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News Flash: Straightening Your Curls Is Really Unhealthy

Ana Rita D' Almeida and Denise Sonnemberg — two Lisbon-based twenty-somethings behind the blog Curly Essence — know that you are not your hair. Still, there's no reason not to celebrate the natural hair movement, and now, the ladies are bringing their expertise in everything from the best leave-in conditioners to the top travel spots straight to R29.
HeatDamageIllustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Heat damage is a serious issue. And, though "blowfrying" your curly hair straight won't give you permanently straight hair, it will give you permanent damage. Every time you stretch out your curls with a round brush and heat, you’re affecting the natural curl pattern. The more you do this, the more you will deform the shape of your curl, creating breakage, frizz, and an unflattering curl pattern. The ideal way to protect your curly hair is by keeping it in its natural state. And, shrinkage is good: The more your curls shrink, the healthier they are.
Burning your curls with a flat iron, marcel iron, pressing iron, or any hot tool that is used to stretch them out is very dangerous to the cuticle layer. It will only make it more difficult to wear your natural curls in the future. The hair shaft is a very delicate fiber, so pressing it over and over with the heat will only create breakage and split ends, resulting in more fuzz, frizz, and curl deformity.
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I always go back to the "phone cord" analogy. The more you mess with the phone cord, the more it will lose its shape. You want your coils to form on their own without any straightening, pressing, or burning with direct heat. If you're looking to speed up the drying time, opt to sit under a hood dryer or diffuser so you're not stretching your curls. In fact, this can help your curls shrink more, which will eventually give you more body and bounce.
Women spend thousands of dollars trying to get their hair to have some kind of movement, wave, or curl. And, while your hair style is ultimately up to you, we think you should embrace your curls and nurture them with moisture — you'll only see great results in the future.
This post was authored by Shai Amiel .
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