Monday, November 28, 2011

Resisting the Flat Iron

Today I am 9 months natural.  Ever since beginning this journey all I've been able to do is picture what my hair will look like when it finally touches my waist.  Having never been able to achieve long hair before, this is a very lofty goal for me and I am truly anxious to have hair that is the envy of all my friends and relatives.  Maybe that's shallow or materialistic, but I don't care.  I just know I want to keep growing my hair until I feel the need to cut it.  I've never had that problem before so hey.  It seems like a good problem to have to me.

Part of my regimen dictates that I air dry my hair whenever possible.  Since fully embracing my natural hair texture, I've learned about all the damage high temperatures can do to delicate hair strands and I know I need to avoid as much damage as I possibly can in order to grow my hair as long as I want to...  But my flat iron has been calling me!  Lately it seems like I've been hearing it whispering to me, begging me to turn it on, telling me how much I miss standing in front of the mirror, watching my hair transform.  It's very seductive.

But then, after listening to all the sweet nothings my flat iron says to me, I remind myself why I haven't used it in over six months.  In no particular order, this is what I tell myself every time I get tempted to crank up the heat just to see the little bit of length I've gained since this whole thing started:

  1. My hair is unique.  There's no need to change it. We all know there is no other race of people on the planet with hair like Black people.  Why should I subject my delicate strands to 300+ temperatures, just for a temporary look that replicates the hair shared by just about every other race of people on the planet?  In short, why should I damage my hair to look like everyone else?
  2. How many more times am I going to be tempted before I reach my goal?  I'm not even a full year natural yet.  According to my prediction, I won't reach my goal for at least another two years.  If I'm tempted to straighten my hair at 9 months, just imagine how bad the temptation will be at twelve, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty four months natural, when my hair is even longer than it is now!  If I start damaging my hair this early on, making it to my goal will be that much more difficult.
  3. Straight hair would probably be foreign to me.  I'm so used to grabbing individual curls, twirling them around my fingers, stretching them out and watching them spring back, that I don't know how I would feel about straight hair.  It would feel and look funny to me.  I don't know how long I could even stand to keep my hair in that state.  And if I get tired of straight hair after a few days, was the damage worth it?
  4. I would instantly lose the thickness and body that I've come to love about my natural hair.  When I had a relaxer, my hair was always thin and short.  Taking care of my natural hair has finally given me thicker, longer hair that I always wanted.  I know if I flat iron my hair, it will look almost just like it did when relaxed as far at density goes.  I think the look of thicker, fuller hair suits me much better.
  5. I would have to avoid using my normal products.  Natural hair loves water and that's one of the things I personally love about it.  It was so cool finally being able to soak my hair whenever I wanted when I first went natural.  And with that in mind, I started using mostly water based products, in conjunction with heavy oils and butters.  Water based products would cause my hair to revert, and heavier products would just weigh my flat ironed hair down.  I don't like the idea of having to figure out what new products to use on my hair just to maintain a style that I would only wear for a week max.
All in all, even though I get tempted to straighten my hair, just to see how much progress I've made, I know it will be better for my hair in the long run if I just leave the heat alone.  At least until I reach my goal. :)  How do you resist the flat ironing temptation?  If you do flat iron your hair, occasionally or regularly, what would you like to add to the conversation? Leave your comments below. ^__^


  1. aaah the heat... yes, how does one avoid giving in to her? i tell myself that I will use heat twice per year. Then I choose what events or times I will use it. This year is my husband's work Christmas party and then my next time will be my best friend's wedding sometime next year. It is so hard, but like you said I think about how long I'd have to go without using water and that keeps me on the good path. I LOVE water and water based products. I coWash or deep condition almost daily.

  2. @Elisha Lol, yeah I can't get enough of wetting my hair. Sometimes I think my addiction to heat was replaced by my addiction to water. :)