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monsterna
December 14th, 2010, 09:11 AM
I would really love trying to cut heat out of my hair routine, but it's very hard for me. My hair is at an awkward length at the moment (will get pics up tonight, hopefully). It's a few inches past my shoulder with another layer that is a few inches shorter than the total length. It flips a lot at the moment, and the wave I have right now isn't attractive. The length flips up while the smaller layer flips in, framing my face and making me look ridiculous. I'm also growing my bangs/fringe out now and when stretched they reach the top of my lips. I have a widow's peak and cowlicks galore.

So, for me to not look like a wavy, frizzy mess, heat is my friend when it comes to styling. Especially in these cold winter months. I never flat iron, but I blow dry my hair every week day at least. I shower in the morning. I've been trying CO, which is going fine. I shampoo my bangs still but shampoo the whole head every few days.

I'm just wondering if some of you have the same problem and how you deal with it? Everyone here seems to have given up heat altogether. I'm wondering if it's something that's just easier to do when you have much longer hair where gravity does all the work of not making it poof and flip everywhere. I'd love to try it, but it's not practical for me. I need to shower in the mornings because even after sleeping on just-washed hair through the night, my hair doesn't do right in the morning.

Also, can anyone suggest any good heat protectants in the meantime? Or are they all just things that make you think you're doing something to lessen damage, but they really do nothing? Thanks!

spidermom
December 14th, 2010, 09:23 AM
For some of us, heat is a necessary evil at awkward stages. You may have to trim off more than you'd prefer because of it, but that's about the worst that will happen. It was worth it for me. You can minimize the damage from blow-drying by using the warm setting instead of hot, and don't do a lot of pulling/stretching of wet hair.

Heat protectants do help, but I can't think of any at the moment. I only blow-dry on warm or cool now, so heat isn't an issue. I do use a little coconut oil to the bottom 8-12 inches of length and follow that with a little CHI Silk Infusion when I blow-dry.

monsterna
December 14th, 2010, 09:36 AM
For some of us, heat is a necessary evil at awkward stages. You may have to trim off more than you'd prefer because of it, but that's about the worst that will happen. It was worth it for me. You can minimize the damage from blow-drying by using the warm setting instead of hot, and don't do a lot of pulling/stretching of wet hair.

Heat protectants do help, but I can't think of any at the moment. I only blow-dry on warm or cool now, so heat isn't an issue. I do use a little coconut oil to the bottom 8-12 inches of length and follow that with a little CHI Silk Infusion when I blow-dry.

Yes, I try to use the warm instead of hot setting. I also try to hold my hair in place loosely so it's not flying all over the place and getting intertwined with other pieces. I never brush or come while I blow dry, I just let my hair do its thing. I should start putting coconut oil on the ends when I've finish drying, I think. They are a bit split in some places but I don't want to trim until I'm past the awkward stage.

Thanks! I'll check into some heat protectors.

EdG
December 14th, 2010, 09:37 AM
The problem with blow dryers is more with high temperatures rather than heat. I recommend using a blow dryer at a distance - the temperature falls off with distance. Years ago, I would prop up a blow dryer on a stand and sit several feet away. Today, I use the electric heater below and sit a minimum of five feet away. At that distance, the air is only warm.

http://www.edgrochowski.com/articles/heater1.jpg

Ed

enfys
December 14th, 2010, 09:42 AM
I keep at least part of my hair in the flow of air to ensure it's not too hot. If my hand gets warm, I pull away. I also often end up by a fan heater like EdG because in the house by myself it's cheaper than putting the central heating on. I have no problem letting that hot air dry my hair. I don't use heat protectants for drying.

spidermom
December 14th, 2010, 09:44 AM
I check the temperature about 1 inch away from the skin of my neck. I've been told that if the temp is not too hot for your neck, it's not too hot for your hair. And it's not. I probably hold the blow-dryer 2-4 inches from my hair.

I put the coconut oil on the ends before the blow-dry because I figure the warmth will help it penetrate.

Katze
December 14th, 2010, 09:44 AM
I only blowdry after swimming, and then I blowDAMP (towel dry first, don't let too much heat get on the length/ends, etc).

We have similar hair, and when mine was at your length it was terrible. I had what I always thought of as a 'first lady hairdo' - that FLIP you describe. Not attractive, on me anyway. :D And I blowdried, and used the curling iron to straighten it, you name it. What worked well for me at that length were little mini pigtails and braids, and barettes and hairbands. It WILL grow. I promise.

You might also want to try very small amounts of leave-in mixed with product to help style - Fox's cream works well for my hair, but it is much longer than yours, and something like that might weigh your length down too much. I really like Nature's Gate Rainwater Awapahui and Goth Rosary conditioners as light leave-ins.

At my length now I can 'style' my hair by letting it dry in mini claw clips or a scrunchie bun (but only a lazy wrap bun, other buns give me kinks and bumps). Sometimes a high pony/half bun thing helps tame my waves and make my hair look good, sometimes it has the opposite effect. Usually braids 'ruin' my hair until I wash it.

I also notice that the thicker my hair gets (growing out postpartum shed, layers, and an ex-bleach head) the less it gets bumpy, flippy, and poofy, and the more 'weight' it seems to have. My virgin hair also 'bumps' much, much less than it did when it was color and heat treated.

Hair like ours is very finicky and hard to please. However, it can always look very different depending on how you dry and style it. This has been the biggest challenge for me and is still hard to manage, but having hair that is in better shape does make it easier.

:flower: hope you can find what works for you!

LocustSpawning
December 14th, 2010, 09:45 AM
My hair is like this too. It looks a bit stupid without heat, but I've forced myself to stop using it. *Cries* Why can't straighteners be GOOD for your hair?!!

Artsy
December 14th, 2010, 09:48 AM
I also have to blow-dry through Winter. It is just way too cold in my room to airdry an not get a cold. I second the idea that holding a blowdryer away from your hair as much as possible helps a lot. On the package of my dryer instructions say to keep it away from the hair at least 1ft away. Which I beleive is probably a useful direction that is always omnitted.
I usually fingercomb until it is 70% dry, then switch to a comb and a paddlebrush. This way I don't get that much damage, more probably from a paddlebrush then the warm air. I don't use serums on my hair since they build up and matt my shine, u just use my regular condish as a leave in.

Tia2010
December 14th, 2010, 09:55 AM
I would try to get a good ceramic blow dryer with a cool setting and a diffuser or an attachment that directs the air to one spot so it doesn't blow your hair all around and tangle it.

I went into Ulta ( a beauty product shop in my area that is also online) they have dryers plugged in so you can test the heat before you buy. There were a few very reasonable priced ones that blew just barley warm air that I could leave my hand under without having to move it at all , so I don't think they would be as damaging as the very hot ones :)

I second the suggestion of a heat protector spray and let your hair dry as much as you can before you use the dryer.

Don't worry the awkward hair stage will pass , we have all been through it :D

Mina17
December 14th, 2010, 10:01 AM
I just recently gave up heat styling and my hair is at an awkward stage too (unsuccessful layers and growing out bangs) and is wavy and tends to poof and frizz. Previously I was convinced that I needed to blowdry and flatiron everyday to tame it, but I know I am not going to be able to grow long healthy hair if I continue to do this. Here are some things I'm trying:

I've found that my hair is less frizzy the second and third day after shampooing. Wearing a sleep cap at night is helping it to look presentable on these days, whereas before I would not be caught dead going out in unwashed slept-on hair.

I'm using lots of leave-in conditioner and made the recipe for Kimberlily's defrizz spray that I found on this site to keep the poof and frizz to a minimum.

It's kind of hard to explain, but I'm using aloe vera gel as a styling gel and using hair sectioning clips to hold my bangs down until they're nearly dry, which is keeping them from sticking out. You could probably do that on any troublesome area.

If all else fails and none of these things work on that day, I wear it up in a clip.

motormuffin
December 14th, 2010, 10:02 AM
I have one of those ionic hair dryers and it doesn't seem to get as hot as a regular one. I also like using oil and Chi silk together.

Mina17
December 14th, 2010, 10:04 AM
I only blowdry after swimming, and then I blowDAMP (towel dry first, don't let too much heat get on the length/ends, etc).

We have similar hair, and when mine was at your length it was terrible. I had what I always thought of as a 'first lady hairdo' - that FLIP you describe. Not attractive, on me anyway. :D And I blowdried, and used the curling iron to straighten it, you name it. What worked well for me at that length were little mini pigtails and braids, and barettes and hairbands. It WILL grow. I promise.

You might also want to try very small amounts of leave-in mixed with product to help style - Fox's cream works well for my hair, but it is much longer than yours, and something like that might weigh your length down too much. I really like Nature's Gate Rainwater Awapahui and Goth Rosary conditioners as light leave-ins.

At my length now I can 'style' my hair by letting it dry in mini claw clips or a scrunchie bun (but only a lazy wrap bun, other buns give me kinks and bumps). Sometimes a high pony/half bun thing helps tame my waves and make my hair look good, sometimes it has the opposite effect. Usually braids 'ruin' my hair until I wash it.

I also notice that the thicker my hair gets (growing out postpartum shed, layers, and an ex-bleach head) the less it gets bumpy, flippy, and poofy, and the more 'weight' it seems to have. My virgin hair also 'bumps' much, much less than it did when it was color and heat treated.

Hair like ours is very finicky and hard to please. However, it can always look very different depending on how you dry and style it. This has been the biggest challenge for me and is still hard to manage, but having hair that is in better shape does make it easier.

:flower: hope you can find what works for you!

This sounds just like my hair. I'm glad to hear there is hope!

Anje
December 14th, 2010, 10:11 AM
I often wash at night and let my hair dry, and if I wash in the morning, I put it up damp and let it down to finish drying in the evening. But my hair's a lot longer than yours, and I usually wear it contained, which makes a big difference in giving up heat.

If you're planning to wear hair up anyway, consider doing your updos damp. That helps calm the cowlicks a lot. Having your head wet won't cause you to get sick (germs, not cold...), but don't let yourself become chilled obviously.

Otherwise, I don't see any reason why you can't blowdry with warm (not hot) air until your hair gets to a length where it's more cooperative. At in-between lengths, sometimes it's just much easier to use evils like heat, then maintain length and grow out any damage it caused once you get to an easy-to-wear length.

Silicone heat-protectants are supposed to work. If cones don't cause problems for you, use one.

monsterna
December 14th, 2010, 10:34 AM
Thanks for all the comments, everyone! A lot of info to sift through.

My hair dryer does have a hot, warm, and cool setting, and even a boost button for extra coolness. I'll try to start using them a lot more. I wear my hair up in a ponytail just about every day at work. I also have a heat protectant spray, but I know I've had it at least 2 years now and it doesn't even list an expiry date, which is why I think I should probably get a new one!

I am just waiting for this hair to grow, it's not been good for 2-3 years now and it's finally going to be okay once it grows! Thanks for the help!

luxepiggy
December 14th, 2010, 10:39 AM
I blow dry my hair every time I wash. I've had long hair for 20+ years, and for most of that time I was washing and blow drying on high daily. My hair is just fine, so there's no need to feel guilty for doing what needs to be done in order to love the way you hair looks!

As long as you use common sense, I don't find blow drying to be the big long hair sin that it's often made out to be. Use the warm setting. Keep your hand in the the air stream (I like to fingercomb the section I'm drying). Move the dryer continuously so it's not pointing at the same spot for an extended period of time. And when your hair is about 90% dry, flip to the cold shot setting to boost the shine! \(^(oo)^)/

mellie89
December 14th, 2010, 11:25 AM
I assure you that not all of us have given up heat entirely! I blow dry every time I wash my hair in the winter, which is every other day. Even just sitting around the house with wet hair is unpleasant since our house is so cold.

I use the low heat, low speed options. Unlike straightening, I have never ever found blow drying to be damaging for my hair. I never got white dots or split ends in my hair until I started straightening it, and I had my hair past BSL for years when I was younger.

Just make sure that the air isn't whipping your hair around like a tornado, and make sure that the heat isn't too warm for your skin.

monsterna
December 14th, 2010, 11:35 AM
I use the low heat, low speed options. Unlike straightening, I have never ever found blow drying to be damaging for my hair. I never got white dots or split ends in my hair until I started straightening it, and I had my hair past BSL for years when I was younger.

I haven't actually trimmed my hair in about a year now since I got married last December! I noticed some split ends this week and lots of white dots. I S&D what I could find, but I know I missed quite a few, especially in the back since I can't see those strands yet.

I don't want to trim for another year, but I should probably get a trim soon before I start that. I am trying Monistat for hair growth and I don't want to trim it and confuse my progress and not know whether or not it's effective.


So, keeping the hair dryer on a warm/cool setting it is then. Thanks!

Tabitha
December 14th, 2010, 01:12 PM
I blowdry more in winter, because when it's cold I'm even less tolerant of seaweedy wet strands hanging round my face (and because when it's hot, I'm less tolerant of the blowdryer).

Also though, I much prefer the look of my hair when it's been blowdried. I never straighten it with irons, but when it's blowdried straight the layers make it form soft "intentional" waves (even better if I put it in a bun when the hair is still warm, so it sets like that).

My hair IS wavy but I have this odd mixed texture thing going on, where my canopy is about a 1c and the underlayer is more like a 2c with spiral curls. It just looks a mess if I let it airdry. I think I must be a reincarnation of one of those longhaired cats that has smooth guard hairs and a woolly undercoat!

For blowdrying I use either Kerastase Nectar Thermique or Ciment Thermique. Last time I was at the salon my stylist used Chroma Thermique which is new I think for coloured hair. They are all good, smell nice and help my hair to be more shiny. I think they are very coney but cones help tame my hair to be sleeker and I use sulphate shampoos so buildup is not a problem. However they do make my hair slipperier(?) and harder to keep in an updo.

As my hair is quite thick, I find it easiest to do as my stylist does: section my hair and dry it in stages. I bun my hair on top of my head with a claw or Ficcare and dry the bottom third, then bun that and do the middle third, then do the top, leaving out the middle section, then finally the central part.

I'm not aiming for a longer length (got to just past waist, found it was overwhelming to me) and I have trims every few months. I use the blowdryer on a low setting. My stylist has never found any splits whatsoever.

Inchworm
December 14th, 2010, 01:15 PM
There's a few turtiorals on youtube on how to dry your hair with a cold fan, because that doesn't have heat.

DARKMARTIAN
December 14th, 2010, 01:26 PM
Ive not blow dried my hair in over 15 years......

I just cant stand the heat...(been outta the kitchen for awhile)..but im such a "hot head" that it usually doesnt take too long anyway.....:D

xovictoryxo
December 14th, 2010, 01:30 PM
I agree with warm setting, they even have a cool setting.
I only blowdry my hair once a week or every 2 weeks. I have to make sure to deep condition once a week

monsterna
December 14th, 2010, 01:44 PM
I blowdry more in winter, because when it's cold I'm even less tolerant of seaweedy wet strands hanging round my face (and because when it's hot, I'm less tolerant of the blowdryer).

Also though, I much prefer the look of my hair when it's been blowdried. I never straighten it with irons, but when it's blowdried straight the layers make it form soft "intentional" waves (even better if I put it in a bun when the hair is still warm, so it sets like that).

My hair IS wavy but I have this odd mixed texture thing going on, where my canopy is about a 1c and the underlayer is more like a 2c with spiral curls. It just looks a mess if I let it airdry. I think I must be a reincarnation of one of those longhaired cats that has smooth guard hairs and a woolly undercoat!

For blowdrying I use either Kerastase Nectar Thermique or Ciment Thermique. Last time I was at the salon my stylist used Chroma Thermique which is new I think for coloured hair. They are all good, smell nice and help my hair to be more shiny. I think they are very coney but cones help tame my hair to be sleeker and I use sulphate shampoos so buildup is not a problem. However they do make my hair slipperier(?) and harder to keep in an updo.

As my hair is quite thick, I find it easiest to do as my stylist does: section my hair and dry it in stages. I bun my hair on top of my head with a claw or Ficcare and dry the bottom third, then bun that and do the middle third, then do the top, leaving out the middle section, then finally the central part.

I'm not aiming for a longer length (got to just past waist, found it was overwhelming to me) and I have trims every few months. I use the blowdryer on a low setting. My stylist has never found any splits whatsoever.

Thanks for the advice and the recommendations! I'll check it all out.

faeflame
December 17th, 2010, 05:00 PM
For the last few years I have gone back to blow drying my hair each time I shampoo it. It doesn't seem any worse for it, but I obey all the usual rules-- low heat, no whipping around, and not till bone dry. So there are a few of us sinful, blowdrying longhairs out here:p!!!

Bellatrix
December 17th, 2010, 07:05 PM
I use the Conair Infiniti and the cold shot is actually cool, and warm shot is not too hot.

I agree that blow drying is a lot less damaging than flat ironing and the like.

jesis
December 17th, 2010, 07:11 PM
Have you tried scrunching your hair? It sounds a lot like my hair when it was at that stage. You could have more curls than you think! :D

crystal_89
December 17th, 2010, 07:28 PM
I don't think heat is that bad. I've grown my hair from APL to past waist before with no noticeable damage to others while still flat ironing twice a week or more. It really depends on your hair and what it can take. I see that your hair is finer than mine so my hair can probably handle a bit more abuse but I still think that you should test what your hair can handle if you enjoy having heat styled hair.

I agree with using a cooler setting instead of hot, training your hair to be washed less often instead of daily so you're heat styling less, and wearing it up as a styling option.

pennylane
December 17th, 2010, 10:39 PM
I blow dry and I don't make any apologies for it! :)

I do it carefully.


I will not stop doing it, winter or summer. My hair is too frizzy if i don't blow dry with a round brush, once or twice a week.


but then............



I oil/shampoo my hair :D yes shampoo mixed with coconut oil - from the thread "Hair care from movie stars of the past" absolutely amazing! the best thread in this forum! :cheese:

ddiana1979
December 17th, 2010, 10:49 PM
I have to blow dry my bangs because I have two cowlicks at my hairline, and if I don't dry them while combing them straight, they go all wonky. I just use the "Cold Shot" setting. I know it's not really the intended use for "Cold Shot", but at least I get my bangs dry & in place.

freckles
December 18th, 2010, 04:27 AM
So there are a few of us sinful, blowdrying longhairs out here:p!!!

yep, I'm one :o I don't have any advice for you, OP, just wanted to pop in to say you shouldn't be under the impression that all of us are heat-free. Last winter I blowdried quite a lot, and this winter I'm blowdrying almost every time I wash (2-3 times a week). It's just TOO COLD to let my hair airdry (we've been getting -13C -- about 9F -- on a night, and -7C -- about 20F on a day, at least sometimes, in this cold spell). I try to follow minimum harm advice, is all. I don't use the hottest setting, I t-shirt dry first, I don't dry to bone dry, I try not to let my hair whip around, I don't pull through too much with a brush.

I just don't know if I'll ever completely give up the blowdryer :shrug: