Hey beauties, Tarah here!
This time, I want to tackle a preconceived notion that’s prevalent particularly in the Black hair community: the idea that there’s no such thing as heat trained hair.
As a naturalista for a little over two years, I teetered between going back to perm (because I loved my long locks) and remaining natural (because I also loved having big hair). So, what have I been doing? Sew ins, with minimal leave out as of late. I thought it would break my heart to apply heat to those strands but time and time again, my curls returned. Albeit, a bit looser than the original pattern but still there and still healthy.
The Wonder Woman who has convinced me to apply heat is my hair stylist, Mica Calixte — the best haircare specialist I know and the only person (asides from my mom) who I’ll allow to style my hair.
I visited Hair By Mica, her beautiful salon, once again yesterday for a styling session. I did the silk press for the first time! While in her chair, I was able to ask all the questions I know we all ask. Like…
What are you putting in my hair right now?
Hair by Mica: I washed your hair first with the Clarifiant shampoo. I gave it two rounds because of the oils. And then I did a re-moisturizing shampoo to put the moisture back. I finished off with moisturizing conditioner and I combed it out from end to root. Then, I put Argan oil as a heat protectant before I blow-dry.
Afterwards, I’ll straighten it so that I can get a precise cut than it would be if it was curly or solely blowdried. Then I’ll go back over it in big sections with a slight bump to give it more volume.
What’s the difference between the silk press and the typical wash and style?
Hair by Mica: The wash and style was originally made for people who have relaxers. Some people go get rollers, blow it out and style it. The silk press are for natural girls to get their hair pressed out without using the hot comb. Instead we use the beveler (flat iron), in order to get the natural hair straight. It takes more time than the wash and style being that sometimes you have to round blow dry with the round brush prior, in order to get it straight.
It’s a method to obtain silky straight hair for the natural girl. The typical roller set/doobie won’t work for the natural girl. This is a way to give them the sleek, shiny and flowy hair that they want without all that.
Is the silk press less damaging?
Hair by Mica: Than the hot comb? Definitely. With the beveler, you can manage the heat. But the hot comb can easily fry the hair because you can’t measure the heat. Some salons use a third product that transfers the heat of the beveler to the core of the hair faster. I use it for coarser textured hair.
What method do you recommend to heat train your hair?
Hair by Mica: Silk press every 3 weeks. My clients wear their hair straight for the first two weeks and when it starts to get puffy, they’ll either curl it once to camouflage it. When that wears off, they wear it in a ponytail or updo style for the last week.
In getting the silk press continuously, can the natural girl still revert back to wearing her hair in it’s kinks?
Hair by Mica: The first time you get it done, the kinks will come back. The second time, it may come back again but just like we repeatedly do the body, the body will conform to what you to do it. You will lose your natural curl if you continue to the silk press process. Now, the hair is just obeying what you tell it to do.
Isn’t that damage?
Hair by Mica: No. Because natural, straight hair can be perfectly healthy. It can grow, it won’t fall out. It becomes heat trained.
So then, what is the difference between heat trained and heat damaged hair?
Hair by Mica: Say you’re a person who straightens your hair all the time, everyday. The hair will start to break off, it will look dry, the ends will have a little white substance at the tip of the strand. It would be breaking because of the excessive heat. Heat trained hair looks perfectly healthy from root to tip. It’s just the client who desires to wear her hair straight rather than curly.
How does heat trained hair look wet?
Hair by Mica: It has different curl patterns. It might be tighter in the back, looser in the front. Everyone has about three different textures in their hair. But a heat trained person has more patterns. Some strands are trained more by the heat applied. So there may be straight ends. It depends on the curl pattern.
Do you silk press?
Hair by Mica: Yes, I have heat trained hair. The only reason why I don’t wear my hair curly because I want to be able to comb my hair regularly. I can’t do so with my curl pattern. I love wearing my hair straight. It’s the healthiest it’s ever been, it’s growing, thriving. I’ve been natural for three years and my hair is longer than 20 inches. I’m happy.
What else should I know about straightening my natural hair?
If you loved your relaxer and the look of wearing your hair straight, but the chemicals were breaking off your hair…and you just wanted more body — it’s okay to straighten your natural hair. Not every girl wants to wear their natural curl. We have that option but not everyone wants to wear it out like that and that’s perfectly okay. It’s a choice.
Whatever you want to do, whatever makes you happy, whatever makes you feel beautiful, do it. Heat doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy.