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Transitioning hair is neither easier nor harder but merely a different way to leave chemical straighteners in your past and embrace a more natural method of hair care. Women who choose to transition are usually on the hunt for hairstyles and methods to make working with two textures easier. Damaging their strands is also high on the list of what not to do, so it comes as no surprise that many are leery on some popular straightening methods. Tanya.Bryant  posed her question on our Curly Q&A section, and while she  may not be transitioning, these tips can help her decrease the potential for thermal damage.

Question

I am 6 months natural. Am I supposed to let my hair air-dry now only or can I still blow-dry it?

Answer

Air-drying is always going to be less damaging than blow-drying. The combination of heat and tension with a comb attachment or brush can cause breakage along the hair shaft, especially at the line of demarcation. If blow-drying better enables you to style your hair, then try incorporating the steps below to protect your hair from further damage, as transitioning hair is fragile.

Deep condition

After cleansing your hair make sure to deep condition. Never skip deep conditioning when you cleanse your hair, as it moisturizes and strengthens the hair. Moisturizing treatments should always be done prior to any type of heat-styling or manipulation to your hair.

Heat protectant

Apply a heat protectant prior to using any thermal tools. Heat protectants are usually formulated with silicones, which coat the hair and reduce the potential for damage. Using a thermal protectant might not be necessary if you are only using cool air for your blow-dryer, but it is still necessary if you decide to straighten.

Read more: Heat Protectants: This Buildup Actually Saves Your Hair

Lowest setting

Use the lowest or the coolest setting on your blow-dryer. Heat on transitioning hair can be the enemy, as it can rob your hair of moisture and may cause damage. To minimize that make sure you are using the lowest setting that will allow you to still blow-dry effectively without harming your curls. You can have a beautiful blow-out that is not bone straight, which is great if you love volume.

No high heat

Watch the temperature. This can be gaged by the current condition of your hair. Is your hair coarse, fine, color-treated, or damaged? The finer and more damaged the strands, the lower the temperature. If you are straightening, then the rule of thumb is usually nothing over 350 degrees. Coarser (not tighter) textures can usually resists higher temperatures, but it should be monitored.

How To Blow Dry Transitioning Hair | Tension Method

JourneyToWaistLength gives a quick and easy way to successfully blow-dry your transitioning hair using the tension method on a cool setting. This gives her braid-out a uniform look from the relaxed and natural hair despite their very different textures. It is a great way to stave off tangles, dry your hair quickly and keep a gorgeous look for up to a week or longer.

These tips can be used by everyone who wants to limit their chances of heat damage, especially transitioners. Transitioning is a beautiful journey and we just want it to be positive and productive.