When it comes to caring for your natural hair, it can be tempting to take the easy way out. While shortcuts might save you a little bit of time at the moment, you’ll usually end up regretting it later.
Think about it like this, taking off your make-up after a long day is especially annoying, but it’s much better than waking up with breakouts and stained pillowcases. Well, the same goes for your hair care.
We get it. There are always a million dos and don’ts of natural hair care floating around internet forums and social media and these can be overwhelming. While there are always guidelines and best practices to ensure your unique hair type is taken care of in the best way possible, we promise it’s not as daunting as it may seem.
One of the fundamentals in caring for your unique hair type is understanding how heat impacts it. As you probably know, natural hair has a tendency to be drier and more susceptible to damage and breakage, especially when wet.
That’s why it’s important to keep your locks hydrated with a nourishing formula like our African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-In Spray or African Pride Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner. To maintain the integrity of your curls we always recommend you air dry as much as possible. This way your strands stay healthy and hydrated and you aren’t messing with your unique natural curl pattern.
We understand however, that sometimes you don’t have the time or luxury of air drying your hair. Blow drying is certainly a much faster option and makes styling your curls much quicker and easier. Plus, going to bed with wet hair can be equally as damaging, not to mention it will be very cold and uncomfortable.
On the occasion that you do decide to blow dry your hair, be sure to take extra precautions to make sure your tresses remain healthy, hydrated and intact. To blow dry your natural hair the safe way, follow our six expert steps below. Plus, learn what products to look for and how best to use them for healthy, damage-free natural hair.
Step 1: Cleanse & Detangle Your Natural Hair
Before you even think about picking up that blow dryer, make sure your strands are in the best possible condition to receive heat. It’s important that you only blow dry hair when it’s clean, conditioned, and detangled.
Start by giving your hair a 15-30 minute soak with our hydrating Moisture Miracle Pre-Shampoo. This formula will remove tangles, smooth strands and leave hair super soft and manageable.
Next, gently wash strands with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Once hair is properly washed and detangled, grab a soft t-shirt or microfiber towel and remove any excess water from hair so that it doesn’t drip during blow drying.
Step 2: Moisturize With a Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioner
Once hair is clean and conditioned, go ahead and give it another dose of much-needed moisture. Pre-treating or deep conditioning hair can do a lot to protect it throughout the blow drying and styling process.
Deep conditioning strengthens, softens, and moisturizes natural hair, while protein treatments focus primarily on strengthening strands so they can withstand heat. Applying a nourishing leave-in conditioner will also help tame frizz, enhance body and shine, and eliminate dryness.
To use our African Pride Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioner apply a generous amount of product in the palms of your hands. Smooth onto wet or damp hair, working from roots to ends.
If you want to achieve a tighter curl pattern allow hair to air dry a bit before using. For looser curls, blow dry while twisting curls. For straighter styles blow dry while gently brushing with a wide-toothed comb.
Step 3: Apply a Heat Protectant
It’s essential that you give your hair as much protection as possible in order to shield your curls and coils against heat. Look for a keratin-based heat protectant like this Black Castor Miracle Heat Protectant Spray.
The spray’s nourishing keratin complex and black castor oil blend simultaneously provides 400°F heat protection, blocks humidity, adds shine and helps tame frizz. Before you use a blow dryer or straightener, spray through damp or dry hair and comb through.
Step 4: Section Damp Hair
With damp (never wet) hair, separate your hair into 3-5 sections depending on length and density. Secure each section with clips to keep them apart. Blow drying one section at a time will allow you to dry hair more efficiently while ensuring you don’t overheat the other sections.
Similarly, be sure to set your blow dryer to a low setting. If you have a diffuser or concentration attachment with your blow dryer, use it to focus the heat.
Step 5: Use the Tension Method to Blow Dry
Blow drying with the tension method will ease the strain of manipulation on your hair while also helping to reduce any breakage and damage that can come from applying heat. First, grab one section of hair, holding it gently but taught from the bottom, and keep it stretched out. Then carefully run the blow dryer up and down the hair section.
Remember what we said about taking hair care shortcuts? The tension method will probably take a little longer to dry your hair but the result is healthier strands. We’d say the extra time is definitely worth it.
Step 6: Refresh Curls With Moisture Miracle Leave-in Spray
Now that your hair is freshly washed, conditioned, and safely blow dried, you can put it into your favorite protective hairstyle. Before you get styling however, it’s always a good idea to give your curls another dose of moisture.
Applying a nourishing leave-in conditioner like our African Pride Moisture Miracle Leave-In Conditioner Spray to your scalp and strands will help fight the dryness that comes from using excessive heat.
The great thing about this lightweight spray is that it can be used during styling to help soothe and condition hair and as a daily refresher to keep your curls hydrated even when they’re in a protective style.
It’s fun to play around with different hairstyles, trying out new looks and fresh trends. Just remember that some of those styles might require a lot of manipulation or applying extra heat. Don’t forget that your curls and coils are precious and require a gentle touch.
Heat and manipulation are okay with the proper precautions and only in moderation. So, after you’ve blow dried and styled your hair following these expert steps, make sure the next hairstyle you do is something that will let your hair breathe and regain its natural moisture.
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