If you have been following me on instagram [@k_dougde], then you know I took on the no heat challenge earlier last year in efforts to literally save my hair. Transitioning over to natural the first go around was an epic fail due to heat damage mainly [pictures shown below]. No curls were present and it was always frizzy. You could also clearly see through my ends an indicator that they were damaged.
2015 | (left: flat twists; right: bantu knot out) | Natural Hairstyles
I was so used to wearing my hair as straight as possible for a majority of my life, that it was all that I knew at the time. I did not know any curly hairstyles off the top of my head, other than a doobie wrap (shown below), I only knew of straight styles so that is all I done. All styles that I often wanted required some form of heat. If it wasn’t the flat iron being used, it was a hooded dryer to speed up the drying process on wash days, or it was a blow dryer and curling iron being used due my impatience when it came to actually doing something to my hair.
2009-2010 | (top left 2009: flat wrap; top right 2009: doobie wrap; bottom left 2010: flat wrap + custom color; bottom right 2010: doobie wrap + custom color) | Relaxed Hairstyles
2015 | (blow out) | Natural Hairstyles
In June of 2015, I received my first blow out since going fully natural. Hair length at the time was right below my ear, straightened. When my hair began to curl back into place due to the humidity of the summer time heat here in South Carolina and while on vacation in Florida, I made a vow to myself that I would no longer use heat appliances to style my hair. For one the humidity was a problem, my straight hairstyles were not lasting long at all, maybe a couple hours, not even days in length of time. My hair would not lay down how I wanted it to lay because it had so much damage done to it. I wanted to learn more about my own natural state of hair and the process it takes to keep it up without any additional tools being used. The first thing I did was eliminate all heated tools from my sight in my room and bathroom. The more I did not see it, the more I would not be prone to using them. The second thing I done was increased my conditioning, whether it be a really deep conditioner once a week, or leave in conditioner everyday, I made sure that I done my treatments more frequently. Youtube was a HUGE help. There are so many wonderful natural hairstylists all over Youtube who have taken the time out to provide some very informative videos on how to style your own natural hair regularly and for what ever occasion you can think of. If you’re having trouble in this area of your hair, please check out the site, you can pretty much find anything you’re looking for on there.
2017 | (bantu knot out) | Natural Hairstyles
April 2017 marks month 9 for me now of the no heat challenge, only three more months to go until I hit one full complete year. My hair in its natural state right now falls right below the top of my shoulder when pulled down. I am not sure where it stops while stretched or straightened, again I have not done anything to it that requires any form of heat for 9 months. Plus the consistent shrinking makes it hard to tell where it falls now. The thickness of it has increased a lot. One way I could tell I made the right decision with this challenge is from the look of my ends now. Back then they were stringy and thin, you could see straight through them. Now they curl on their own, thicker, and you can not see through them at all anymore, perfect sign my split ends are now gone. Trimming has been crucial during this time period, along with preventing breakage with moisturizers.
Heat Tools Eliminated: