Back to the basics: drying and styling your hair

 

     You’ve deep conditioned your hair and your hair is feeling very happy with you. The way you dry AND style your hair can help to add to or subtract from all the great things you’ve already done to your hair.

There are several options available to dry your hair:

  • Air drying: The healthiest way to dry your hair
  • Wrapsetting
  • Rollersetting
  • Blow drying
  • Using a Wet-to-dry flat iron

1. Air drying:

This is the most healthy way to dry your hair because you allow your hair to dry at its own pace and reduce the risk from damage. I also think that could be the most boring. (Shhh…Wink but it’s true). If you don’t know how to do a proper air dry, your hair will end up being scrunchy and might even break more for this reason. To get a successful air dry, I think that you should use very effective leave-in conditioners and oils to make your hair as soft as possible. In addition, if you want to jazz up your air drying, you could curl your hair by doing a braidout or twistout, using rollers or flexirods.

2. Wrapsetting

A wrapset is simply wrapping your flat on your hair and letting it dry, usually by sitting under a hair dryer. You could also air dry a wrap set but I don’t know how long this will take.

It’s also important to use a good wrap foam when doing this. I highly endorse Avlon KeraCare Foam Wrap-Set Lotion. Olive Oil Wrap/Set Mousse by Organic Root Stimulator is also very good.

          3. Rollersetting

     I don’t think I need to say much about this because this has been the most trusted and tried method of drying and styling among women of colour for ages. It is a healthy way of getting your straight and if you wrap your hair after rolling it, it can make your hair as straight as if you had flat ironed it. For those of us who are sworn off direct heat but still want that silky look, this is the way to go.

          4. Blow drying

     This, I think, is the second fastest way to get your hair dry but is however one of the most damaging things you can do to your hair. Since blow drying involves constant combing during the process, that excessive manipulation can lead to breakage. In addition, drying your hair too fast can lead to something called BUBBLE HAIR.

     The Trichological Society has defined bubble hair as an “acquired hair shaft deformity associated with hairdressing procedures (hair dryers, hot tongs, straightening irons etc), which employ great heat. Microscopical examination of the hair shaft reveals numbers of bubble-like lesions which are actually gas filled cavities created by the rapid vaporization of moisture within the hair shaft. The degree of bubbling therefore increases with higher levels of moisture content. All hair will react this way to intense heat. The structure of the hair shaft will be weakened by bubbling and fragility will result. There is no way of repairing hair shaft damaged in this way. Treatment: Prevention through avoiding the cause.”

If you’re pressed for time and you really need to blow dry your hair, there are several things you could do to reduce the risk of damage:

  • Make sure you use a heat protectant serum.
  • Use a hair dryer that is Ionic-Ceramic (e.g Tourmaline dryers). “Tourmaline hair dryers are a combination of ionic and ceramic. The negative ions released seal the cuticles of each hair shaft, keeping in moisture. They also help shrink water droplets, leaving your hair more shiny and doing it in less time as water is able to evaporate more quickly. Tourmaline dryers contain  100% crushed tourmaline minerals, which provide the extra benefit of constantly emitting infrared heat to heat hair particles from within. Hair is less damaged because more heat is rendered in the shaft than on the surface”.
  • Don’t use the highest setting. 
  • Reduce the amount of combing you do. Use your fingers instead.
  • When you’re done, use the cold air setting to blast your hair. This will help close the cuticles.

My FHI 2000 hair dryer

     After you’re done blow drying, you’ll probably want to flat iron your hair to get that sleek finish (that we all love ..including me..Tongue Out) Flat irons are a very direct form of heat on the hair. You have to be extremely particular about the type of flat iron you’re going to be using on your hair.

     Again, when choosing a flat iron, make sure

  • you use a heat protectant serum or spray. I usually use GVP silk remedy serum or FX Special effects flat iron spray (I haven’t flat ironed my hair this year though!)
  • the flat iron’s plates are ionic-ceramic. “They heat up better and more evenly for smoother, healthier looking hair without hot spots that cause heat damage”. In addition, they should be tourmaline and/or titanium. The added tourmaline will emit negative ions which leave hair super silky and soft. Read Flat Iron Guide by Folica.com to help guide your choice of choosing a flat iron.
  • Use the lowest possible heat setting. You should invest in a flat iron that has adjustable heat settings.
  • Don’t take more than 2 passes. You can use a comb to follow the flat iron as you pass through the hair to make sure it gets straight. This will reduce the need for more than 2 passes.

          5. Using a wet-to-dry-flat iron to dry and style your hair

     This I think is the fastest way to dry and style your hair. It cuts out the need for the blow dryer and as you flat iron your hair, you’re also drying it at the same time. You can’t just use any regular flat iron for this. It MUST be a wet-to-dry iron. I must confess that I’ve done this a few times and my hair really turned out nice. This was at the beginning of my hair journey but now with all my hair growth, before I use this method to dry my hair, I must be REALLY REALLY REALLY pressed for time. (I actually have 2 of these flat irons but I use them on dry hair when I flat iron my hair): U9 1.75 Inch Titanium / Tourmaline Ceramic Digital Wet to Dry Flat Iron – Dual Voltage and Revlon Wet-to-dry.

U9 Tourmaline Wet-to-dry flat iron

     If you want to maintain healthy hair, I recommend that you air dry your hair most of the time and if want really silk hair, opt for rollersetting or wrapsetting. In my next post, I’ll be talking more extensively on how I air dry my hair. I even have a 20 minute+ video describing the process.Take care.

 

Dr Fomsky Kiss

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