Don’t compromise your curls for the sake of the style!
Imagine being able to wear your natural curly or kinky* hair straight week after week while still retaining length and avoiding the dreaded heat damage. Let’s face it, some of us prefer not to use relaxers in our hair but we enjoy wearing our hair straight from time to time, or even all the time!. Yet we don’t want to risk our strands for the sake of a hairstyle.
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When thinking of straightening your natural black hair you must first understand that straight hair is just another hairstyle. People with naturally straight hair will always want to add curls and people with curls will always want to straighten their hair occasionally. It’s human nature to assume that the grass is greener on the other side! Learning to wear your hair in its natural state should make up the bulk of your hairstyles with straightening only being one of them. This mindset will greatly improve the overall health of your hair!
Now that you have made the decision to get your natural hair straight, you must be prepared. Any styling that involves applying heat to the hair can be damaging but it’s not all doom and gloom! There are certain ways you can arm yourself against heat damage and give you the sleek style you want for that special event whilst not compromising your lovely kinks and curls.
1. First things first, pick the best straightener for your needs, a ceramic tourmaline ionic one would be the best but a plain ole ceramic one will do just as well.
2. Before attempting any straightening, your hair should be completely clean and freshly deep conditioned with a penetrating conditioner. Deep conditioning* gives hair that added bit of moisture so that it doesn’t dry out completely during the heat styling process. Some low molecular weight conditioners especially those containing cetrimonium bromide will also help combat against heat damage.
3. Apply a leave in conditioner* as well as a good heat protectant* and comb through the length of the hair to evenly distribute the product. Choose a heat protectant with glycerine as this has been shown in studies to prevent excessive moisture loss. A silicone serum heat protectant can also be used in addition for an extra smooth finish.
4. Black people have a variety of hair textures which can be straightened in different ways depending on the thickness and the degree of the curl. Loosely curled or coiled hair can be straightened and smoothed out with just a roller set, so you can probably skip the flat iron* altogether (Read the article ‘How to cheat at roller setting’). Thicker, coilier strands on the other hand will require a bit more attention AND heat.