What I’ve Been Asked: Blow Drying While Transitioning

Last week I received this e-mail:

Hi
Thanks for the amazing blog! It’s great.
I’m also in transition at the moment. In fact I can’t wait for the new growth to grow to a decent length so I can do the BC! Just like you, I’ve done it all and after taking my braids out two weeks
ago (having relaxed my hair two months prior to that) I was just
shocked at how damaged my hair was. That’s when I decided enough is
enough, I’m going au natural. At the moment, I wash
and deep condition every week and blow dry my hair. I apply a heat
protecting serum before the blow dry.
My concern though is that the blow drying will damage the new growth and make it take longer to grow. Is this the case?
Am I going about this the right way or should I not blow dry and just
let it grow? Managing the two textures would be hard though. I look forward to your response.

My reply:

Heya,

Thanks for writing in! I always get excited when I receive mail from readers.

Firstly, I’m no hair expert so my advice to you is based on what I’ve read and experienced. With blow drying, and any other heat styling, you need to be really careful whether you’re natural or not. Having said that, as far as I know blow drying, especially on the cool setting with a protectant every once in awhile might be okay for you depending on your hair. But the more often you do it, the more you risk your hair suffering from heat damage and may never get that beautiful curl back. The fact that you’re using a heat protectant serum’s a great first step, but that you’re blow drying every week is probably not a good idea. Plus, blow drying our hair makes it very dry and that dryness will lead to breakage. Your transitioning hair is already at a weak stage because of those two textures so doing things to minimise breakage should be key. Dealing with two textures while transitioning can be challenging and it’s this first part of your journey where you need to be cautious of how to care for your hair. It’s also a great time to begin to learn how to treat your natural hair. There’s the temptation to make our new growth blend in more with our relaxed ends by straightening it but I think that’s doing your new natural hair a disservice. After all, you’re transitioning to get rid of the straight ends, why not use this time to adjust and get used to curlier and wavier styles to accommodate your new natural hair?  

I’d suggest reducing how often you blow dry and either air or towel dry your hair instead. (Since I stopped relaxing my hair February of last year, I’ve blow dried my hair 4 times.) When you do blow dry, use the cool setting as well as half air/towel dry before using the dryer, to minimise the time the dryer’s heat is on your hair. A great tip I followed when I was transitioning is to treat your in-between hair as if it were already natural. Use the products you’re planning on using, switch the combs to wider toothed ones and moisturise often. You can do styles to help your new growth blend in like twisting or cornrowing your hair and undoing them the next day for a ‘twist out/braid out look’. This will also give you good practice for when you do finally chop, you’ll be a pro at the curlier styles.

There are quite a number of articles out there that talk about the dangers of heat styling your hair too often. Here are a couple:

How to Prevent and Recover from Heat Damage – by Moptop Maven

The Effects of Blowdrying on Natural Hair – by Black Girl Long Hair

I hope this helps you, and anyone else who may be reading going through the same thing as you 🙂

Ladies, please comment and share your knowledge and experiences.

Follow:
Share:

2 Comments

  1. November 6, 2014 / 8:29 am

    And I love your blog keep up the good job.thank Aisha. Dnt know if my comments been showing on your side. If they are they hey good if not I will keep trying

  2. November 6, 2014 / 8:27 am

    Unfortunately I wasn't patient enough to go thru with transtition,after giving birth to my daughter my hair starter to thinning around the edges and I was upset and frustrated that I didn't know what to do so I just gave my husband hair clippers and told him to cut it all off and I was relieve.then after my hair grew again I tried using baby relaxers as I noticed that every time I used a relaxer it burn my scalp badly and quickly which that didn't happen before and my hair was starting to thin out all over while my hair is always full and a lot of it.also thick but that wasn't the case, when my second baby was born which was a boy the very same thing happened again which let me to big chop for the second time and made released that I think I should ditch relaxers and just see my true hair texture which I never did, I started relaxing while I was 13 years of age I blame my mom. Well she didn't know either how to take care of my hair she thought by doing that my hair will be a lot easier to handle.so my I m abit wiser dnt want to put my daughter through the same thing I went thru and my son too they both have different texture which is a challenge and also learning to take care of my own.the most challenging thing is finding right products as I live in a small town he here is south Africa. Is called Mafikeng it's in the north west province so products there are not so easy to find any advice on what should I do is welcome my hair texture is just like yours 4c my daughter is 4b/c my son not sure I think it's 3c not sure but all I know is baby oil dry out his hair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WIN Your share of R50,000 in School Fees! Click below