Is a blowout bad for my naturally curly hair?


photo @naptural85

It's hard to say in black and white terms whether a blowout is bad for curly hair or not, because every head of hair is different. Although there is always a risk with heat, many will tell you they have never had an issue with doing a blowout on their curls.

Naturally, your curly hair is very sensitive to manipulation, permanent color, chemicals, harsh tools and heat, even more so than straight hair. Although using a blow dryer to stretch your curls is less direct heat than a straight iron, it can still be a cause of concern for curlies who have a concern of losing their natural curl pattern. Many naturals manage to keep their curls healthy when having their hair blown out, and this comes down to using the correct heat protectant and blowout technique.

What kind of style will a blowout give me?

When your curls are stretched with the heat of a blow dryer and brushed out with a comb attachment, your end result is the big, textured, semi-straight look reminiscent of some of our favorites like Diana Ross, Solange Knowles, and Zendaya Coleman.

Blow out on natural hair

photo @OhWendyOh

Another reason so many curlies use this style is to see how long their hair has grown without having to straighten it, or to give themselves a break from styling their curls. Basically, a blowout is the in-between step to straightening natural hair. Usually, a good stylist will blowout the hair before using a flat iron straightener. You can, however, stop at this stage and avoid the straightener to create effortless heatless styles like a Bantu knot out or rod style.

Basically, a blowout is the in-between step to straightening natural hair.

Heatless curls from a blow out

photo: @LipsticknCurls

Blowouts stretch the curls out making them straighter, and during this process the blow dryer breaks down the strands' temporary bonds. Your hair is at its most flexible state while it is wet, which means your hair will be weaker when soaking wet. Because of this, you may want to blow dry damp hair instead of soaking wet hair to avoid as much damage as possible.

Can the damage be reversed?

No, but there is an alternative for those who are scared of using heat for this look. Thanks to natural hair's versatility, you can actually create a heatless blowout with tools like Curlformers, flexi-rods, or perm rods. To get the look, set them on wet hair until dry, then simply comb or brush them out. This results in a look similar to -- but healthier than -- a blowout.

Who should get a blowout?

I would recommend heatless blowouts for those who are currently transitioning to natural hair as you just don't want to risk getting more heat damage. For those who do go ahead with the blow-out technique, keep the style for a week and then cleanse and deep condition on wash day.

To do a blow out the right way, make sure you are using the right tools! Celebrity stylist and blowout expert Jonathan Antin recommends using a hair dryer that has ionic technology as this feature dries the hair faster, minimizing damage and frizz! You should also give your hair a break; don't repeat blowouts every week as you will ultimately face dryness and heat damage. Otherwise, when done safely, you can try out this style around once a month minimum to keep your curls healthy. Between blowouts, use a moisturizing and heat protectant for extra assistance.


If you choose to do your blowout yourself at home, here are some products I would recommend you use for the process:

Blowouts aren't bad for curly hair if carried out correctly and safely. If you aren't confident in doing so, always seek out a stylist to create this style and be sure to commit to healthy aftercare as your curls will need it! Blow-outs are fun and another reason why curly and natural hair is magical.