One crucial part of natural hair care is the disciplined choice of no heat. Many people with natural hair know that heat damage can put a huge halt in any type of progress you may have gotten during this journey. Applying heat to natural hair can cause detrimental results such as split ends, brittle hair and breakage. While it is possible to use heat styling with protection, you can’t come out of it 100% safe.
Now, more than ever, NaturAllistas are looking for ways to style their hair free of any guilt or irreconcilable damages. The best part about natural hair is we can manipulate it in an abundant number of ways. When your hair is healthy and strong, it will be able to move and pivot any way you’d like. No matter the style or products, you have to have a nourished head of hair/scalp and strong regimen that maintains moisture and hydration.
First Things, First
Before any styling process begins, you want to start with clean, prepped hair. NaturAll offers two great bundles that include all the products you would need, depending on the style you are going for. For the beginning of your hair care, you want a sulfate-free shampoo that will not strip your hair of necessary oils while still introducing moisture. Along with amazing shampoo, there has to be a conditioner with amazing slip so you can detangle your hair with ease. Many heat-free styles also double as protective styles. This means you can have these styles installed for a little longer than something like a wash and go. If you’re looking for one of these styles, you definitely need to deeply condition your hair so it is prepared to hold in one position without getting weakened.
The best option for a full styling regimen would be our AvoKiwi Protective Styling 6-Step Recipe. This bundle includes all necessary products from the Hydrating Shampoo all the way down to the Hydrating AvoKiwi Oil Blend to seal everything up. The Hydrating Twisting Paste will do wonders to hold you style better than any heat tool can manage. Following this regimen by these next steps will result in a hydrated style that will last.
- Hydrating Shampoo
- Hydrating Conditioner
- Hydrating Ice Cream Treatment Deep Conditioner
- Hydrating Moisturizer
- Hydrating Twisting Paste
- Hydrating Oil Blend
Now that you have properly prepped your hair and you know the cadence in which you should go, let's get into some heatless styles that can save you heartache and introduce you to heat damage free world.
1. Roller Sets
Roller sets have evolved from the last time you saw your grandmother in her night shirt on the porch. In the past, many have set their rollers with heat. The truth is, you can achieve beautiful, defined curls with just a little patience. Along with avoiding heat, roller sets are a great opportunity to create more volume in somewhat lifeless hair. Our Hydrating Twisting Paste is a great option for setting your roller sets. This paste is wax free and dries clear. The lightweight texture allows for a strong hold without a greasy feel. Being a part of our Hydrating Collection, this product includes kiwi extract which is highly moisturizing and penetrates the hair shaft deeply. With roller sets, it is best to allow 8-12 hours (or just overnight) before taking them down so your hair has enough time to dry. If your hair is not 98% dry before your take down, you can be subjected to flaking or frizz. Once the rollers are properly dried, you can take them down and you’ll be left with soft, bouncy, voluminous curls.
2. Flexi Rods
Flexi rods, like rollers, allow the hair to hold a pattern without heat. The difference is the breathability while the rollers are in. As suggested in the name, flexi rods allow you to move your head and sleep a *little* more comfortable for optimum dry time. The ability to bend flexi rods also allows you to better tuck your ends to ensure they are protected. Any time you can tuck your ends, do it! This prevents split ends and breakage.
3. Bantu Knots
Remember when we mentioned styles that double as a protective style? A benefit of bantu knots is they are an ideal style for retaining moisture and no heat is necessary! When you properly layer your products to optimize moisture retention, as long as they are allowed to dry properly, you will end up retaining more moisture. Be sure to apply product in small increments, making sure each layer is evenly distributed throughout the strands. Our creamy AvoKiwi Hair Moisturizer provides the perfect blend of slip that will be useful when you are twisting the knots around themselves. Finish off with AvoKiwi Oil Blend to seal all of that hydrating goodness. Check out this quick bantu knot tutorial for a step by step demonstration.
Bantu Tip: When installing bantu knots, be sure to be gentle! This style requires a bit of manipulation to install. Be sure not to twist your knots to the point that they are uncomfortable. You should be able to wrap them up in a scarf and sleep soundly. Too much tension or pulling will weaken your hair strands, especially around the edges. We’re avoiding heat for that very reason, right? Right!
4. High Puff, Updo
A simple high puff updo or “pineapple” is a great way to get your hair out of your face and is versatile enough to get through work and slide into dinner. The best part about a high puff is they are usually a continuation of the most famous heatless style, a wash and go. The best part about this style is that it looks its best with day 3 or 4 hair and the hair that is already dried, meaning no heat needed!
Now instead of using the AvoKiwi Protective Styling 6-Step Recipe, we recommend using the AvoKiwi Wash and Go 6-Step Recipe. This bundle includes the Hydrating Leave-In Conditioner and the Hydrating Curl Custard. The combination of these two products provide a medium hold while still introducing moisture to the hair. A medium hold allows for more flexibility when you tie up your wash and go. Here’s a quick step by step on how to achieve this look
- Prepare your hair by using steps 1-3 (shampoo, condition, deep condition)
- Next, apply the Hydrating Leave in Conditioner to your sectioned hair.
- Apply our Hydrating Curl Custard to really hold and define your curls. Make sure to evenly distribute, using a little bit, as needed. Be sure not to over apply to avoid flaking!
- Allow to dry about 90% (unless you are wearing the wash and go before you tie your hair up, then allow to air dry completely)
- Then, for extra hold, you can apply our Flaxseed Edge Control- 24 Hour Extreme Hold to the perimeter of your hair and brush your hair in an upward motion. Once the parameter is sleek enough, gather your hair with your hair tie or lace and put that section into a sleek puff.
- Let air dry. Next, fluff your hair up with a pick
- Lastly, if desired, lay your edges to finish the look.
High Puff Tip: This style is about as DIY as them come. Don’t have an elastic to tie up your hair? Use a shoelace or the drawstring from that old hoodie you don’t wear. Using either of these methods allows for easier adjustment as well!
6. Twist or Braids Outs
Twist outs and braid outs are amazing alternatives for heat treated styles. A lot of times, heat is used to elongate the hair to show off the true length of our shrunken afros. While shrinkage is sometimes devastating, it is a sign of healthy hair strands. Our hairs want to coil so there is nothing better than them doing it on their own. Just like a high puff, twist and braid outs are basically a two for one deal! When you first do a two or three strand twist, you’ll have a beautiful style of individual twists that you can rack for 1-2 weeks. Once you find it is time to take down the twists, you’ll unravel a gorgeous twist out that you’ll be able to rock for about another week! This is when you will have beautiful, defined curls or waves that elongate the hair and hold shape, all without the help of heat in the process.
Now the key to achieving the success of two styles with one installment is your application technique. Layering your products and ensuring the twists are 100% dry are the absolute most important steps. We highly recommend our Hydrating Twisting Paste as your styling choice when installing your twists. Many times when you are looking for styles without heat, you tend to believe you may need more products to aid in holding your style. A little goes a long way with this product and you won’t have to worry about using so much that you’ll experience product buildup. Our twisting paste has a strong hold that does not dry white (bye bye flakes) and will introduce moisture to the hair as well.
Look, we all know how hard it is to stay away from the convenience of heat styling your hair. It shaves off time, it requires little effort (when done right) and can help you eliminate the struggle of detangling your mane. The fact is, this convenience comes with a price and that price can cost you months, even years of growth and progression in your natural hair journey. Once you get over the hill of learning your hair without heat, you can really take the time to learn what your natural hair likes best. You’ve gotten this fair in eliminating relaxers, texturizers and perms. Now it’s time to embrace your heatless regimen and make it an everyday norm.