Beauty professionals always say that the best thing you can do for your hair is not to use heat on it — but that's easier said than done. I've always wondered if swearing off the hot tools would actually show any kind of marked difference, so I finally committed. I didn't use heat on my hair for two weeks, and the results were a little bit surprising.
I don't use that much heat on my hair to begin with. It's way too long and thick to blow-dry in the first place, so I usually air-dry, then straighten out any weird parts or use the curling iron to add some bend back in if it falls, so I wouldn't say my hair was in desperate need of repair, but I was heading off on vacation for a few weeks, and I knew that I'd be using heat way more often than in my every day routine. I thought I'd prep my locks by not using any heat on it for two whole weeks — and the process was not at all what I was expecting.
To prepare for going sans-heat, I washed my hair, let it air-dry, then followed my normal routine of straightening a few pieces and curling a few in the front. I figured that if it looked good to start, it'd be easier to go longer without needing a touch-up.
Start Of The Experiment
I only wash my hair once a week, so the first week wasn't too painful. The curl did start to fall as my hair got dirty and I slept on it, so I got creative. To keep it looking styled, I'd wear it in a bun while I was working to help keep volume and bounce, and I also slept with it in two braids to add some wave without heat.
But then the week ended and it was time to wash it — and that's where the trouble started. Though I don't use much heat to begin with, I totally underestimated what straightening out my front pieces actually does. Having to deal with my front pieces all wavy in my face made me seriously wish I could fire up my flat iron. TBH, committing to this was almost worse than the time I tried a juice cleanse.
I didn't really see much of a difference in the health of my hair after the first wash, but I was so tired of my waves falling in my face that I lathered up and washed again after a couple of days, and that's where I saw more of a difference.
I felt like my natural waves dried a little less frizzy and a little more shiny than usual, and even though it wasn't easy, it made not straightening out pieces a little more bearable.
When the two weeks was up, I washed and styled my hair using heat as normal, and it definitely felt shiny and healthy, but the difference wasn't ground-breaking.
When I really felt a difference, though, was a week into my trip. I was using heat multiple times a day, I was blow-drying my hair when I needed it to dry faster for dinner after spending all day swimming at the beach, and my normally shiny, soft hair was starting to feel like straw.
What I learned from all of this is that heat, when used excessively, can definitely wreck havoc on your hair — but that doesn't mean you need to swear it off completely. My hair without heat felt nearly the same as it did when following my normal routine of straightening out a few pieces and air-drying. So the moral of the story: Less is more when it comes to using heat.
Images: Sienna Fantozzi/Bustle