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Heat Training Natural Hair Straightening Tips

Updated on February 13, 2014
Grow Natural Hair with Heat Training
Grow Natural Hair with Heat Training

Transitioning to Natural Hair with Heat Training

Using heat to straighten natural hair is becoming a solution for not only changing the texture of the hair but to help the hair last longer in straight styles without the fear of the virgin black hair reverting from the changing climate or humidity.

Heat Training for Winter Natural Hairstyles

As a natural girl myself I find that excessive heat from flat irons actually causes breakage after repeat use for several months at a time, but I must admit I did not religiously keep my new growth straightened out so the breakage occurred when the heat trained hair connected to the course new growth.

My experience is not typical and most heat training enthusiasts will say that they have found the perfect solution for achieving the look of a relaxer without the damaging chemicals.

One of the things about going natural is learning new growth styling tips.

The thing that happens with chemical relaxers is that it breaks down the hair and causes it to be thin, weak and stringy.

Those who decide to grow out the relaxer will find that the new growth is much stronger and usually is kinky coily curls that has a thick texture compared to the weaker straightened ends.

Some have turned to heat training to tame the unruly, frizzy hard to manage hair into a silky smooth straight finish.

By treating the new growth only one can save their hair from undue damage.

Hair professionals recommend using a heat protectant on clean dry hair as well as keeping the heat temperature control on the flat iron between 250 and 350 degrees.

Will heat training work for my natural hair?

Natural hair wearers who are getting used to their new hair texture may still like the benefits of wearing straight hairstyles.

This method of using thermal heat can allow for the best of both worlds, most of the time the hair will revert back when wet or shampooed to reveal the curly locks you enjoy.

Only when the heat is not used properly that you will notice that the hair stays straight even after being wet.

I experienced this after flat ironing my natural hair on a daily basis it lead to me losing my natural curl pattern as well as breakage once my new hair growth began to show.

In my case in order for me to keep my hair from breaking I would have had to continue damaging the new growth with heat and I did not want to do this because I wanted to retain my curl pattern.

If you want to really straight hair and you have been natural for over a year or more than you definitely want to try the Babyliss Pro Nano Titanium Flat Iron. Many rave reviews can be found online regarding this heat styling tool.

Picking the Right Heat Styling Irons

It is important to buy the right heat styling iron to avoid damaging your hair.

What to look for in the next flat iron you purchase

The cost of the flat iron is the first thing you should look at when thinking of buying a new heat styling tool. Just because the price is cheap does not mean it is a quality iron.

  • Prices

Most of the time a ceramic styling iron is affordable online from $29.99 or less. The problem with these types of low cost hair straightening tools is that they are made from cheap materials that will aid in damaging your hair on repeated usage.

The higher the cost of the cermac styling flat iron the better the quality of the non metallic material used to distribute heat, protect and produce shine to your hair.

  • Ceramic plates

Also you want to understand the difference between tourmaline ceramic, titanium ceramic, and painted aluminum plates that can be found at most local drugstores.

Some of the best and most expensive heat styling irons are made by Chi, Hairart, FHI and GHD the reason is that they are used by professional hair stylist and are made from the best quality materials for hot tools.

  • Heat settings

You should be able to see the heat settings and they should be adjustable. Make sure that it does not just say: low, medium and high or gentle and hot because you will not know how hot the iron is getting when straightening your hair.

Thick unruly curls need the right amount of heat to tame or train into manageability. So it is recommended to have your heat settings not set too high with the proper temperature control.

  • Swivel cord

As you are probably aware while straightening your hair it is best to have a flat iron with a swivel cord for ease of use and to prevent tangling and will allow you to flip, twist, straighten or curl your hair.

Black Hair Care Forums

Black Hair Science - Forum for black women who desire to understand the science of healthy black hair care and maintenance. - Black African American Natural Hair Resource for photos, style tips and salon information.

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Will I lose my curl pattern after heat training?

Professional stylist say that you can use heat to train your hair to have a looser curl texture.

If you over process your hair with heavy greasy oils and too much heat it will stay straight.

Most girls with natural hair want to retain some wavy texture or curls for co-washes and wash and go's.

So it will be a thin line between staying naturally curly and also wearing heat trained hairstyles.

I guess it can be done but it will take some experience and proper care to achieve the results your looking for.

Using Heat Training as a Natural Relaxer

Some woman have decided that natural hair or always wearing their hair in a kinky, coily, curly, texturized pattern is not for them. Not everyone wants to wear their hair in a curly hairstyle.

It could be because of their busy schedules or career choices, whatever the case rocking a head full of curls just may not be everyones cup of tea.

That is why heat training is an option for those who want to alter their natural curl pattern without using chemicals.

It is believed that if the right amount of heat is used on the hair it can be beneficial and allow for straight hairstyles on a day to day basis.

Once the hair is straightened it can easily be wrapped and set under a dryer. After several uses of this technique the hair will retain its straight pattern even after being washed.

Not everyone agrees that heat training is good for the hair and some feel that it is just another way of creating a sexiness to heat damaged hair.

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Will hair relaxers make your hair grow or is natural hair better?

Apparently if your hair is straightened with chemicals or it is taken care of with stretching and heat doesn't make a difference. What makes your hair grow is dependent on how well you take care of your body.

Eating enough fruits, vegetables, grains, taking a multivitamin, relieving stress by exercising and drinking plenty of water along with using hair products that will retain the right amount of moisture plays a big part in your overall hair health.

The enemy to hair growth is hair styling products that causes your hair to be dry and brittle, which leads to breakage or damage and this can happen while combing, brushing or pulling on hair.

Proper hair care is the key to hair growth no matter what alternative hair straightening method you choose to use.

Is hair damage the reason for loss of hair growth?

Avoiding chemicals to grow healthy hair is why many African American women choose to go natural but is heat training the new natural relaxer?

Hair damage is the main reason the women of color have a hard time growing their hair long.

With the right hair treatment ethnic woman can grow long lengths of hair from shoulder length, bra length, waist length and even thigh length.

Some hair videos show natural hair enthusiasts doing length checks every 3 to 6 months and most will have achieved their hair length goals within 2 to 3 years.

Heat Therapy Protection from Heat Styling Appliances

You want to look for products that will protect hair from the drying and damaging effects of styling appliances. The goal is to prevent breakage for healthy looking hair.

  • TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Protective Spray
  • CHI 44 Iron Guard Thermal Protection Spray
  • CHI Silk Infusion, Silk Reconstructing Complex
  • Nexxus Heat Protexx Heat Protection Styling Spray
  • IC Hair Polisher Heat Protector Straightening Serum
  • Sedu Smoothing Heat Protecting Boost

Some products will say that they are a heat activated thermo protector but that does not really mean much.

Heat Protectant for Heat Damaged Hair

Reduce the effects of over-processing your hair with chemicals or heat which can weaken hair proteins, dry out moisture and oil from the hair cuticles.

You will need a conditioning product that will coat the hair during hair styling with blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons.

Is my hair damaged from heat?

Truth be told any heat that is applied to your hair is going to damage it.

The amount of heat in degrees on a flat iron or heat styling tool can be regulated and how often you use the heat can make a big difference in the overall health of the hair follicles.

But as I have mentioned before one will have to question if thermalaxing is any better than using chemical relaxers.

How to protect your hair from heat training techniques

Many who use this technique swear by it and state that they are careful not to damage their hair.

Some say that they use heat protectants or that they make sure the heat on the styling iron is not higher than 350 degrees.

Others will say that heat training is a technique that should only be done by licensed and trained hair experts.

Then you will see those who choose to do their hair at home and they have a method that they use to train or manage their natural hair without damage.

Some common heat protective products for hair

The best heat thermal protection for hair straightening starts with finding anti frizz polishing treatment sprays and serums.

Not all products that promise to protect your hair from heat damage actually work. The price you pay is always a way to tell if you are getting quality hair care tools.

As the saying goes you get what you pay for and this is also true when it comes to using quality fortifiers.

Stretch Natural Hair Without Heat

Alternative Hair Straightening Techniques

There are many ways to straighten coily, curly and kinky hair. Some of these are considered natural and healthy for the hair while others are considered damaging and harmful.

As you are probably aware the debate is long and many have their own opinion of what is best for natural hair. You will find that it is up to you to determine what will work best for your lifestyle and daily hair care routine.

What works for one person may not work for you. Misinformation and speculation makes it harder to know the truth.Hair experts, cosmetologists and chemist will often disagree when discussing what is best for our overall health and this is due to the profitability of many of these products and techniques.

Common ways of straightening naturally curly hair

Textlaxing/Texturizers: The use of a S-curl or texturizer is just another name for a mild chemical relaxer, these usually have the same ingredients as a regular relaxer it just is has less strength so as to keep a wavy curl pattern.

Natural hair curl patterns are altered or loosened by texlaxing to reduce shrinkage produce curl enhancing results.

Keratin Brazilian Treatments: The misconception is that this is a brand or chemical but the keratin itself is just a protein found in our hair, and nails. Like a coating for protecting the hair follicles to make it healthier shiner, stronger and smoother.

The straightening process uses harsh chemicals that can cause health issues if not used properly. It is best to repair your hair withkeratin hair products that do not change your hair molecular structure.

Thermal Heat Straightening: With a heat styling tool or flat iron one can use the heat to train their hair to be straight even after being wet.

It takes time for the hair to break down from the continued use of heat products such as blow dryers and straightening combs but once you do it repeatedly the natural curl pattern will soon become straighter.

Hair Stretching: Many who have worn natural hair and do not like the shrinkage will start to use braid outs and twists outs to stretch the hair and after a few days to a week of re-braiding and re-twisting the hair will maintain a straighter smoother look that can be styled and maintained for a longer length of time between washes.

Wet Set Hair Wrapping: As long as you have a hooded dryer you can put your hair in big rollers while it is still damp and sit under a dryer once the hair is completely dry it will take on a smooth straight look which can be wrapped and secured with saran wrap to brush out into a preferred style each day.

The pros and cons can most often be seen from trial and error. You can not always think that you will get the same results as the next person because of many factors such as genetics, age, nutritional balance, hormones, environmental climate and day to day maintenance.

All of these factors must be taken into consideration when you are watching a video, reading a print magazine article or buying a book on hair.

Heat Training Natural Hair Tips

There is some debate on whether natural hair can be trained, some have found that heat training is the only natural relaxer.

Heat damage is possible if too much of it is used on hair no matter if it is curly or straight.

The balance between how much heat to use on the hair is where trained hair can allow your hair to grow longer without breakage or damage.

Altering the curl pattern is something to consider if you have naturally curly hair, heat will straighten the hair but may not permanently keep the hair in this manner.

It will take repeat use of heat to break down and loosen your curls, depending on what type of hair style you want to achieve this can be a good thing or a bad thing.

Wearing wash and goes can give you a wet looking curls once dry but the curls can easily change shape.

This is intended to be used for informational purposes only, it is recommended you consult a licensed cosmetologists before you undergo any beauty enhancement procedures.


Submit a Comment

  • Melissa Locks profile image

    Melissa Locks 

    6 years ago

    I'm african american (texturized/semi-relaxed hair) and I get my hair straightened in a salon about every 12 weeks. Once I wash my hair I go back to the natural looks because straightening my hair on my own has never turned out right...not nearly as nice as when I leave the salon.

    Well, with Shielo's Antioxidant Leave in Protectant I was TRULY amazed!! Normally my hair would straighten but the ends would be dry and stiff and I'd end up with a frizzy mess after straightening. With the Shielo Antioxidant protectant it is silky smooth, light-weight and bouncy and NO greasy film! I can wear my shades on my head with out a greasy mess, lol. I blow dry my hair and part in 4 sections. I then apply a dime-sized amount to each as other have said, a little goes a long ways! I've gotten SO many compliments!

  • melissa07 profile image


    6 years ago

    thnx for the tips, are very useful, I use a great hair straightener that can help me a lot with that, it's the Karmin G3 Salon Pro which leaves my hair soft,shiny and very straight. Plus it has tourmaline ceramic plates that cause less damage than others. :D

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    7 years ago

    C-Bless - I know what you mean about using flat irons, I had a bad experience when I tried to keep my natural hair straight for a few months, it lead to breakage.

    Guanta - That is great you are restoring your hair to good health, you will probably find many who no longer use chemical relaxers looking for new options for straight hair.

  • Guanta profile image


    7 years ago from New York City

    Excellent information. Thank you Research Analyst. I can try some of the options you've listed. I am in the process of restoring my hair to good health after having used a relaxer for many years. Thanks much.

  • C-Bless profile image


    7 years ago from Canada

    I've had natural hair for about 12 years and I'm still leery about flat iron use by my stylist so I space my visits wide apart. Your article provided great info that I can discuss with my stylist and to help me achieve length. Awesome job. I appreciate you sharing...

  • Research Analyst profile imageAUTHOR

    Research Analyst 

    7 years ago

    Dee - I also have noticed that more women are starting to do their hair at home and it is a good idea to get the right information on how to take care or maintain our hairstyles.

    Enlight - Using heat on the hair to straighten it can cause damage that is why it is best to consult a licensed professional to make sure you get the right technique for your hair.

  • enlight your soul profile image

    enlight your soul 

    7 years ago from Bangladesh

    Your hub will be very useful for me. I want to have a straight and silky hair but it's very expensive for me. I think I can apply your idea. Oh, one simple question if I straight my hair will it starts to fall? I mean is it good for hair?

  • Dee aka Nonna profile image

    Dee aka Nonna 

    7 years ago

    This is a good hub with some great tips. I listen to my daughter-in-law and some of her friends and the thing, in these times of short-money supply, they are trying to figure out is how to cut their hair themselves. A trip to the salon is usually quite expensive...and money they don't always have available. Thanks for sharing.


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