25 June 2012

Natural Hair Talk | Should you use a heat protectant?

Whether or not to use a heat protectant, frequency of use and it's effects on
our hair are questions that have framed this topic for some time now.
Crystal Nnenne Azu, Founder of Ishimma, sheds some light in this guest blog.


While not everyone uses heat in hair styling, it is certainly a common practice to do so. Often, a forgotten tool to support the use of heat on the hair and prevent heat damage is a heat protectant! 

Should You Use a Heat Protectant? 
Much like most topics in hair care, there is some debate around the question of whether heat, or thermal, protectants are necessary for hair before applying heat. To explain, a heat protectant product (usually a spray) acts to coat the hair with a fine layer that protects the hair from subsequent heat coming from styling tools or other sources. A heat protectant is important because it diminishes the degree of heat that reaches the cortex of the hair and decreases the degradation and damage to the internal hair structure. Basically, it's a line of defense for your hair against heat! If you've ever trimmed off heat damaged hair, then you're familiar with the aftermath of hair that has experienced too much heat over time. Who really wants to lose their natural curl pattern? 

While you may hear advice from your friends telling you that a thermal protector is not necessary, take it from us, protecting your curls and tresses is a must! For those with curlier hair who may need more heat to get their hair straightened, you'll want to keep your hair as safe from damage as possible! We think of it like this: You could reach into the oven with your bare hands to get the hot pan of food and risk getting burned...or you could put on an oven mitt and keep your hands safe! 

So, should you use a heat protectant? We believe, yes, you should. It is certainly much better for your hair than not having one. You'll find that your hair won’t lose its natural curl, reversion to your un-straightened hair after your heated style is faster, your hair is less likely to split end break due to damage, as well as other benefits. 

Now, next question - 

What Type of Heat Protectant Should You Get? 
As we explained in our hair guide, some heat protectants are water-based, but with the high heat of a styling tool, that water will evaporate and leave less protection for your hair strand! Heat protectants that are silicone-based are great for protecting the hair and you can find many good ones in your beauty supply store for under ten dollars! Even better, look for heat protectants that contain some good oil, which will help in conditioning and further protecting your hair. Examples of good oils in heat protectant products are grapeseed oil and olive oil, so look out for those! There is buzz that those oils alone would be sufficient as heat protectants because of their high smoke points (the temperature at which the oil begins to smoke after heating), but currently, their ability to be enough protection is not a conclusive theory. We'll be on the lookout for any updates in the science! 

So, in short, heat protectants are incredibly helpful for the hair in minimizing heat damage and we do recommend their use! Kick heat damage to the curb! 

Check out more helpful tips through our Free Online Resource - "How to Grow Beautiful Hair: The Ultimate Guide

- The Team at Ishimma.com

Ishimma™ was founded to address the concern of attaining affordable, quality, natural products that provide adequate moisture to hair and encourage healthy growth. After thorough research uncovering that women’s top complaints with their hair related to persistent dryness, Ishimma™ formulated products to counteract this problem. These products are made from organic and natural ingredients and are designed to bring the maximum benefit to hair. Our focus is on bringing you the products that help you develop and maintain beautifully healthy hair and promoting hair education.

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