Okay, so… I know a lot of naturalistas believe that it’s basically a sin to put heat on their hair, but I’ll be honest—my (mostly) 4a-textured hair didn’t stop breaking off until I started blow drying my hair (I only do it on wash days; the rest of the time, when I want to elongate it, I braid it up instead).
Back when I was trying to apply the “heat is evil” rule to my natural hair regimen, and I was using water bottles, oils (mostly coconut and castor oil), and humectants (mostly vegetable glycerin and honey), not only was my hair feeling way too “spongy”, but I was also seeing a lot more pieces of hair in my wide-toothed comb, and on my shoulders.
Since drying my hair, I have fewer tangles and less breakage, and overall, my hair is 10 times more manageable. And breakage? I can’t even tell you the last time I noticed any.
Still, I’m no fool. I get it — automatically, there are risks that we take when using any kind of heat, mostly because heat can remove the moisture from our hair’s cuticles. And that? That can lead to dry and brittle tresses, if we’re not careful. That’s why I make sure that I don’t put a dryer on my head without first coating my hair with some sort of heat protectant.
Boy, it has been a serious uphill battle, trying to find the one that best suits my hair, but I think I’ve found a home in Silk Elements Coconut Heat Protection Crème.
For one thing, I believe it’s going to be much better for me to go with a cream/crème than a spray. I say that because I used to use TRESemme' Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Spray yet —and maybe it’s just me—it didn’t seem to coat my hair as thoroughly as the Silk Elements crème does.
With the spray, it’s like I felt as if I should saturate my hair in it. That kind of set me up to cause heat damage to my hair, because it’s when our hair is soaking wet that we tend to hear the crackle and sizzling from the dryer (and that’s a surefire sign that some hair damage is going on!).
But with the crème, I can towel dry my hair (actually, it’s better to dry your hair with a t-shirt; it’s gentler on your locks), apply about a palmful of the crème to my hair, and blow dry it, without seeing any smoke or steam coming from my dryer. Personally, I just feel more confident with the Silk Elements option.
Are there any “cons”? Eh. Sometimes I have to let the blow dryer pass through each section of my hair 2-3 times if I want it to be really straight. And, as far as the coconut part of the crème goes, it’s number six on the ingredients list, and I barely smell it. But other than that? I have no complaints.
So, am I saying to ditch the spray? I’ll put it to you this way: I did ask a stylist/consultant which is better for Type 4 hair—spray or cream. She said that sprays are more effective on fine-textured hair, and creams work well with thicker hair.
Take that for what it’s worth. Personally, I tend to agree with her.
What are your favorite products to use for protecting your hair from heat damage? Share them with us in the comments below!