Adding heat to curly hair is a big risk- in fact, it is such a risk that your curl pattern might be altered when you wash it again. However, the risk level lowers when you use caution and don’t add heat frequently. For those who are transitioning from damaged hair, heat use isn’t recommended but if you do choose to add heat, it should only be done at least once a month. Many people who are transitioning don’t feel 100% comfortable with their hair so they blow dry it because it’s within their comfort zone and technically easier to style.
Deep conditioning (particularly with a hair mask) is recommended before adding heat your hair so it can be protected from the heat levels it’s about to encounter. The Ouidad Curl Recovery™
Melt Down Extreme Repair Mask is a good option as it restores your hair’s protective moisture barrier. Protecting your hair is essential especially when you’re changing its natural, unprocessed format.
Before even thinking about using a blower, don’t forget to add thermal spray- thermal spray protects your hair from the heat as it is virtually another layer added to your hair. It should be sprayed while your hair is damp and can be combed through for even distribution.
Ironically enough, putting your hair into rollers and going under the hair dryer for 45 minutes to an hour is safer than directly blow drying your hair. Why? Because when you blow dry your hair right after washing it, you stretch it out and it’ll take longer to straighten it meaning you’re adding more heat to your hair. When you’re under the hair dryer, your hair is curled into rollers and it is not being stretched out. However, one result of going under the hair dryer is that some of your roots will be curly/wavy. In this situation, you can spritz a bit of thermal spray onto your roots and use the blow dryer to straighten them for a finished look.
If you don’t use protective measures when adding heat to your curls, they’ll either result in split ends and/or a looser pattern. Although split ends can be repaired to some extent with deep conditioning, there is a possibility you will have to cut your ends. As far as a looser curl pattern, you have the same option of using a repairing hair mask a few times in hopes of restoration, but if your curls don’t reactivate after that, it is likely you will have to cut your hair (slowly or big chop) in order to restore your pattern. Some might think blow drying your hair one day won’t harm it, but it will if you don’t take the necessary steps to preserve your curls!