I flat ironed my hair for the first time since Oct 2017 last weekend. I thought that by staying away from heat and the manipulation of blowdrying that my hair would flourish and I'd retain so much length. So I didn't touch a flat iron for over a year and cut off all of my heat damaged ends only to learn that wearing my 4b hair out just results in a constant cycle of single strand knots >trim >single strand knots >trim . When I straightened my hair this weekend it didn't come out that great. It was difficult to get my ends straight. The whole process is much harder without my old heat damaged ends. I think next time I'll have a professional do it. I've been watching a ton of natural hair silk press videos on Youtube and they make it look so easy. I think I found someone in the area that looks promising. I want to protective style hardcore for a least 2 more months though, then I'll go to her and see how much length I've retained. If I do continue to straighten going forward, I'll just do it smarter this time. I used to flat iron every week, usually on high heat which was my downfall . I think I'll ease back into it, once a month max and at lower temps if i'm doing it myself.