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Why Is My Scalp So Flaky?…. and What Can I do To Treat It?

 

Via EnjoyingTheJourneys; CurlyNikki

A dry flaky scalp can be caused by a number of things, including the weather and or the products you are using. Dry Scalp is usually treatable when you give your hair added moisture and eliminate certain products from your regimen. You will need to identify or narrow down what could be the cause of your specific issue before it can be dealt with properly.

What causes Flaky Dry Scalp?

Dandruff is not the result of dry hair, it is caused by an oily scalp. You can usually differentiate dandruff from dry scalp by the size of the flakes. Dandruff flakes are larger and white. Your scalp may itch but it will not be inflamed or tender. Treatment::  Increasing the frequency of shampooing your hair will help; use a shampoo that has ingredients to specifically treat dandruff. I’m an advocate of natural products so I’d recommend, JASON, dandruff relief shampoo. It has tea tree oil, neem and rosemary in it.

Product build up (especially products with mineral oil, petroleum and other pore clogging ingredients) can also cause flaky, dry scalp. These flakes are not dead skin cells at all, but gels, conditioner, hair grease, or other products you’ve used that are mixed with your skin cells. Treatment: Begin to use a clarifying shampoo to rid your scalp of the residual ingredients. Follow up with a moisturizing conditioner as clarifying shampoos strip your hair. ( makes it squeaky clean but also has a tendency to be drying)

Dead skin cells fall off and are replaced by new skin cells. When this process of shedding is faster than normal, you will notice flakes on your scalp. If your flakes are because of dry skin, you will most likely have dry skin on other parts of your body. The flakes are dry, small, and white. Not washing your hair often enough can lead to excess oil and more rapidly producing flakes. Treatment: Use a hydrating shampoo for dry hair and scalp. Gently massage your scalp, using only your finger tips not your NAILS, to remove the flakes and increase circulation to the area. (Scratching your scalp is never a good idea, it has a counter effect)

TIP 1 :  Never apply products directly to your scalp. Our scalp creates its own oils, no need to apply hair grease or pomades to it.

TIP 2: Our scalp can get sunburned; if you’ve been in the sun more than usual or take long hot  showers; limit both to see if it helps with your journey to a non-flaky scalp.

TIP 3:Cut back on drying shampoos- A lot of shampoos (not all) contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, an ingredient that can be drying if used in excess. Opt for co-washing, making sure to gently massage your scalp with your fingers to loosen any build up you may have.
TIP4: Moisturizing oils such as coconut oils can be enhanced further as a scalp treatment by adding essential oils such as lavender, rosemary, tea-tree, and peppermint, all of which help combat dry scalp. Using the pads of your fingers, apply the oil little by little to different parts of your scalp, parting your hair as needed. Using the pads of your fingers, work the oil into your scalp, using circular motions. Slow, deliberate movements are relaxing while steady but vigorous movement helps enhance energy and circulation. (Read more about the benefits of scalp massage here)

TIP5:– Make sure you’re drinking enough water, and consider taking supplements (I love my Trader Joe’s multivitamin) to ensure you’re body is getting the nutrients it needs to look and feel your best!

Finally, if you give your scalp a little more TLC and your flakes are still there, it may be time to call your dermatologist.

Naturalistas, have you had any issues with your scalp?.. If so what remedies or advice do you have to treat it?

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The Key Steps To Successfully Detangling

A heavy-duty comb

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A wide-toothed comb is the comb you need in order to detangle. If the combs teeth are too thin and close together you will break your hair and if the comb it too plastic it will snap and you will run through an entire pack before you finish your whole head. I personally love and reccomend the tan wide toothed comb and the denman brush, which can be found at any hair store/Sallys near you.Denman Brush 1 

(denman brush)

Hair utensils (scrunchies, clips, pins, etc)

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I’ll leave this up to your preference, but detangling becomes easier the better you are able to separate the hair. Most people begin with four sections and then break the individual sections into more sections using pins and scrunchies. Be sure to have these on hand to make your detangling process easier!

Spray Bottle of Water

Do not, I repeat, do not detangle dry hair. There is no easier way to damage your hair than detangling your hair while it is dry. Keep your spray bottle on hand to be able to spritz water as needed.

You will indefinitely need patience to be able to work with your hair without breaking it, damaging it or giving up on detangling. Work from the bottom up, but be sure to take your time.

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The World of Homemade Deep Conditioners

Coconut Oil Banana.Coconut Milk and Honey.homemade Deep conditioner for natural hair. crystal afro. recipe. IG. lbd4b

 

Welcome to the world of homemade deep conditioners, here are a few to get started….

The Classic: Egg Whites, Mayo, Honey

            1 cup mayonnaise

            2 tbsp honey

            1 egg (white)

Mayonnaise is stacked with oils and fats that help moisturize, soften and add sheen to dull dry hair; while honey adds sheen and acts as a natural way to prevent the loss of moisture.

To create, put all ingredients in a blender until smooth, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangleone rinsed thoroughly.

And the variations: (Egg Whites, Mayonnaise and greek yogurt is a variation of this)

home-made-conditioner

Coconut Oil & Egg Whites

            4 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil

            1 egg (white)

            2 tbsp of pure honey (optional)

This conditioner combines protein, moisture and strength that the hair needs to grow and thrive. Honey is always good to add in deep conditioners for your hair, as it is great for moisture retention.

To create, mix in a bowl, then sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly. You may need double the ingredients depending on the length or thickness of the hair.

Homemade-Coconut-Milk-Deep-Conditioner

Avocado & Olive Oil

1 overripe avocado

            ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

            ½ cup of shea butter (optional)

2-3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (optional)

This deep conditioner is great for detangling! This conditioner is made to lubricate thick curls and give weight to the hair for detangling. The apple cider vinegar works as a clarifier for your hair, as well, if you do choose to include it.

To create, put all ingredients into a blender, and add extra virgin olive oil to reach the consistency you would prefer. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

 Banana, Olive oil & honey (with optional glycerin)

            1 large banana (or banana baby food)

            4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

            2 tbsp pure veggie glycerin (optional)

            2 tbsp honey

Here, the banana, when mixed with other ingredients, minimizes shrinkage and softens the hair. Olive oil thoroughly contributes to the over all moisture of the hair (see last post about oils). This deep conditioner specifically helps with manageability.

To create, put all of the ingredients into the blender in order to avoid having banana bits. Sit for 30-45 minutes under a shower cap and continue into a detangle one rinsed thoroughly.

Small tip:

All of these ingredients, egg whites/yogurt/honey/banana/mayonnaise/etc., can all work alone as deep conditioners as well! Happy experimenting!

 

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A Review of Oils and What They Do for Your Hair

Also, these all promote healthy hair as they help seal in moisture, but remember, they are not the moisture, and they just help to seal.

First up, Olive Oil: I personally prefer this oil; it is the most accessible because we use this so much in the kitchen. Olive oil contains Omega 3s, Fatty Acids and Vitamin E. This oil is great as a conditioner for your hair to moisturize into your strands. This oil makes hair extremely soft and extremely shiny, while preventing hair loss and split ends. It improves hair elasticity, conditions your hair, restores vitality to dull hair, promotes growth and strengthens.

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Coconut Oil: This oil, lightweight and non-oily, contains vitamin E, which is very vital in the conditioning of hair. It penetrates strands and reduces protein loss. It is extremely moisturizing strengthens and thickens strands. It also prevents styling damage, is great for finger detangling and helps to eliminate hair frizz and dryness. (Hint: if you are struggling with dandruff, this should be your “go-to” oil)

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Almond Oil: Packed with vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, B6, this oil promotes hair growth while preventing hair loss, shedding by soothing cuticles and breakage. This oil has a low penetration rate, though, but is extremely lightweight, works well for detangling and prevents breakage. This oil nourishes you hair and helps to make strands thicker, while increasing strength and shine. A bonus is that it smells really good! This is one of the few oils that can work as scalp oil without creating too much scalp buildup.

Aragon Oil: This oil increases hairs elasticity and smoothens the cuticles of hair. A bonus is that this oil is non greasy,while still sealing in the moisture of your strands. Aragon oil promotes natural shine and elasticity of hair in order to prevent breakage.

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Jojoba Oil: Another “go-to” oil for dandruff, Jojoba oil can work as a DIY dandruff and itchy scalp treatment, which works for eczema and psoriasis as well, as it mimics the scalps natural sebum, lifting dirt and exfoliating dead skins cells.It seals moisture into the strands very well, also. Jojoba contains antioxidants, vitamins E and B, silicon, copper and zinc, and is a very light-weigh oil.

Castor Oil: Reduces split ends and helps to thicken hair strands. This oil is very effective in promoting hair regrowth and preventing hair loss, because it reduces and prevents damage. Also helps with fullness, moisture and shine. Prevents thinning and is also great for scalp infections. This oil also builds hairs resilience to help it withstand styling.

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Avocado Oil: Because this oil is majority fat, it helps condition your hair and strengthen while boosting the shine. Containing vitamins A, E, B, magnesium and copper, avocado oil has all necessary proteins and fatty acids that nourish hair and promote fast hair growth. Avocado oil helps restore hair, softness and sheen, while being a great sealant for your moisture.

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TyLisa Tip: Hot oil treatments are the bees knees, take your favorite oil, or a group of them mixed well, heated up and massage into your hair strands and scalp. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour under a plastic cap, for the best result!

 

For more stories like this, click here!

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Tips & Tricks for the New Natural

These are little tips I have acquired during my time as a natural and during the research I did before my big chop! I wish I had a list like this for me, so I thought I’d provide one!

  1. Dry your hair with a t-shirt, instead of a towel, for less frizz when your hair finally dries.
  2. While we are on the topic of drying hair…….Pat dry don’t rub dry, to avoid frizz.
  3. I thought this was a myth, but no, really, invest in a spray bottle for your water – They were not kidding.
  4. You won’t need to clip your ends as much as you probably think. Trimming, if you are properly caring for your hair, should come as much as a blue moon. To retain length, trims should be very few and far between.
  5. Finger detangle because combs should be your last resort. We have pretty little combs attached to our wrists thanks for the Man above, use them!
  6. You really only need water, a butter, an oil (and possibly a gel) — All of the rest of the products are excess.
  7. Beware of the product junkie lifestyle, it is so easy to slide into if you don’t do you research first and control your habits.
  8. Take pictures of your hair, trust me with this, because you eventually will see the progress and be so happy you did! Staring at yourself in the mirror everyday you won’t notice growth as much as if you document with photos!
  9. Develop a routine, but know that eventually this will have to change. Be willing to adapt.
  10. Heat damage is not a myth. That is all.
  11. Denman brushes are a beautiful thing. For some reason, brushing through my hair with a Denman accentuates my curls and I get to look and adore them every time.
  12. Do not overuse shampoo. It dries your hair out, use sparingly.
  13. Be careful with those edges! Especially when doing buns and pull back styles.
  14. Coating your hands with an oil while taking down protective styles will reduce frizz.
  15. Get enough water to drink throughout your normal day, it helps with, not only your body, but also your hair.
  16. Though you want to protect your entire hair strand, focus on the end, which is the oldest part and most prone to breaking.
  17. Condition and wash the hair while they are in twists to be time efficient.
  18. A good way to judge if the water is too hot for your hair — If the water is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your hair.
  19. Figuring out your hairtype can be mildly stressful, expect this and mentally prepare.
  20. Take your twists out at the bottom, then unravel, to reduce frizz.
  21. Take the time to learn when it is time to clip ends: I  mostly know by when they cant be tamed, are always puffy and dry, and I see physical splits.
  22. When you shampoo, it is 80% scalp and 20% hair strands. Once again, shampoo will dry your hair out, be weary.
  23. Experimentation is healthy. Be brave.
  24. Look for water based products.
  25. If I haven’t said it enough already: Water, water, water.

    For more stories such as this click here!

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4 Hair Tools that 4B/4C Naturals Should Avoid

Via BlackGirlLong Hair

Let’s be real.  Not every loose 4B/4C natural solely uses her fingers as her tools.  Wide tooth combs and the ends of rattail combs are just a few other necessities that may be in our stash.  That being said, are there certain “natural hair” tools that we should probably avoid?  The answer is yes.  Here are four of these tools:

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How To Detangle The Worsts Knots !!!

 

Via NaturallyCurly

One of the trademarked tragedies for Curlies (aside from frizz) is tangled knots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to go from shimmery locks to lockdown knots. Thankfully, there are things you can do to get rid of knotty tangles, even the most persistent ones, in your hair.

 Condition, Condition, Condition

While this may seem somewhat obvious, it’s not always apparent when you’ve reached what you think is the point of no return with your knot(s). However, with time and patience, conditioner can be your absolute best friend when it prevents you from cutting out the knot!
On dry hair, gather the knot in your hands and try to pull as much hair away from the knot as possible. Once you’re down to just the knot, begin massaging a very generous amount of conditioner on and into the knot. This is actually a good way to use up your old conditioners (you know, the ones you were using before you discovered our site!) since you’re going to need a LOT and you don’t want to use up your good stuff. Gradually pull more hairs away from the knot while being careful not to break your hair.

 

 Finger-Comb

If you have multiple knots happening, strike brushes and combs from your arsenal. Instead, you should use your fingers, which lets you feel around for those tangles as you’re detangling. It also gives you more control as to just how much hair you’re moving through and how hard you’re tugging.

 

Oil It Up

Much like using conditioner, oiling the knot (especially if it’s matted) will help smooth the cuticle. This is crucial to enabling the hair strands to slide past each other with ease. Use olive oil, coconut oil, or a hot oil treatment to massage the oil into the knot continuously. Then, gently pull hairs away from the core of the knot until you’re down to a small tangle. Once there, start combing hair from the bottom up to get rid of that last snarl.4.

Avoid Water & Shampoo

Once your hair is already tangled, you should avoid water and shampoo like the plague. These two ingredients (especially when put together) are a recipe for even more tangles. I have a friend who had a knot in her hair, she tried (without luck) to detangle it and when she was at her wit’s end, she decided to wash it with shampoo and water. The tangle escalated into the knot to end all knots, and she eventually had to have a professional cut it (and most of her hair) off that day. Heed this warning, don’t add water or shampoo to the problem!

 Bring In Reinforcements

You can use a rat-tail comb to try to work some of the hair away from the knot. This will clear the area and eventually (possibly 30 minutes and two sore arms later), you’ll end up with a teeny tiny little knot that is more manageable.

 

 Be Patient

Get comfortable because you’re going to be working at this for a while! This process takes time and patience. Based on personal experience with both my own hair and my three curly daughters, this could take 20-30 minutes – per knot. So, don’t get discouraged if you feel like you’ve barely made progress after just 10 minutes.

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7 Tips For Dealing With A Sensitive Hairline

 

Hairline’s are always a source for breakage and thinning among women of color.  Out of all the areas on our head, the hairline is the most sensitive because it can’t withstand a lot of tension, and it tends to lack the proper amounts of moisture.  For the most part, a lot of us engage in high manipulation hairstyles, that continue to place our “edges” at risk.  Here are some tips to prevent thinning and breakage around your hairline.

Xoxo

Naturalia

By Chinwe of Hair and Health

1. Minimize pulling the hair back too tight

Pulling the hair back tautly causes tension along the hairline and may result in broken hairs or hair loss over time. Styles in which the hair is pulled back should be worn minimally and/or loosely. Because of my sensitive hairline, I opt for loose, pinned updos that allow my hairline to breathe and stay away from tight buns. If the style hurts, then listen to your hairline.

2. Opt for a polyester/silk pillow case instead of a silk scarf

Polyester/silk scarves worn while you sleep can damage the hairline if tied tightly. Your edges will be happier if you sleep on a polyester/silk pillow case or wrap the scarf (if it’s large enough) around your pillow. Another option is to sleep in a polyester/silk bonnet, but beware of the ones that expose the elastic. Whichever method you choose, you can wrap a scarf around your edges for a few minutes in the morning to lay them down, undo the scarf, and you’re good to go. It’s healthier than sleeping with a scarf around your edges all night long. (NOTE: Polyester and silk come in satin, charmeuse, chiffon, and other weaves. Opt for satin or charmeuse, which are smooth weaves.)

3. Apply natural butters/oils and then massage 2-5x a week

This is particularly important for a recovering hairline. Natural butters (e.g., mango, shea) and oils (e.g., coconut, olive, castor) contain substances that can soothe and nourish the scalp along the edges. For example, shea butter and mango butter contain Vitamin A, which plays an important part in the growth and maintenance of the follicles. Additionally, massaging the hairline may stimulate growth.

 

4. Don’t sleep in a ponytail, bun, or updo

If your hairline is sensitive, this is the worst thing you can do it. Trust me; I’ve been there. As you toss and turn at night, pulling can occur and your hairline can suffer. Some women can get away with this, but if you have a sensitive hairline, it is best to just sleep with your hair wrapped (in a bonnet) or in several loose and big plaits/twists.

5. Avoid wearing elastic headbands, bandanas, tight scarves too frequently

Once in a while is fine, but daily is probably not. Opt for loose scarves instead elastic headbands when you can.

6. Redo the braids/twists along the edges weekly/biweekly

Extensions or not, this is essential for a sensitive hairline.

7. Don’t make the braids/twists too small and tight along the hairline
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Homemade Aloe Vera Leave- In Conditioner

 

 

For some reason my hair is always dry!!! I’m not sure if its because I have a permanent color,

or because I’m not producing enough sebum to moisturize my hair?!?.. Whatever it may be

I need to find a solution and I mean real quick !!!! , because moisture is a key factor in the growth and

health of the hair.  After reading the section in The Science of Black Hair on

” Healthy Hair Management”, I discovered that leave- in conditioners are good for providing

extra moisture to dry hair.  I’ve noticed that Aloe- Vera is the new wave in the natural

community,so I decided to look into its benefits, and I discovered a homemade leave-in

conditioner that may be the answer to my problem.

Via BlackGirlLongHair

With a pH range of around 4.5, the acidity of aloe vera is what works to our advantage. It aids in closing the hair cuticle. This causes your hair to be smoother, minimizes frizz, and gives your strands more definition and shine. Some find that aloe vera is a humectant, or something that draws in any humidity from the air that surrounds it. However, by sealing my hair with aloe vera after I style it, I’ve noticed less frizz and swelling. Pure aloe vera is light enough to keep my hair moisturized without feeling greasy or weighed down. It also gives great control without making it stiff or crunchy.

Aloe Vera Gel Leave-in Conditioner

4oz water
4oz aloe vera gel
10 drops of essential oil (pick your favorite!)
Directions: Add water and aloe vera gel to a small bowl and stir lightly with a spoon. Pour the contents into a spray bottle and shake. Add an essential oil of your choice and shake lightly again. Use daily or as often as needed to restore softness.

Benefits
  • Gives hair moisture
  • Detangles
  • Defines curly hair
  • Reduces itchy, scaly scalp
  • Tames oily Hair
  • Balances PH Level of hair

I will be trying this recipe this weekend when I do my daily  wash-and-twist.. so I’ll do a

review on it then. If you ladies have tried this recipe I would love to hear your feedback.

 

Xoxo

Naturalia

 

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7 Steps To Minimize Damage When Using Heat

Via: BlackGirlLongHair

 

So you are interested in using heat – be it blow-drying or flat-ironing – but you are terrified of destroying your healthy hair.  You have heard too many horror stories about split ends and permanently straight strands resulting from heat usage.

The truth of the matter is that heat usage does not have to be so scary as long as you know your hair and know its limits.  Additionally, a high-moisture, high-strength, moderate-heat routine is necessary to minimize damage.

The following regimen is a good starting point for those who are ready to incorporate heat styling into their hair care routine.  However, if you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then I encourage you leave heat usage alone for now: Is your hair currently damaged?  Is your hair brittle or weak?  Is your hair newly colored or bleached?

1. Wash with a gentle or moisturizing shampoo.

With a heat-styling regimen, it is really important to maintain moisturized strands, even during the washing process.  Use of a stripping, drying shampoo will translate into more effort spent afterwards restoring what was lost.  On the other hand, use of a gentle shampoo will retain that moisture, and depending on the product, add more moisture and a bit of conditioning. Gentle shampoos usually contain mild (rather than harsh) cleansing agents.  Moisturizing shampoos are usually gentle shampoos that also contain light conditioning ingredients.

2. Deep condition with a moisturizing protein conditioner.

Following up with a deep protein conditioner is essential to reinforce the hair shaft for manipulation and heat usage.  However, for those who are protein sensitive or have issues with protein-moisture balance, finding the right deep conditioner can be a challenge.  A great option is to try one with the dual role of strengthening (via a protein) and moisturizing.  Such conditioners will generally contain a hydrolyzed protein (e.g., keratin, collagen) for reinforcement and humectants (e.g, glycerin) for moisture retention.

3. Quick condition with a silicone-based conditioner (optional).

This step is ideal for those who desire strands that are more manageable (e.g., easier combing, less tangly) and smoother for heat styling.  Also, if your hair is too hard after the above deep conditioning step, this quick condition may help to soften it.

4. Moisturize with a light water-based product and then seal.

This is your final moisturizing step prior to applying heat to your hair.  You can simply apply a good oil/butter-based sealant to your damp, conditioned hair OR after applying a light water-based moisturizer.  Try to avoid products containing humectants in order to delay reversion and frizz.  Also, try to avoid heavy products, which can contribute to buildup and lessen the duration of your style.

IF FLAT IRONING:
5. Air-dry in big braids.

In order to minimize heat usage, air-dry your hair as opposed to blow-drying.  Doing so in big braids will stretch the hair better than twists though it will also take longer.

6. Apply a silicone-based heat protectant and evenly.

A good heat protectant will usually contain silicones, such as dimethicone or cyclomethicone, which are very effective at reducing damage.  Applying a heat protectant is necessary to reduce the rate at which heat travels through the hair.  Be sure to apply a sufficient amount and section by section.

7. Flat iron using a moderate temperature and no more than two passes.

Read this post on “The Natural Haven” for information on the temperature profile for human hair.  If you do use a setting above 300 degrees Fahrenheit, try not to go above 350 F.  Also, invest in a quality flat iron so that little effort (including minimal passes) is required to achieve the look for which you are aiming.  Be sure to invest in one with a temperature dial, as well, so that you can control the heat level.

IF BLOW-DRYING:
5. Plop the hair until damp.

It is less damaging to blow-dry damp hair rather than soaking wet hair.  Prior to heat usage, wrap your freshly washed hair with a towel or t-shirt for fifteen to twenty minutes.  (This method of removing excess water is called plopping.)  Then unwrap your hair and proceed to the next step.

6. Apply a silicone-based heat protectant.

A good heat protectant will usually contain silicones, such as dimethicone or cyclomethicone, which are very effective at reducing damage.  Applying a heat protectant is necessary to reduce the rate at which heat travels through the hair.  Be sure to apply a sufficient amount and section by section.

7. Blow dry using the tension method (no combs or brushes).

View tutorials on tension blow-drying in this post.  This method of blow-drying is less damaging than using comb attachments or brushes, which may over-manipulate the hair.  Additionally, invest in a blow dryer with a diffuser, which will help to evenly distribute the heat across your hair.

HOW OFTEN?

Alternate between your heat-styling routine and no-heat styles.

Wear your heat-styled hair for 2-3 weeks at a time and alternate with air-dried styles (e.g., twists, buns, braids, roller set).  Whether you choose to wear heat-styled looks twice a year or twelve times a year is up to you.  However, the lower your frequency of heat usage, the better your hair will fair in the long run.

Ladies, how do you reduce damage while heat styling?