What Not Using Heat For Two Weeks Did For My Hair

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.

Post-First Wash

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.

Post-Second Wash

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