Running my fingers through my hair should not leave me with a hand full of hair. Most of the strands have a little white bulb on the end so I know they are shed hairs, but a few are shorter pieces which mean breakage. This is a new problem for me, something I did not experience until I started air drying a few months ago.
I wanted to amp up my routine for the summer and decided to add in a second shampoo and DC session mid-week; because I was worried about heat styling twice a week I opted for what I thought would be the less damaging option. After shampooing and conditioning as usual I did one of three things:
- Allow hair to air dry then bun
- Allow hair to air dry 60% then install Curlformers*
- Allow hair to air dry 60% then install flex rods *
*For curly styles I sat beneath my hooded dryer for at least one hour.
I even noticed when removing my Curlfromers and flex rods that there were little broken hairs on the sink. The strangest thing about the excessive shedding and breakage is (1) air-drying is supposed to be better for the hair, and (2) even with trying different methods of air drying my results are the same.
Results of Air Drying:
- Hair appears dull and frizzy
- Hair feels rough and must be moisturized between washes to return some softness
- Hair sheds and breaks easily
On the other hand, when I blow dry and flat iron my hair the results are the complete opposite.
Results of Blow Drying/Flat Ironing:
- Hair is shiny and smooth
- Hair remains moisturized until the next wash
- Zero shedding/breakage unless I use force
I believe my hair fares better when blow dried and flat ironed simply because the heat acts as a sealant for my cuticles. Blow drying in a downward motion actually forces the cuticle to lie flat, while brushing with a boar bristle-ceramic brush promotes shine and prevents static and frizz. Flat ironing further enhances the look and feel of my hair by silken-ing the strands, making it easier for them to glide past one another rather than rub and tangle.
I have a wash day coming up this Saturday and I am seriously debating blow drying and flat ironing. Although I enjoy the ease of roller setting my hair and the surprise of the length of my hair when I straighten again after 2-3 months, heat styling appears to be a healthier option for me.