Protective Styling

Hello everyone. I've just started transitioning and my roots are growing out wavy/curly but the only problem is no one can see them yet. The rest of my hair has lots of heat damage and does not curl. Or at least it does when it is wet, but then it dries straight, only very puffy and frizzy and not presentable. I'm in my senior year of high school and can not go to school looking like this. Can anyone direct me to a list of examples of protective styling I can use to help in my transition? Or can you tell me what worked for you? It is really hard to not use heat on my already heat damaged hair but I am trying to keep away from my flat iron. I have had to use the flat iron unfortunately but i have recently started using a heat protectant, however, i still feel bad about using all this heat every week even with the heat protectant. I feel it can only go so far.
You could wear your hair in a braid or something?

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I did a relaxer on my hair some months back and it pulled out a lot of my curl. When I first went back to curly it was a struggle at first.

First can I say, maybe post a pic. The root curl compared to the rest of your hair may not be so bad. Also do you have layers? Not sure how long your hair is but maybe if your stylist adds some layers it'll remove some damage and allow the curls to spring back.

When I transitioned (lol STILL transitioning) the first week or two I'll admit I used a curling iron! I was so paranoid that my hair looked weird and the curl patterns didn't match up. It was all counter productive though because you cannot grow out damage if you continue to re-damage LOL! I finally bit the bullet and quit.

Plopping became my best friend. I like Curl Keeper. I use a micro fiber towel to remove some of the excess water from my hair, add CK, remove some more moisture, then plop. I would suggest gently adding product...no raking, shaking, or tugging on the curls. They are delicate because of the heat damage so gently applying product is best IMO. I plop in a long sleeved t shirt (the Walmart Danskin long sleeved t's are wonderful!). I actually plop for as long as I can in the AM while I apply my makeup. Some people don't like excessive plopping but may hair likes it. Also, when I take it out of the t I sometimes see I've created huge bologna curls through plopping. Do not be tempted to shake them out or loosen them up! I take Pantene Mousse and gently scrunch it into my hair to hold that curl pattern and by the time it finishes drying the curls loosen a bit on their own and it pretty much "sets" them. I like to use duck clips to give me root lift too.

I've never tried these but there are also those curl formers at Sally's. Maybe if your hair just won't hold the curl at all through CG method you could use these so there is no damage and to help you transition. Sponge rolls are cheap but hard to sleep in.

I also suggest experimenting on the weekends when you are not at school. If you don't have to go out or have plans you can try different techniques in your hair and if they don't turn out it's not a problem.

Good luck!
Oh and I forgot...you did ask too about thermal protection. I honestly never found anything that stopped the damage. I used Tre Semme's, Suave, got2be and just about every drugstore brand and always within a few weeks of using them with my flat iron my hair would start to get dry and by the time I was due for a haircut my ends were fried...keeping in mind though when you have curly hair it takes more effort to straighten the hair. You can google top 10 heat protectants and probably find some decent products but I doubt they protect against the everyday straightening our hair often requires (LOL even when my stylist flattened the bejebus out of my hair I'd have to touch up the following day!)

This is just me though so maybe someone else could recommend a good one? Honestly though if you want to grow the curl out and go back to your natural state I'd stay away from the flat iron if at all possible
Also a fan of braids.

This is a braid my mother used to do on me as a girl and every time I wear it I get so many compliments:

How to: Everyday Fishtail Braid - YouTube

Also it just occurred to me, even though you absolutely shouldn't use heat on your already damaged her, if you're feeling desperate enough to do so, just don't touch the new roots that are virgin. You want to protect those babies if you can help it. But the roots will come in eventually, and they'll be curly so you'll want the rest of your hair to match as much as possible. And in order for that to happen you've got to protect the damaged parts as best you can too. I guess it's a balancing act. But you're young and your hair will grow, tedious though it might be.

And yes when you do do protective styling always be sure to moisturize the heck out of your damaged hair with some leave in or rich curl creams so your hair can absorb emollients and other feel good things while you're wearing your cute protective styles. That will help restore elasticity and strength.
3A - C, HP, ME, HD. (Coarse, High Porosity, Medium Elasticity, High Density.)

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Poos: SM Moisture Retention + Yucca Baobab, TJ's Tea Tree Tingle
Condish: TJ 'sTea Tree Tingle*, SM Moisture Retention* + Curl & Shine + Yucca Baobab, Yes to Blueberries
Stylers: KCKT*, SM Curl Enhancing Smoothie* + Curl & Style Milk*, KCCC*, FSG*, CJ Pattern Pusha, Curl Keeper
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