Another Hair Question: Natural Hair- How Can I Get It Straight??

29 Apr

Hello wonderful people! Here is my best attempt to address another question I’ve heard from my fellow natural girls: how do you get your hair so straight?? First, you must know that there are two categories of natural girls- the ones who like to wear their hair in natural styles and the ones who like to wear their hair straight. I fall in the second category. I prefer to wear my hair straight but without harsh chemicals, hence why I do not have a relaxer. I am not opposed to the idea of a relaxer it’s just not for me at this moment—I actually like the natural texture of my hair. I also like the option of wearing it curly or in a braided style, especially the summertime when the weather is a bit more unforgiving.

Ladies like me, who habitually straighten their hair, have what we call hair that is “trained.” It has become accustomed to the heat and responds accordingly. I’ve actually gotten to the point where my hair doesn’t react as much to the rain as it used to (you know that I mean, the giant puff effect lol). Over time, trained hair will not curl up as tightly but it should still maintain a curl pattern nonetheless because it is still natural hair. The other category of natural girls, who rarely straighten their hair, find it harder to get the straight look simply because their hair is not used to it. However, if you have the right tools and use the right process, you can get improved results even though it would take a habit of straightening you hair to get results that match the look of relaxed hair, unless you go to a professional.

I would love to share my at-home process in case you would like to try it out and see if it works for you. First, I’ll tell you what you’ll need and then how to use the materials:

MUST HAVES
1. Tools- Make sure you use a CERAMIC flat iron and an IONIC blow dryer. These types of tools have technology to apply heat effectively with minimal damage. They won’t dry out your hair. If any of you sisters are still using hot combs that you have to put on the stove (like the ones Madam C.J. Walker HERSELF invented lol), please STOP. It is very hard to control the temperature on those things and you risk burning your strands.

I love my Coriolis flat iron and have had it for about 3 years now. Other favorite brands are CHI and FHI, which is used at my salon. These are pricey because all are 100% ceramic (some cheap brands are not all ceramic-be careful), but they are an investment and come with warranties. I have an ionic blow dryer by Revlon that I got from Wally World (Wal-Mart for those who don’t know). I would love to upgrade to an FHI kind because I love how my stylists are able to dry my hair in 10 minutes using those, whereas my Revlon one takes much longer.

2. The paddle brush is magic! If you blow dry your hair while using a flat paddle brush (aka a “white girl brush” or the kind with the plastic teeth that are set widely apart) your hair will have body and bounce. So, use it instead of the comb attachment that comes with your blow dryer. It will feel awkward at first but it’s a skill you’ll soon master. Make sure you get one that is appropriate to use with heat tools, or else the plastic teeth will melt. Mine is a Conair Pro Tech paddle brush from Target. The round ones are great as well- especially if you want a bump in your bob (Too bad I am not skilled enough to use one on my own head yet lol).

3. Leave in conditioner is your friend; buy it and use it! I think I need a microphone to say NEVER BLOW DRY YOUR HAIR NAKED! It’s the equivalent to cooking in a pan with no oil…the food doesn’t cook, it just burns! You need that lubrication in your hair during the blow drying process to prevent damage… oh and the crunchy hair effect. My current leave-in is Fantasia IC from a local beauty supply store.

4. Less is sometimes more. You really don’t need to use your entire cabinet of products. Too much product will weigh it down. All you need is: shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and a silk serum/ shine serum. My fav silk serums are Biosilk and Giovanni anti-frizz serums.

HERE’S HOW TO PU IT ALL TOGETHER (I promise I’m almost done! Lol)

1. Wash your hair with your favorite moisturizing shampoo
2. Don’t just condition-DEEP condition. Put a protein conditioner in your hair. After 10 mins, put on a plastic cap and sit under a hooded dryer for about 15 minutes. The heat will open up the pores in your hair and allow the conditioner to really penetrate.
3. Wash out the conditioner and apply a leave-in conditioner and comb it through to evenly distribute it in your hair.
4. Hold up your ionic blow dryer and maneuver the paddle brush to blow dry your hair in sections.
5. Flat iron your sections with your 100% ceramic flat iron.
6. Apply a silk serum to the finished look for shine and to lock in moisture.
7. Wrap your hair before bed. This is important! It keeps your edges down. NEVER wrap your hair with cotton. Cotton is way too absorbent and will suck the moisture right out.

Phew! Ok, I’m done! I hope this helped. Happy hair maintenance!

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