At the beginning of 2016 I made a huge promise to myself. I decided to give up heat styling for the remainder of the year and I started a challenge to help me stay accountable. Fresh off a horrible heat damage experience and spending seven months growing out the damaged pieces, in January I cut what was left of the straight hair. Here are five ways I have been surviving the No Heat 2016 challenge. 

Head wraps

My first time wearing a head wrap was this year and I immediately thought why didn’t I try this sooner! Not only are most of them beautifully patterned, but wearing a head wrap is a great way to spend a whole day letting your twist-out set or deep condition on the go. The best part is of course no one will ever know what’s going on underneath. I usually preserve my head wrap for the weekend if I’m having a lazy Sunday or to spruce up an old hairstyle. As you can tell this style definitely requires no heat at all. This wrap is by The Wrap Life.

Wigs and Protective Styles

If you are planning to give up heat for a year, then protective styling will become your best friend. The definition of a protective style is one that will tuck away your ends and does not require daily manipulation to truly protect your hair. I plan to experiment with box braids later this year, but so far my protective style of choice is wearing wigs. Wigs allow me to achieve big voluminous curly hair while my hair is safely guarded underneath. However, before running out to purchase a wig, let’s discuss the options for what will be best suited for your hair:

  • U-Part Wig– Minimal leave out. Requires you to blend your natural hair with the wig. Best option in my opinion for the most natural looking results due to the real parting.
  • Full Wig– No leave out and no distinctive part. Blending not necessary.
  • Full Lace Wig – No leave out but has the ability to part anywhere desired. Can look extremely natural if installed correctly.

Perm Rods

Perm rods definitely aren’t a new style, but the style works well for flawless, heatless curls. With several sizing options you can get either big curls or small spiral curls. I usually choose the grey color of perm rods, which gives me the perfect curl that can last up to four days. On the last days when the curls start to become a little too frizzy, I toss my hair into a high puff and wear that style for another day or so.

Natural Updos 

Up until now, the only updo I’ve ever really worn was probably a bun. However, this no heat challenge has brought out my creative juices. After stalking Instagram and YouTube for a few days, I can across a ton of natural updos and decided to give one a try. The best part about a twisted or braided updo is this protective style that you can wear for up to a week without manipulating to your hair. There’s nothing better than having a set style, which requires absolutely no daily upkeep.

“Tuck & Roll” Styling

I’ve talked a lot about low manipulation styling so far because it’s the best for my hair texture. As a woman with very fine hair, over manipulation leads to breakage and thinning for my hair. Since my goal during the no heat challenge is to have a healthier set of curls, 85% of the time my hair is in a “tuck and roll” style, which I wear to work Monday through Friday. Every day I moisturize with a hydration spray and hair lotion to ensure my hair remains healthy. Just because you are not styling daily, doesn’t mean you can slack on your regimen.

What styles do you wear to abstain from heat styling? Let me know!

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