The fear of heat damage has been instilled in me since I went natural six years ago. Since then, I vowed to take my hair health seriously and put that above all else, unfortunately, straightening my hair didn’t seem to align. People will constantly tell me, “Don’t straighten your hair, it’ll mess up your curls.” I heard this so much that it made me nervous every time I had to do it.
However, I would also see other naturals wear their hair straight, only for it to revert right back to its tight curly pattern. It made me curious, and I started to ask different natural hair stylists whether the myth was true. They all responded, “You can, but not too much.”
In case you're like I was and are a little hesitant about applying heat to your hair out of fear of damage, I want to debunk a lot of the hair-straightening myths so you don’t have to be afraid to switch up your style every now and then. Here’s the truth about heat on natural hair and how to prevent damage.
Straightening Your Hair Isn’t Bad
Don’t listen to the naysayers, the only person you should listen to is your stylist. If you’re considering switching up your curly hairstyles for something sleekier, your stylist will guide you and give you tips on the best way to do that.
One of the benefits of natural hair is that it’s typically stronger and has high elasticity to fight breakage and damage. Plus, natural hair is versatile and not confined to just one style or look. In fact, my hairstylist, Aliya Abbey of Mane Mastery, says:
“One myth that I tend to see when it comes to natural hair is we need to stay away from all heat – blow drying and straightening. While some naturals prefer to avoid heat completely, it can actually work against you. Stretching the hair for trims gives more precision and a better look at the overall health of the strands, whereas curls can camouflage split ends and damage.”
There’s No Specific Rule Book
Generally, there are best practices for maintaining healthy hair, but truth be told, it’s not one size fits all. Hair texture, porosity, health, etc., all play a role in what you can do and how to do it. What may work for you may not work for others, and vice versa. Aliya continues, “Some hair strands can withstand more heat than others.”
It’s important to know your hair so you can create a routine and plan that works best for you.
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Moderation and Minimization Are Key
As I mentioned before, too much of anything can be bad for you. When thinking of straightening your hair, protective styles, etc., it’s important to be aware of how often you're manipulating your hair. In general, a lot of naturals can’t keep our hands out of our hair, it kinda comes with the territory.
Implementing a low-manipulation routine can minimize breakage, create stronger hair strands, and promote hair growth. It’s not always what you do but how much you’re doing it. In terms of how often you should straighten your hair, Aliya adds that “straightening more than two times a month could cause weakness in the hair."
Use the Right Tools
I used to think all heat tools were the same. I've always based healthy straightening practices on technique. While that's true, the tools you use are just as important. The cheaper blow dryers and flat irons tend to overheat your hair or not straighten your hair well enough. When it comes to flat irons, it is best to get one where you can control the heat via temperature instead of high and low. This will allow you to see how much heat you're putting on your hair and have control.
On the other hand, if the blow dryer or flat iron isn't of quality, it will require you to pass through your strands more than necessary and possibly burn your hair. "Heat damage is caused by tools that are too hot, tools that are being passed by a section of hair too many times, and/or dehydrated hair. It's important to take note of the type of tools being used and the frequency of straightening. Don't forget to steam and hydrate!"
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Heat Damage Is Preventable
One last fact about straightening natural hair is that heat damage is preventable, not inevitable. There are a few ways to avoid heat damage, one being steam and deep conditioning your hair. Doing this not only makes the strands more hydrated but also stronger.
Secondly, using a heat protectant is important. It creates a barrier between hair and heat exposure to protect your strands.
Lastly, have a professional do it. If you don't know what you're doing, get someone who does. Using the right care and technique can save you and your hair a lot of stress. Seeing a stylist who specializes in natural hair and silk presses can promote strong, healthy hair and avoid heat damage.
Don't be like me and let the unnecessary fear of heat deter you from your versatility. As long as you prioritize your hair health, you'll be okay. I follow the exact same routine with the help of my stylist, and my hair thickness, elasticity, and health have never been compromised.
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- Everything You Need To Know About Perfecting An At-Home Blowout ›
- 8 Hair Masks & Deep Conditioners That Revitalize Dry, Damaged Hair ›
- Silk Press Season Is Underway & Here's What You Should Know About It ›
- I Tried Olaplex On My Natural Hair For 30 Days & Here's What Happened ›
- A 4-Step Process That Actually Prevents Heat Damage ›
- 6 Ways To Achieve A Straight Look On Natural Hair Without Heat Damage ›
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The Libra woman and Aries man are the divine feminine and divine masculine, coming together as one. The love compatibility between these two is one for the books. These two are opposite signs, however, their differences tend to complement each other well. This is a dynamic relationship where they know how to have a lot of fun together, but also aren’t afraid to deal with the more serious stuff that comes with a relationship.
The Libra woman is looking for her equal in love, someone who is willing to put in the same effort she is, and the Aries man sees Libra as someone he is willing to do that with.
The Love Compatibility Of A Libra Woman And An Aries Man
What attracts a Libra woman and an Aries man to each other?
There is a magnet of attraction pulling these two together, and things tend to move pretty fast in this relationship. The Libra woman is always open to love and her charming nature rarely has any challenges here. The Aries man fights for his independence and doesn’t sacrifice that unless he is completely enamored with someone.
Once the Aries man catches the eye of the Libra woman, he is typically the one to make the first move and this instantly wins the approval of Libra.
These two feel like they have known each other forever when they meet, and this spark between them doesn’t die down easily.
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What is the relationship like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The relationship between the Libra woman and the Aries man is one of balance and excitement. The Aries man tends to take on the more dominant role in this relationship and the Libra woman tends to be the more receptive one. Aries is ruled by masculine Mars, and Libra is ruled by feminine Venus. They understand they are coming from two completely different worlds, yet they also instinctively feel this underlying connection to each other and like they could be something each other needs in their lives.
The Libra woman can rely on the Aries man, and the Aries man never has to ask for the love that Libra already knows he needs.
This is a couple that is often reading each other’s minds and wanting to do a lot of the same things. However, not everything is rainbow in this relationship as well, and there are some major differences they have to overcome to make things work. One argument can lead to an explosion between these two, and addressing things when they come up rather than sweeping them under the rug, will be needed to make this relationship long-term.
What is the sex like between a Libra woman and an Aries man?
The sex between a Libra woman and an Aries man is adventurous. These are two cardinal signs with plenty of energy and stamina to keep things exciting in the bedroom. There tends to be a good give and take in this relationship, and their yin and yang energy benefits them when it comes to their sex life.
There is electricity felt between the two of them in this area of their life, and their power of attraction to each other is strong. These are two people who will want to do a lot of things together, including exploring sexually together.
The Aries man will have to be careful with being overly aggressive, however, as the soft Libra woman may not like this energy- it will completely depend on the two individuals at hand. The Libra woman wants to ease into things, the Aries man wants to get going right away. Learning about each other's bodies, and energy, and reading each other’s cues will help with this.
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What makes a relationship between a Libra woman and an Aries man work?
These two genuinely like each other, and that basis is a key factor for success in any relationship. The Aries man is straight to the point, direct, and inspired. The Libra woman admires these characteristics in others, as she is often herself finding her balance in this type of energy as well. Neither sign is overly emotional in a way that turns them off, and they both require a lot of the same things in a committed relationship. They want honesty, fun, good communication, passion, and to be moving towards a common goal together.
The Libra woman and Aries man don’t have a problem being real with each other and this is something they really value within the relationship. They are both very charming, and there is plenty of flirtation and attraction to keep this relationship going. Aries being the protector they are, Libra finds a sense of safety and ease in this energy, and like they have found their match. Overall, this is a well-balanced relationship and one where they don’t have a problem when it comes to compatibility or chemistry in the relationship.
What may cause a Libra woman and an Aries man to break up?
Libra is the lover, Aries is the fighter, and this energy may be tiring for the both of them after time. The Libra woman can be passive to a fault, and the Aries man who is not evolved, may take advantage of that. She will need to be careful with putting Aries’ needs above her own, creating resentment later down the road. The Aries man loves a challenge, and the Libra woman would be up for that game for a little bit, but if she is not being met in the middle, she will begin to look for other places. These two can have a difficult time keeping the peace in the relationship, and there could be a lot of arguments and disagreements here if they both aren’t willing to put their egos or self-pleasing attitudes to the side.
The Libra woman and Aries man are both more sensitive than they appear or come off as. They are also not necessarily the type to dive deep into their emotions and express them to others, even in their relationships. However, this energy can keep the relationship to a surface level than what is needed to progress and grow the relationship, and a sense of openness is required for this couple to work. Libra needs romance, she wants to be wowed. Aries needs to remember this and to always consider her love language.
Overall, this is a successful pairing. They will have their fair share of challenges in the relationship, but nothing they can’t overcome if they are willing to. The trouble will come in when it comes to the longevity of the relationship, keeping Aries excited and Libra in love. However, all in all, there is more power, attraction, and love to keep this relationship together rather than apart. No relationship is perfect, but this one is a little more blessed than most.
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