While some naturals decide not to straighten their hair at ALL during their natural hair journey, some, like myself still straighten their hair every once in a while to switch it up or for a length check.
The truth about using heat though is that it can be EXTREMELY detrimental to hair health if used incorrectly or too often. If you decide to straighten your hair, follow these tips to keep your hair as healthy as possible and minimize damage.
Deep condition before and after
When using heat, the keratin in our natural hair weakens. To keep your hair at optimal health, do a protein treatment before you straighten your hair. Tropic Isle has a great JBCO protein treatment because it helps strengthen hair without leaving it hard or brittle. Leave the protein treatment on for an hour max before washing it out.
When you’re ready to wash your hair again and bring those curls back, use a moisturizing deep conditioner. You may notice a dry scalp and dandruff after leaving your hair straight for one – two weeks, so a good deep conditioning treatment for an hour will help restore moisture.
Use good heat protectant
This is VERY important and can make the difference in how your hair turns out. There are a ton of heat protectants out there, but choose one that works well for your hair.
Don’t use a heat protectant that is too watery or too thick, because it can overheat and you will hear your hair sizzling. If you don’t feel like searching for the perfect heat protectant your favorite oil may be a good substitute.
Stretch hair without heat
It may not seem like much, but blow drying your hair is just more heat and manipulation being added to your natural hair. If you have the extra time, you can stretch your hair in advance before you straighten to avoid the extra step. There are a few ways to stretch your natural hair without heat, here are a few examples:
After washing your hair, seal with a small amount of leave in conditioner and do one of the three styles above. Let it set for a few hours or overnight- just let your hair dry fully. Afterwards, apply your heat protectant and begin straightening!