Adding Moisture To My Heat Stretched Natural Hair – Q-Redew

q-redew on natural hair -moisturizing natural hair

How I Use The Q-Redew
I use the q-redew to moisturize my heat stretched hair. It is usually really difficult for me to moisturize my heat stretched hair, because of the fear that my hair will shrink dramatically and my style will be ruined. With the Q-Redew my hair does not get soaking wet. It basically just pushes out a warm mist which helps my hair to absorb moisture, but also keeps it stretched out. What I also like to do is stretch the hair down as I steam to help minimize any shrinkage.

What is the Q-Redew?
A handheld hair steamer
used to reshape, rejuvenate, and moisturize hair

How much is the Q-Redew and where can I purchase one?
$69.95 + tax
I purchased mine from Amazon.com

How long does it take to steam all of your hair?
It takes me no more than 10 minutes

Quick Tips
It holds about 3 oz of water. I have to refill it at least once to do my entire head. I have loads of hair though.
Make sure to twist or braid the section of hair after you steam. This will help keep the hair stretched out.

If you would like to discuss this more in detail or if you have any other questions regarding natural hair. Click The link below! I look forward to speaking with you! Google Helpout - Natural Hair ———————————————

EasyNaturalHair.com
“easy natural hair”

Click MsAliciaJames.com For More “Natural Hair” videos!

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Heat Stretching 101 For Natural Hair

I have always spoken publicly about my use of heat on my natural hair. It is something I have chosen to do to manage my natural hair due to my lifestyle and my personal taste. Using heat has helped me to maintain healthy hair, retain length, and reach several hair length goals. In this post I hope to share with you my experience, my methods, and hopefully those of you who have been searching high and low for this information will get the info you need to make your own personal decision when it comes to using heat.

Straightening natural hair - flat iron alicia james

  • Why do I use heat in my regimen?
    I personally like how easy my hair is to manage when I use heat. My knots and tangles are very minimal and I experience less breakage and shedding throughout the week. I have really tight 4a curls mixed with 4b and 4c hair. My hair shrinks up to over half of it’s actual length. It tangles so much, it makes it difficult to maintain health and length. So, my goal is not to have straight hair, but to manipulate my hair in a way that helps me to maintain it easily daily. During the time that I started using heat I retained more length than ever in my journey. I started a growth journey on Youtube in my second year starting at about shoulder or armpit length and in about two years on my four year anniversary reaching waist length.

My Journey To Waist Length

  • When did I first use heat?
    I started using heat on my natural hair when I turned 2 years natural. It was the day of my second year anniversary and I did my first blow out since being natural.
    I used a flat iron on my natural hair for the first time on my four year anniversary.
  • Why did I wait so long?
    I waited because I was still learning about my natural hair. When I first went natural I didn’t even know I was going natural. I had no confidence in my natural hair and my ability to maintain it. So, after my first year I found Youtube and blogs. There was so much information out there, I continued to take in every single thing. I have literally gone through so many phases in my natural hair journey due to information I thought was “fact”. As I progressed in my journey I continued to educate myself, but I learned to only take what I needed and leave the rest behind. This was one of the best things I could have ever done in my journey, because I developed my “keep it simple philosophy” when it came to my hair. Anyways, I got rid of the fear of heat damage, and burning off my hair. I finally decided to jump in, enjoy my journey, and do the things that worked for “my” hair.
  • How often do I use heat?
    When I first started using heat, I was only comfortable with once a month. This later changed into twice a month (every two weeks), and now I use once a week. I would NEVER use more than once a week.
  • What tools do I use?I started using blow dryers regularly, but later found it less stressful on my hair to use a flat iron. I know what you are thinking flat iron less stressful than blow dryer what? The blow dryer for me completely dries my hair out sometimes, but I noticed the flat iron kept some of that moisture in. So let’s start off with how I used my blow dryer and what I used.

*Heat Stretching With Blow Dryer: I used the tension method to blow dry my hair. This made it easier to stretch the hair without over manipulating the hair and running a brush or comb through my hair over and over again. I used the blow dryer on high air with low heat. When the blow dryer is on high air it makes the low heat a little warmer, so it doesn’t take forever to dry.

Tension Blow Drying


*Heat Stretching With Flat Iron: I use the “Andis Ceramic Multi Heat Flat Iron”. The highest temperature on this flat iron is 375  degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature is labeled in numbers 1-20. 20 being the highest heat. I use the flat iron only on level 10. If 20 is the highest heat, that means it would be close to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I would assume level 10 which is half of 20 would be half of 375 giving me about 187.5 degrees or a little more. Although we do know that temperatures no matter what the box says varies when it comes to flat irons, so you have to use your own discretion. The reason the temperature is so important is because healthy hair burns at 450 degrees. I personally don’t want to be anywhere near that. Also, I feel comfortable knowing that I am still pretty close to the average temperature of a blow dryer which is about 100-150 degrees. Now, these are things that make me comfortable this could be different for everyone. I only use my flat iron on clean, dry hair. Before I use heat I always do a thorough deep conditioning and sometimes a light protein treatment. Heat takes moisture out of the hair, so deep conditioning adds a little bit more moisture without completely drying the hair out during heat usage. When I flat iron the sections I go over each section ONCE. I also don’t hold the flat iron in place, I go down the strand gently, but as fast as possible to get the results I am looking for. Again, my goal is not “bone straight hair”. I am literally just heat stretching.

  • What is heat stretching? I started to refer to my heat usage as heat stretching because number one I didn’t want my use of heat regularly to be mistaken for heat training. I am in no way trying to change the natural texture of my hair. I love my curls and coils, and I love that my hair still has versatility after over three years of regular heat usage. Heat training is when you are intentionally adding an excessive amount of heat to your hair to change the texture of your hair and in the end making it easier to manage. With heat stretching you are not using excessive heat. You stick to low temperatures in order to maintain the structure and health of your hair as much as possible. Your only goal is to literally just stretch your hair pretty much like twisting, bunning, African threading, wrapping, braiding, just to name a few. I have chosen to use this method over the others, due to better results and success.
  • My Tips For Preventing Heat Damage

* I changed the way that I looked at using the flat iron in comparison to my relaxed days. As someone who has natural hair, I know my hair and understand that it frizzes at the drop of a dime. Going for bone straight hair is useless, and unrealistic for “me”. This is why I just focus on stretching and not necessarily straightening. When you are trying to straighten natural hair and get that bone straight look, you feel compelled to use high heat to achieve those results, and it leads to unhealthy practices for some.

* Moisture is key. Deep conditioning your hair before and after heat usage could be one of the best things that you do for your hair. Always keep in mind that heat takes the moisture from your hair, so adding to it can only help. Also, I find that going for long periods trying to maintain straight hair leads to dryness and breakage. This is why I have chosen to wash weekly and heat stretch weekly. I need to keep my hair clean and moisturized regularly. This gives me a week of nicely stretched hair. It also keeps me from going long periods of time without water in my hair, which I find to be very dangerous for my hair.

* Low Manipulation Is Your Friend. When I heat stretch I usually go for a low manipulation hairstyle. Buns are my go to hairstyle, and this keeps me from over manipulating my hair throughout the week. It also makes it easier to keep the hair stretched. When I heat stretch my hair the goal is always to make it easier to manage and maintain my hair. So, excessive styling would defeat the purpose and could do more harm than good especially when paired with heat.

  • How do I maintain my heat stretched hair with fitness, weather, etc.? Again I will mention realistic expectations. Frizz, shrinkage, etc. is a part of the journey. I have not found any method that completely prevents these things. To minimize frizz I always focus on how I prepare my hair. One thing that I know causes frizz is dryness. I always deep condition my hair thoroughly before using heat. I am big on oils so I love to add oils to my hair to not only add shine, but help “minimize” frizz. I live in a climate that has high humidity, so I understand that if there is a lot of moisture in the air, my hair will revert. There is no way to stop this process. Our hair is made up of bonds. One of the bonds that makes our hair so awesome are the hydrogen bonds. These bonds allow our hair to be shifted into so many amazing shapes, curls, etc temporarily. When moisture is introduced into the hair it changes the bonds, once it dries it stays in whatever shape you have placed it in. Once water is re introduced into the hair it causes the bonds to be broken and in the end revert. This is why humidity is NOT our friend when we have an amazing twist out. LOL! When we are having a high humidity day, the truth is I go for a bun. This keeps my hidden so that I can keep it stretched longer.
  • Heat Protectant: I have tried a couple of different heat protectants in the past, but for about two years I have been using extra virgin olive oil. I started to use this oil as a heat protectant, because I didn’t really like the way heat protectants made my hair feel. After careful research I decided to start using the oil, it was already a regular part of my hair regimen, so it was not a hassle.  Extra virgin olive oil as a high smoke point meaning it can tolerate high heat. You still want to be careful with this, because that all depends on how high the heat is you are using.  Extra virgin olive oil’s smoke point is 375 – 405 degrees Fahrenheit, 191 – 207 degrees Celsius. Even though this is the smoke point, you don’t want to use heat that is extremely hot, because that could make the oil ineffective. In my opinion this goes for any type of heat protectant. Always go as low as possible when using heat, that is my personal rule.

*A Few Other Oils You Can Use As A Heat Protectant
-Grapeseed Oil
-Argan Oil
-Coconut Oil
-Avocado Oil
-Sunflower Oil

  • When Not To Use Heat: All of the information that I have provided above is ONLY when dealing with HEALTHY hair. You do not want to add heat to damaged, brittle, dry, breaking hair. Adding heat will destroy the hair even more only increasing your hair problems. So just make note to always pay attention to your hair, how it is behaving so that you can a make a good decision on whether you should or should not be using any heat. The truth is sometimes our hair just needs a break from some of the things we put it through during the year including heat,  certain styling routines, etc. Examine Your Regimen to find what could be affecting your hair and when it is healthy you can make a decision on how much heat if any to use.
  • Quick Notes – How hot is too hot?!?! Just make a note that HEALTHY hair burns at 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Fine hair can burn around the 200s – 300s. So, make sure you are familiar with the type of hair you have. I just always have a rule for my hair and I never go near 400. I will barely touch 300. Again, the lower you can go and achieve the results you like the better.

Closing
This article is in no way to encourage others to add heat styling to their regimen. This is for those who are currently using heat or may be considering. This is based off of my personal experience and research. In the end using heat is a big decision when it comes to hair maintenance. You have to always be very careful and understand the risk that comes with doing it, even just once. DO YOUR RESEARCH! I truly hope this helps someone!

If you would like to discuss this more in detail or if you have any other questions regarding natural hair. Click The link below! I look forward to speaking with you! Google Helpout - Natural Hair ————————————————————————-

EasyNaturalHair.com
“easy natural hair”

Click MsAliciaJames.com For More “Natural Hair” videos!

Blow Drying Natural Hair – My Experience

Last Minute Hairstyle on straightened long natural hair

When I found Youtube I decided that I would NEVER use heat on my natural hair. I developed this big fear of damage and a whole lot of other things. Once I became a little more comfortable with my hair and started to develop my own personal regimen my opinion regarding the use of heat on my natural hair changed.

I did not start using heat in my natural hair journey until I turned two years natural.  When I turned two years I did my first blow out.  After blow drying my hair for the first time I found that I really enjoyed the stretch and the benefits I got from the stretched hair.

Blow Drying Method I Use

  • Tension Method:
    • I shampoo my hair to make sure it is thoroughly clean.
    • I do a protein treatment to strengthen the strands of my hair.
    • I do a deep conditioning using my rinse out conditioner and my extra virgin olive oil to add moisture into the hair. (heat will dry the hair out, extra moisture is a plus)
    • Detangle the hair thoroughly.
    • I add my leave in and heat protectant and put the hair into twist or braids so that the hair air dries. I wait until it is about 75-90% dry.
    • After the hair dries I then section the hair off into smaller sections and start to blow dry each section.
    • Without using the comb attachment stretch the section of hair and start to run the blow dryer up and down the section. I hold and cover the ends of my hair. I don’t find it is necessary to add heat directly to my ends. I am not going for super straight hair. You can do so if needed.
    • Continue this movement until that section of hair is stretched and dry.
    • Repeat this process until the entire head is complete.
    • You can also do a cool shot at the end. The cool shot is supposed to lay the hair cuticle back down after the use of heat.

*Tension Blow Drying*

How Often:

I blow dry my hair now 1-2 times a month. Now that my hair is much longer, I’ve limited the amount of times I am washing my hair. I blow dry after each wash. I have seen a huge difference in my hair since decreasing my wash days.

Moisturizing Blown out or Straightened Hair:

Deep conditioning is a huge plus before using heat. Heat dries the hair out so adding moisture into the hair is great and minimizes frizz. I notice a big difference if I don’t deep condition before blow drying my hair. My hair frizzes and shrinks up immediately.

When moisturizing blown out or straightened hair I use a bottle to lightly spritz water, mainly focusing on the ends. I massage the water into the hair starting from the ends and then upward. I seal in the moisture with oil. I usually only add oil to my hair once a week. If I need to set a style I use water only. My blow dried hair lasts so much longer when I am adding less product. Adding too much oil or product throughout the week can cause build up and greasy weighed down hair.

I use a leave in that is also a heat protectant. This helps to minimize the amount of products I am stacking on top of my hair. Less products, better results.

Low Sock Bun On My Natural Hair

My Quick Tips:

  • Always blow dry on clean hair
  • It is okay to blow dry your ends, but limit the amount of high heat on them
  • The faster you can finish the better, which is why air drying before you blow dry is important. You want to limit the amount of heat you are using.
  • The more heat you use the better chance you have for heat damage. Try to create a regimen that doesn’t include heat multiple times throughout the week.
  • Add a good moisturizer or heat protectant that will help with minimizing frizz
  • Heat equals dry hair and dry hair equals breakage, so keep the hair moisturized. Don’t be afraid to add oil throughout the week. (when needed)
  • Air dry the hair before blow drying. I never blow dry on soaking wet hair, this can damage to the hair and also the hair can lose its elasticity. If the hair gets too dry, spritz lightly with water before blow drying. I don’t like the hair to be too dry, the blow dryer will just dry it out even more from my personal experience.
  • A trick (sort of trick LOL!)  I use to stretch my blown out hair even more is leaving the freshly blown out hair in a bun for a day or two. This stretches the hair out more with less heat and also the blown out hair lasts longer.

As long as I have been using heat I have not seen any setbacks with my hair. I started using heat in my second year and at year four hit waist length. This is not the case for everyone! As far as heat training that is not my intentions or ultimate goal, but I do understand regular use of heat can alter the curl pattern. For over two years I have not noticed a change in my curl pattern. My coils are still super tight.

The use of heat is a personal choice. Always do your research before trying any new products or methods with your hair.

I hope that this helped someone! 🙂

If you would like to discuss this more in detail or if you have any other questions regarding natural hair. Click The link below! I look forward to speaking with you! Google Helpout - Natural Hair ————————————————————————-

EasyNaturalHair.com
“easy natural hair”

Click MsAliciaJames.com For More “Natural Hair” videos!

Flat Ironing Natural Hair

Flat Ironing Natural Hair
Flat Ironing Natural Hair - Front View
Flat Ironing Natural Hair - Back View

Flat Ironing Natural Hair - Ponytail

I guess you can say this was a two day process. I didn’t want to rush it, and I wanted to make sure that my hair was well protected and taken care of. I have no regrets, and I am really enjoying my straight hair!

Products Used:

  • Golden Wheat Deep Cleanse Shampoo by Giovanni
  • Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni
  • Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni
  • Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion by Giovanni
  • 100% Vegetable Glycerin (any brand)
  • Brazilian Smooth Keratin Blowout Cream
  • Andis 1 1/2″ Ceramic Flat Iron

My Process:

  • I shampooed my hair with my Golden Wheat Deep Cleanse Shampoo by Giovanni. It is very important to flat iron on clean hair.
  • I did a nice protein treatment with my Smooth As Silk Xtreme Protein Hair Infusion by Giovanni. I wanted to make sure my hair was nice and strong.
  • After my protein treatment I did a deep conditioning to add back in the moisture after the protein treatment. I used my 100% Vegetable Glycerin (any brand) and Smooth As Silk Deeper Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni. I didn’t do a oil treatment, because sometimes I don’t wash it all out. I didn’t want my hair to be oil and weighed down.
  • After my deep conditioning I applied my Direct Leave In Weightless Moisture Conditioner by Giovanni and Brazilian Smooth Keratin Blowout Cream (heat protectant). I put my hair in medium twist to let air dry overnight.
  • The next morning I took down my twist and blow dried my hair using the tension method.
  • After my hair was blown out, I sectioned the hair into four different sections. I started with each section, breaking it off into smaller pieces to flat iron. I only did one pass. I flat ironed on 15. It goes up to 20 an the hottest temperature is 375.
  • When I was done flat ironing I applied a small amount of Brazilian Smooth Keratin Blowout Cream. (heat protectant)
  • I cut about 3-4 inches to even out and any straggly ends

*Notes:

I love it! I want to wear it straight for as long as possible! My hair is not extremely straight, it has some body. I wasn’t looking for a bone straight look. Also, I understand with my natural hair texture it may require hotter heat to get bone straight. I am not interested in risking burning my har off! LOL!  I am maintaining my hair at night by using the “bunning method”. I am not looking to have bone straight hair. The bun gives me movement.

Videos Of My Hair Journey

 

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