Unpopular Opinion: Blowdrying is the Easiest Way to Maintain my Waist-Length Natural Hair

cassandre beccai fluffy flat iron

My fluffy blow out

Pictures of my waist-length natural hair blown out semi-straight always garner a lot of likes on social media. And I get it. Blown out afro-textured hair is a fun and sexy look that makes for inspiring ‘hair porn’.

But I grew out my afro-textured hair at a time when there was far less information online and a lot more work and woes.

I remember my third year being natural living in a region where the water was particularly harsh on my hair (although I didn’t make that connection initially.) I cut my hair 3 times because of incessant spit ends. I’m pretty sure that set me back at least 2 years!

Despite challenges like this I accidentally stumbled onto waist-length hair two years ago. And while I attributed that retention to the long term protective styling I’d done (faux locs, twists, etc.) I suddenly felt trapped. How would I continue to maintain this length? Because, let’s be honest here, big natural hair with great length and body looks fabulous, but takes a lot of work and time to maintain.

cassandre beccai waist length

So I entertained the question naturals aren’t supposed to…

What if protective styling isn’t the only way to retain massive amounts of length?

And that’s when it dawned on me that, in some ways, my hair has always been its own biggest enemy. I style my hair regularly and regardless of how much I detangle, it always seems to find ways to snag onto itself. Protective styling minimized the snagging and manipulation breakage, but I didn’t want to be in perpetual protective styling mode.

I found the answer to my problem with monthly heat styling.

What do natural hair experts think about this?

Audrey Davis-Sivasothy author of The Science of Black Hair writes, “relaxed fibers are not as prone to manipulation breakage becasue the individual bends and kinks along the hair fiber have been chemically removed, making manipulation easier.” Although she’s speaking on chemically straightened hair, I imagine this also applies to heat-straightened natural hair.

The trade off, of course, is that applying heat can make natural hair strands fundamentally weaker.

However I’ve been able to straighten my hair on a monthly basis without compromising its length or health.

So far these are the perks;

  • My hair no longer snags itself since the coils and kinks are straight.
  • My hair can be left loose without incurring too many tangles
  • I get to show off the length and thickness I’ve worked so hard for
  • Straightened hair is low maintenance on a day to day basis
  • The biggest challenge so far has been keeping my hair moisturized in a way that doesn’t cause it to revert back to its naturally coily Type 4 state. And I will keep you updated as I figure that out.

    Ladies, would you ever consider straight natural hair as a length retention and maintenance strategy?

     

    Cassandre

    Just another naturalista playing by my own rules! Got hair that doesn't seem to grow past your shoulders? Check out my free Grow Your Hair Faster Video Course

    26 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion: Blowdrying is the Easiest Way to Maintain my Waist-Length Natural Hair

    1. I’m so glad I found you. Your hair looks fab!! I have been pondering this exact same question as I am completely tired of “perpetual protective styling”. Don’t get me wrong I love having a break from my hair but I am also tired of snags and tangles even more so that I’ve found myself acquiring more when I run low on energy between work, school, and a 2 year old with waist length curly unruly beautiful hair that is a job to handle in its own right. I’ve been good with stretching a flat ironed style via a tension brush that makes my hair lay better than any relaxer I’ve ever had for 3 to just about 4 weeks and still look silky but I’ve not tried this on a regular monthly basis. I usually go 5 months to a year without heat and generally only do it when it’s time to trim my ends which I only do when needed or annually of that.

      I’m definitely thinking about trying out keeping it straight and maintaining the hair with say big twists for curls or flexirods as the straightening wears off or away after 3 to 4 weeks to possibly try to gain. 6 week mark before straightening again.

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