I’ve got a healthy hair challenge for you! And it’s one that will sting a bit… I challenge you to use zero heat on your hair for ten whole days. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Ten days. No blow drying. No straightening irons. No curling wands. And no crimpers, if you still live in the 1980s.
Hey, I said this challenge would sting— and you know why, don’t you? Day to day we use so much heat on our hair! I still remember the glorious day, in middle school, when I discovered the straightening iron and could FINALLY rid my hair of the unwanted frizz I’d been so self-conscious about. It was like magic! Gliding the flat iron over the bumps and seeing straight, smooth hair on the other side— magic, I tell you. My pin straight hair was then swapped for Lizzy McGuire ringlets and I mastered the art of the curling iron. Over the years I adapted and readapted my hairstyle, as we all do, but right by my side were the heat tools. Even recently, when I opt for textured, messy beach waves, I usually always touch up a few spots with a curling iron. I somehow can’t quit the heat!
But here’s the thing about all those hot hair tools— they give you the hair that you want, while giving you the hair you DON’T want. You follow? Heat causes major stress on our hair! This is especially true if we’ve colored, bleached or chemically processed our hair—which we have, because we don’t live on “Little House on the Prairie.” So that means our already fragile locks are then being hammered by our hair tools. Even with the very best heat protectants, blasting that blow dryer, then laying on the curling wand thick is going to dehydrate and damage our hair. Hello, split ends and breakage, right?
So let’s quit cooking our hair. Let’s give it a much-needed and well-deserved break from the heat. At least for the next ten days, that is. You ready?
Here are some of my favorite tips for getting through the next ten days, heatless. Here we go, girls:
1. After washing your hair, I find that it does best (i.e. doesn’t frizz as much) when I leave it alone. Meaning, I get out of the shower and apply my favorite leave-in conditioner, detangle with a wide-tooth comb and then LEAVE IT ALONE, like a grumpy cat that doesn’t want to be touched. No, really. don’t touch it. Just let it air dry. It will like you better for this.
2. One (or two or three) of these days should be spent wearing beachy waves. Messy beach waves are equal parts easy and totally rockstar. I ADORE some textured waves and all you need is a wave inducing hair product and a KILLER tutorial. **Also, I’ve been loving this product that you apply IN the shower and leave on. It’s specifically made for air drying hair and creating beautiful texture. Try it out!
3. When sleeping with wet hair, I usually put it in three braids (instead of the usual two). I’ve noticed that if I sleep in only two braids, my hair wants to stay permanently parted down the back of my head. Three braids provides more even coverage and less awkward spots. I’ve also noticed that even the calmest hair can turn completely insane in the middle of the night and I wake up to a frizzy mess. In that case, a silk pillowcase makes all the difference! Silk pillowcase = smooth, shiny hair.
4. Two important hairstyles to remember over the next ten days are the top knot and the high ponytail. Really, these two hairstyles are more versatile (and totally stylish) than you think. They can be worn to the gym as easily as they can be worn with a dress and heels. An amazing tutorial for the PERFECT top knot and/or high ponytail can be found here.
5. When air drying hair and using zero styling heat, I’ve found that my mop can be both weighed down AND frizzy, all at the same time— which is a weird and annoying combo. In this case, hair product is everything! During “No Heat” weeks, I’m constantly reaching for my most trusted dry shampoo to give my limp hair some body. I’m also especially attached to my favorite hair serum during no heat periods, which tames and smooths any frizz I’ve accumulated. A good dry shampoo and moisturizing serum are essential to bringing life back into air-dried hair. 100% essential.
6. Over the next ten days, as we’re giving our hair a heat break, let’s also take the time to give our hair some (extra) added love. The way I best like to do this is to apply a moisturizing hair mask and leave it on for at least 30 minutes. If you do a hair masking ritual twice over the next ten days, your dry hair will be whistling a different tune! *Want a more budget-friendly hair mask? Here.
7. You know we love braids here. So it won’t come as a shock when I say that you should make the braid your good friend over the next ten days. Braids are adorable, they camouflage greasy, frizzy or flat hair and they totally trick people into thinking you spent way more time on your hair than you actually did. Learn how to do our favorite braid here.
8. But do you want to know my biggest piece of advice for the next ten days of ZERO HEAT? Lose that sense of perfectionism we all cling to. It can be hard to embrace a more natural approach to hair, but it’s worth it. Know that your hair won’t feel or look how you’re used to— but that it’s ok, you still look amazing and you should ROCK that no-heat-hair with every ounce of confidence you possess.
Let us know how this portion of your healthy hair journey goes! And hey, if after ten days you’re still going strong in the healthy hair pursuit, keep on going! Try for a month of no heat! Your hair will will greatly appreciate it!