5.02.2012

|30| Operation: NO HEAT Straightening Strand Test...


Wednesday, 5.2.12…

{Disclaimer!!  (LOL):  This post is going to seem extremely hypocritical, but my curiosity FAR outweighs reasoning at times, and just like my Mama used to tell me out of frustration when I was “feelin’ myself” at times, “live and learn”.  I truly believe if something goes against the grain of things, sometimes you just gotta go with it and experience it for yourself, just so you know how it feels, then can make more educated decisions going forward.  Again, “when you know better, you DO better…” With that being said, here it goes!  J}

So, I can not remember why I came across this thought, but yesterday I found myself doing a search on whether hair, naturally curly/coiled hair in particular, could be straightened without heat...

…OH WAIT, now I remember…I was watching a YouTube video yesterday of someone I am subscribed to, who recently decided to “stretch” her hair using a blow dryer, which really just turned into her actually straightening her hair!  Though I have very definitive thoughts and feelings about “naturals” straightening their hair and the REASONS they’re doing it, I was pretty impressed with the length, (she’s been naturally for 2.5 years), considering the scalp condition she has and was comparing my length progression to hers.  I’m actually only 22 months in, and have concluded, by the time I reach 2.5 years, I should have at least as much length as she has at the same 2.5 year mark.

Ok, back to my original thought!  LOL So, I had this thought about whether afro-textured hair could be straightened without heat, and proceed to do some searching (if you’re following along with my blog, remember, I decided very early on in my natural hair journey, I was not going to use heat on my hair to assist with retention and overall health of my hair).  A lot of the search results that populated were primarily from non-people of color, but I did manage to find a few applicable articles.  So, the answer I found to my question ultimately was “YES”, curly/coiled hair CAN be straightened without heat.  Sooooooo, needless to say, it has peaked my interest and I have decided to take on a newfound experiment by trying a strand test this week to see if it actually works!

So, let me just say this before I proceed…*ahem*…my thoughts about straightening afro-textured hair, once one has decided to wear it in its natural state, perplexes me a bit.  It’s actually a bit oxymoronic to me, because the overall purpose of “being natural”, to ME <pointing at self>, is accepting and embracing the afro-textured hair that protrudes from your follicles AS IS.  BUT, concurrently, I do understand the need for “something different”, or “trimming away split ends”, or even to help with “less tangling”…to a certain extent!  What bothers me most about the rampant straightening YT videos I see is, I feel the majority who do so, do it out of a “need” to do a “length check” or show they have longer, “flowy” hair, which, in turn, goes back to our negatively conditioned mind-set of feeling the need to have hair like those with characteristically straight/oily hair types that grow faster.  A length check can EASILY be done WITHOUT the need for straightening our hair via ways that can be counterproductive to the health and retention of it.  Additionally, though our hair “shrinks”, length is still noticeable.  Depending on how you style it, there are ways to showcase that length and still accentuate our afro-textured selves without resorting to damaging straightening methods or trying to mimic a “standard”.

<Slooooooowly stepping off soap box now>

Yesterday, though I wasn’t really sure I still had them, I made a trek down to my basement on a quest to find my rollers…rollers I haven’t TOUCHED in over two years!!  After maybe two minutes, I found them neatly put away in one of the many dust-collecting boxes I have strategically organized in various areas of the basement!  Why I still have them, I have NO idea because two years ago I thought I threw away EVERY hair product I had that I felt was negatively affiliated with my relaxed hair days and never really saw a need for using them again!  (Guess I thought at the time, the rollers meant no harm and kept them!  LOL).  I did, ironically, notice I still have my flat/curling irons and blow drier, too!  Maaaaaaaaybe, one day I will put them to use again, because after all, I AM significantly more informed about HOW to use them without reverting back to the ways of causing damage to my hair.  We shall see…

Anywhooooooo, so I say aaaaaaaall that to say, the rollers have resurfaced! AND I’m going to take a stab at making my own setting lotion!!  J  From what I have read, all I need is honey, water, lemon juice, olive oil, and an essential oil!


I’m only going to do a small section of my hair to see if it actually will straighten, or at the very least, stretch some.  My ultimate curiosity is to see if this method will work on very tightly-coiled hair.  If so, then at least I can extend some knowledge to those of you out there who feel this hair type is more of a challenge with versatility & manageability than not…AAAAAAAND IF/WHEN I decide to go down that road of straightening my entire hair for a “change”, I’ll know I have that option WITHOUT having to use heat!  ;)

Onward to “Operation:  NO HEAT Straightening Strand Test”!!!  Stay tuned for the results in a day or so...

Afro-Texturally Speaking…

CoilyCoiff2010

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