TWO. Burn, baby, burn! It is sooo hard to keep away from the heat, but to preserve your hair, you have to. When you have to heat it up, do it sparingly. Whenever possible, let your hair air dry. I air dry my hair about 96% of the time. Use other methods for curls like sock buns, hair twists, and braids. When you have to use a flat iron, get a high quality flat iron and do not hold the flat iron in one spot for very long at all. If possible, keep the heat away from the ends, as they are the most fragile area of your hair. Image from Grace Ann Long.