When people (especially LP Chiquita’s) say they use heat for their hair what exactly do they mean? They mean that they use heat in their hair care regimen. There are different ways to incorporate heat and they are: –
- The Indirect method – applying heat to your hair without the hair itself coming into direct contact with heat e.g. hooded dryers, steamers and soft bonnet dryers. When naturalistas say they use heat/ indirect heat for their hair they mean that they either adopt a steamer or a hooded dryer to moisturize or deep condition their hair.
- Greenhouse Effect (GHE) method – this method is mostly used to stimulate hair growth by focusing on the scalp. A plastic bag is placed on the hair for a long period of time, usually overnight. GHE entails putting butters or natural oils only on the hair and NOT the scalp, then putting on a shower cap and leaving it for a long period of time or overnight.
- Baggy/bag Method, this method’s focus is on maintaining moisture and length. It is like GHE method but the difference is, in the baggy method instead of using natural oils and butters, you use a moisturizer or conditioner prior to using a shower cap and then you leave it on for a while or overnight. Most people who don’t have a steamer, hooded drier or soft bonnet dryer use the baggy method to deep condition their hair.*Using a shower cap for a lengthy period generates heat and produces a warm environment which allows moisture to penetrate the hair.
- Another method is to heat up hair products such as deep conditioner or deep treatment, leave-in conditioners, and shea butters or creams. Directly heating of products (putting it in a microwave) is not recommended/advised. A safe way to heat up hair products is by putting the product in a heat resistant bowl and then placing that it in a bowl of hot water, the products are heated in a safe way and then when applied to the hair the heated products open the cuticles and the products can easily penetrate the hair.
- Direct heat method – this is the opposite of indirect heat. Here, heat is applied directly on the hair using tools such as blow dryer (without a diffuser attachment), flat iron, and hot combs etc. Some people with natural hair use heat from a blow dryer to open the hair cuticles, then apply their moisturizer.
Pls. note that excessive use of blow dryer on your hair or any direct heating tools without a heat protectant is not a good idea because:-
1. Too much heat on the hair is not good.
2. The heat of the blow dryer will open the cuticles and all that moisture that had been locked in prior to the use of the blow dryer will just evaporate. I have seen and read that some naturalists use the tension method to blow dry their hair. This means using/applying cool air from the blow dryer and stretching/pulling their hair with their hand.
I used to personally apply leave-in conditioner then blow dry and add oil and Shea butter, now my hair is naturally very dry and upon finding this info, a lot of things have been making sense. I am going to give the tension method a try and see how my hair responds.