part of the strands.
Use a small amount of Authenticity East African Shea Butter for moisturizer (doesn’t cause conversion, and imparts softness and sheen to the hair) as needed on your hair and scalp.
After a few sessions –
The flat-iron portion can be down-graded to 400 degrees (or lower). No pressing iron required. No small tooth comb, no necessity for flat-iron chaser. And wet hair will hang longer, less breakage from pulling knotted ends, and more versatility as you won’t need “protective styles” (i.e. to hide your hair) to maintain length.
Heat training is a great compromise between damaging your hair with chemicals, and not doing anything at all.
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