The very best thing you can ever do for your hair is to give it a heat break. The powerful styling that you can accomplish with your heat styling tools can become quite addicting, particularly when your natural hair is a subject of distress for you. With today’s heat tools, it’s easy to shape those wayward tresses in any number of ways to produce the effects you desire–you can even tame all those frayed, split ends that can be so plentiful that they actually give you the appearance of having a halo, whenever you are backlit. All you need to do is place them together with unfrayed strands and clamp down on them with your hot flat iron. Slide that baby downward to the ends, and it’ll look like your overall experience with split ends is a big, fat zero. The dryer your hair is, the more of a need there is for you to give your hair a break. The curlier your hair is, the dryer it will tend to be. So, doing the math, if curly = dry, and dry = need break, then a real connection is made from “curly,” to “need break.”
There are Valid Opt-Out Excuses
In giving your hair an applied heat respite, it’s not exclusively just about your wands, tongs, flat irons and crimping tools (yes, even crimping irons are still being used in certain instances!) A heat break, means all heat–with the exception of getting your water warm enough to shampoo and rinse–or perhaps a hot oil treatment. But you know what it means. Heated styling tools encompass your blow dryer. While it’s not always easy to air-dry your hair due to time constraints, it should become a priority for all those times when you could skip any drying task that’s enabled by electricity. If you think about it as a way to make your hair shinier and healthier, you might be more motivated to choose it whenever it’s possible to pull off.
A Greater Investment of Time, but Worth it
Among the detriments to ditching the blow dryer in favor of air is that it takes significantly more time to produce dry hair from an unassisted, passive form of hair drying. If you are someone who can look good with a head-covering scarf or turban, you’re lucky–because you can do the dry, and if the need happens to present getting out and about, you can slip on your go-to headwear and fly while you dry. If you’re like the rest of us, you’re stuck–between staying put or reverting to your blow dryer, and consequently suffering all the anguish of having failed in your well-intentioned hair break effort.
The fiber structure and texture of your hair dry towel is important. A microfiber towel is your best friend for towel drying your hair. Prior to towel drying, gently squeeze your hair without pulling on it, to extract as much water as possible, and then grab your towel. The thing with towels is this: You can either have an ultra-soft towel, or you can have one that’s effective at drying, but you can’t have both. While microfiber towels are an improvement over their counterparts, it’s kind of like any towel that is capable of drying must be a bit stiff. Skipping the scientific explanation here, what this all boils down to is that you need to forego the fabric softeners if you want your towel to work. Towel drying should not involve any rubbing, or back-and-forth motion, but rather be a process of blotting your hair, even wrapping it up in a towel. You should try using a towel specifically created for drying hair:
- The Aquis Lisse Crepe Hair Towel is made of Aquitex, which is a high-tech fabric innovation created by weaving together a special pattern of ultrafine fibers that produces a lightweight towel with superior water wicking power while being super gentle on your hair. Along with this towel, you can use a serum formulated for frizz control, or a leave-in conditioner.
- The Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel is designed to be a perfect fit for any head size–from adults to children–with a uniquely tapered shape. It’s designed to be easy on the neck by being ultra lightweight. And it comes in a convenient two-pack, so you’ll always have one to use, when one’s washing. Try some Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil with this one, which disappears into the hair and smoothes tremendously.
Your hair is at its most vulnerable-ever state when it’s wet. To detangle, never use a bristle brush. One with wide-set, plastic bristles is ok for people who have straight hair, but a wide-toothed comb is the way to go, for safely detangling curly tresses. Begin at the ends and move on up, a little at a time. Going slow here will result in fewer split ends and breakage. For more help, there are some good products designed to improve detangling, or you could use a leave-in conditioner.