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?

     

    Leave a Reply

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

    Notify of
    avatar
    Christen Diamond Robinson
    Christen Diamond Robinson
    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… Read more »
    Warrior Queen Dwest

    This is indeed true! I have always had nat­u­ral long hair , no perm and straight­en­ing once a mon­th. The moment I decid­ed to try no heat, my hair did not like it at all. I’m stick­ing with what my hair loves best!

    Leo Kayura

    Very inter­est­ing, I nev­er con­sid­ered this. Thank you.

    Cris

    Agreed. Our hair can get exposed to “min­i­mum heat” by just walk­ing out­side!

    Cris

    Sounds like a good plan. We are on the same wave­length. Lol.
    A good ion­ic blow dry­er should lock in that clean, washed and con­di­tioned mois­ture into the strands. Peo­ple some­times for­get that blow dry­ers have dif­fer­ent heat set­tings (some are even cool) and FORCE of air set­tings. A per­son doesn’t need to go ham with heat or forced air. All the best to you with your healthy prac­tices. :o)

    Cris

    Yup. I made this same con­nec­tion. The crown and back of my head are espe­cial­ly stub­born and prone to tan­gling. I’ve decid­ed to elim­i­nate that by keep­ing my hair stretched with a mild blow out after wash day. Expect­ing to see a lot more pro­gress as a result. Thanks for shar­ing. Love your chan­nel!

    Miss Cassell

    What kind of blow dry­er are you using?

    Cris

    I alter­nate between the two that I have; the RED by KISS Han­dle-Less 2200 Ceram­ic Tour­ma­line Dry­er, and the CONAIR 1875 ther­mal shine STYLER Dry­er. I DO NOT use the comb attach­ments.

    Also, I’ve rein­tro­duced a water and veg­etable glyc­er­in mix into my dai­ly mois­tur­iz­ing rou­tine. It works MIRACLES! Makes my hair soft, super mois­tur­ized, and tan­gle-free. I’m on a mis­sion to give my hair what it’s been ask­ing for, because I real­ly haven’t been doing that for quite some time. :o( I’m real­ly excit­ed and opti­mistic about the results as time goes on.
    All the best!

    Cosita

    Wow A nat­u­ral hair arti­cle :) Yay
    To each their own. There may be dif­fer­ent rea­sons why peo­ple might not want to do this method. She doesn’t say it but what I got is that she wash­es her hair once a mon­th. I am not will­ing to go that long between wash­ing my hair. No Bueno for me. and my hair likes to be wet often. 2. I don’t want to be so con­cerned about rever­sion. 3. Also my hair hates blow dry­ing. I have bought nice dry­ers, dif­fer­ent blowout prod­ucts and brush­es. My hair always feels like straw after.

    zoopath

    What is your rou­tine for blow outs?

    LBell
    I’ve got two unpop­u­lar opin­ions for you: 1) I don’t believe that Afro-tex­tured hair is built for length…specifically, the non-Afro-tex­tured def­i­n­i­tion of length. From a physics per­spec­tive: Small tight coils are much more eas­i­ly manip­u­lat­ed when they’re rel­a­tive­ly short. The longer they get, the greater the ten­den­cy for them to com­pact. If they’re not kept intact — if each coil isn’t con­tained with­in itself; imag­ine a box around each one — they’re almost cer­tain to tan­gle, and with tan­gling comes break­age. Try­ing to work with coils in this state using non-coil tech­niques is a recipe for fail­ure. There’s a rea­son why… Read more »
    Cris

    If it wasn’t “built for length”, it wouldn’t have the capa­bil­i­ty to grow to long lengths.

    LBell
    I wasn’t talk­ing about Afro-tex­tured hair’s capa­bil­i­ty for growth. I was talk­ing about its capa­bil­i­ty for, to put it plain­ly, emu­lat­ing Dis­ney princess hair with­out a lot of extra effort. If you are pro­tec­tive-styling 24/7, and when you’re not pro­tec­tive-styling you’re spend­ing lit­er­al­ly hours upon hours treat­ing your hair like it’s the rarest of fine cash­mere because you’re try­ing to avoid even the slight­est amount of breakage…then may­be you need to ask your­self if you’re try­ing to make your hair do some­thing it can’t do, and whether you could sat­is­fy your Dis­ney princess fan­ta­sy more eas­i­ly by sim­ply invest­ing in… Read more »
    Cris

    Lol. I prefer invest­ing in my wigs, girl.

    Philly Jawn

    I love how now blow dry­ing hair is like poi­son now. I have to blow dry like this lady my hair is THICK and LONG with­out it my hair will mat and snag. Do what works for you and not what some “Guru” told you to

    TWA4now

    I tried to apply heat to my hair and loved it, but it revert­ed back to it’s nat­u­ral state via the heat in the sum­mer or sweat­ing too much. I LOVE twistI, but I need a change! I would try heat again but use it respon­si­bly.

    liberianwoman

    Good for her. Every­one shld do wht works for his/her hair. The nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty is so damn annoy­ing “don’t do this ‚don’t do that” so many worth­less rules. (suck­ing my teeth) ppl, do what makes your hair it’s hap­pi­est. One size doesn’t always fit all.

    Naturally me
    Final­ly! An arti­cle about hair on what i thought was a site about hair!!!! Yay! !! I hon­est­ly would. I used a blow dry­er after years 0 direct heat. I had applied a shea-aloe -oil mix­ture and and quick­ly zapped it with a blow dry­er because that sim­ply was­nt the day to drip-dry. I pulled the hair taut and did about 1.5 sec­onds on top and under­neath before twist­ing (i’m care­ful with direct heat because it will dry my hair out com­plete­ly). It was as if the blow dry­er allowed the shea to pen­e­trate deeply into the strands mak­ing it super… Read more »
    loveothers4ever

    It works for her hair!! Everyone’s hair is dif­fer­ent. Blowdry­ing month­ly I doubt would cause any dam­age. More dam­age would hap­pen if her hair con­stant­ly remained tan­gled. Heat in mod­er­a­tion is fine, not a big deal. Just use pro­tein treat­ments and heat pro­tec­tant. Prob­lem solved.

    Nila

    Blow dry­ing at the right tem­per­a­ture may be bet­ter than air dry­ing. http://www.prevention.com/beauty/hair/healthiest-way-dry-your-hair.
    I no longer get those annoy­ing fairy knots that I used to get with air dry­ing.

    Athorn
    I was a straight haired nat­u­ral for most of my life. I have been wear­ing my hair curly for near­ly 4 years and I blow my mid back length hair out a few times a year. If I had know all that I know now about mois­tur­iz­ing my hair and the impor­tance of week­ly dc’s and if dry sham­poos, and dry con­di­tion­ers were more read­i­ly avail­able back then, my hair would have been in a much bet­ter place. I hon­est­ly believe my hair would’ve grown long and “healthy.” When I’m done grow­ing my hair out, I think I’d con­sid­er straight­en­ing… Read more »
    sam

    wow,your hair looks great!Love your nat­u­ral hair!
    nat­u­ral hair

    cryssi

    Do what works for you

    Toniette

    Blow dry­ing helps me. I do not do it often, but I do see the dif­fer­ence in tan­gling when I do.

    Staci Elle

    Wish I had waist length hair.…

    Leighton
    I’m actu­al­ly blow dry­ing my hair right now as we speak!!! I def­i­nite­ly think you can retain length even with the use of heat. I most­ly wear my hair in wash n goes but some­times I blow dry my hair, using the ten­sion method, to give my hair a break. Although I love my curls, I find that detan­gling my hair after wash n goes some­times caus­es more SSKS and knots. Hell, detan­gling my hair every week is a headache lol. So, yes, I def­i­nite­ly approve of this mes­sage. Min­i­mal heat, in my opin­ion, will not cause dam­age if applied… Read more »
    wpDiscuz