View Full Version : Pressing Hair Making Curl Pattern Straight

08-03-2004, 01:36 AM
When I was little and got my hair pressed it almost went back nappy after washing. Why is it that it damages hair now? Last time I applied heat was back in the fall with a blowdryer when I was transitioning. (I am not interested in doing it, just want to know what is the difference).

08-03-2004, 01:50 AM
From what I hear and was told that the heat changes the bonds of the hair breaking it down like a chemical. If the heat from the hair dryer or pressing comb is too hot it will damage the hair. I haven't had that experience. However, the most I have come to anything remotely straight since I have been natural is blow drying my hair and it was FAR FROM STRAIGHT!!

08-03-2004, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by AnaisKarim@Aug 2 2004, 09:49 PM
Heat has always damaged hair. Back in the day having your naps not spring all the way back was considered a good thing. If you were frying your hair and noticed that it was less nappy over time that would have been seen as an improvement.

Now we know better. We want to retain our texture. So we notice if something has damaged the texture. Now straight is seen as the undesireable form, not coils, curls, kinks and naps.

I have had heat in my hair twice in the last 9 years. I got lucky both times - once with pressing, once with blow drying - so my texture wasn't destroyed. But I'm sure my tresses didn't appreciate it either time. :rainfro
I agree 100% Most people that are pressing their hair regularly don't want their napps, so they will not notice there hair is staying straighter. And if they do, they consider that to be a plus.

In my experience, pressing does change the texture of your hair. Before I went napptural, I rarely had perms (maybe 5 total in almost 30 years). I pressed my hair every 1-2 weeks. Back then, it would take me about 30 minutes to press my hair. I could even blowdry my hair and it would be fairly straight.

After not applying heat to my hair for almost two years, I think it would take me 3-4 hours to straighten my hair with a pressing comb.

08-03-2004, 02:07 PM

it seems odd to me.

i got my hair pressed as a child, too. not with any regularity. mainly for special church sundays and holidays. and if it was humid outside, my mother's efforts were in vain, because it would literally poof before our eyes.

i still straighten my hair sometimes.

yes GASP! :shocked get over it! :duck

i like to wear my hair straight sometimes and if it becomes humid or i'm in a steamy bathroom, my hair will poof right up!

i don't understand how many people in this forum are ALL experiencing heat intolerance since becoming natural. some people act like their hair is too fragile to even tolerate a medium setting on a blow dryer all of a sudden.

when they straightened their hair in the past, were the appliances scorching, almost singeing their hair? maybe extreme high heat for years and years is a factor. dunno.

from some of the pictures i've viewed in here, it looks like people have relatively strong, elastic, moisturized hair. i don't see how healthy, strong hair couldn't tolerate a press or flat iron once in a while.

maybe it has something to do with how long you relaxed or straightened your hair. my hair was relaxed only 4 years [during college] out of 33 years. and my retouches were sometimes every 3 months. i know most people here, even those younger than me, have relaxed or pressed for a whole lot longer than that. and some people probably retouched sooner than the 6-8 week that is recommended. maybe that's a factor.

08-03-2004, 02:46 PM
I have seen children with damaged pressed hair. I didnt have my hair pressed as a child, but I do remember that pressing was a no-no because it damaged the hair. My family seemed to believe that pressing was worse than a relaxer.

08-03-2004, 03:06 PM
I have a friend named Nat, who presses her hair about every 3 months. In between that time, she wears shake n' go's. Whenever she wears her hair out, I stare at it, looking for any damage from all that pressing and blow drying. But she never has any, and she has been natural for 5 years.

For some reason, pressing and blow drying doesn't damage her hair. Her hair is very curly, and her curls are very consistent when she wears her hair out. No split ends, no dry ends, etc. She says that because her hair is so thick and dense, coupled with the fact that she uses medium heat, and a heat protectant, her hair is never damaged.

I don't know how she does it, but her hair is always gorgeous. So I guess that heat does not damage everyone's hair. Just some. But I guess that I have heard enough horror stories on this website, to make me think twice about every pressing my hair again. I pressed my hair once last year, and haven't done it since. Luckily, I didn't have any problems.

08-04-2004, 09:59 PM
Unfortunately, I just got flatironed. When I washed yesterday, some strands were still straight. I should have known better, but I wanted to correct the hack job I did on myself and thought getting it cut straight would do it. Boy was I wrong. I am back almost to my BC and I am freaking out cause I don't want to cut again and again.

Stay away from heat!!! I played the cards and lost :violin

08-04-2004, 10:31 PM
I had my hair pressed lightly right before I got my last set of braids (and I hadn't had it pressed since I was 17) and it wouldn't get straight to save the braider's life. Although she just wanted to get it a wee bit straight to braid, it gave her the hardest time it possibly could, and I haven't done it since.
So.... :blah :blah I guess the only thing I can say about heat is that like anything else, it's probably bad for you if not done in moderation. But... if you're really wanting to rock a straight style, you just have to try it and see.

Moderator W
08-04-2004, 11:17 PM
Since these thread inspire some to share their "heat has not damaged MY hair" stories, we will move on, again.

New members, please see links below for further clarification.

breaking it down (http://www.nappturality.com/modules/ipboard/index.php?showtopic=29330)

I am anti-relaxer, yes I am
I am anti-weave, yes I am
I am anti fry raking, yes I am
I am anti ANY texture destroying permanent or temporary hair procedure

I am for working with your natural hair
I am for learning about your natural hair

ON HEAT AND STRAIGHTENING (http://www.nappturality.com/modules/ipboard/index.php?showtopic=24408)


The heat appliances that we use so innocently to style our hair can severely damage our naps. Curling and Ceramic irons, press combs and blow dryers are all capable of producing enough heat to harm our hair and permanently alter our texture.