A couple of months ago, we had head shots scheduled for work. I haven’t taken any professional photos since my junior year of college, so I was overdue for a new set. Even though it’d been a rainy, humid summer and I was almost 8 months post relaxer, I decided to go with a straight look.
Instead of enduring the process of flat ironing my whole head, I chose to rock a straight u-part wig. If you haven’t heard of a u-part wig, it’s very similar to a sew-in or half wig*; you simply blend your leave out with the extension hair. Should have been an easy, cute style right?
Ha! After struggling to straighten my leave out (specifically the new growth) for 20 minutes, I was able to blend my hair flawlessly with the wig*. But alas, as soon as I walked out my front door, I knew all that time, energy, and heat had been wasted. The air was hot and damp and I swear I could feel my hair reverting on the 30 minute train ride to work.
Suffice it to say, those head shots have not seen the light of day.
My biggest mistake? Attempting to blend my transitioning hair with the straight hair of the wig. In July! Hot temperatures = sweat = reversion. I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy straight hair while transitioning, but flat ironing might not be the best use of your time in the summer.
Even when it’s not sweltering outside, a bit of sweat can send your new growth running back to its kinky*, curly or coily state. And this state, ruined hairstyle or not, is actually what your new growth prefers. So instead of attempting to straighten your new growth to match your relaxed ends, try blending your relaxed ends and your new growth with curls instead.
With that in mind, here are 3 hairstyles that not only blend your two textures, but are also heat optional.
Note: While it is best to start on freshly washed and deep conditioned hair, you can certainly create these styles on hair that is a few days old too.
The go-to style for many current and budding naturalistas, a twist out allows your new growth to stretch while adding curl to your relaxed ends. An excellent way to blend your two textures.
1. Part your hair into four sections.
2. Moisturize and seal each section using your favorite moisturizer and oil.
3. Starting from the back, separate about a 1 inch section of hair.
4. Optional – For a stronger hold, apply your favorite curl cream, gel, or wrapping lotion.
5. Split that section into 2 pieces and begin to twist your hair
6. Use a small roller to both curl the relaxed ends and to prevent unraveling.
7. Repeat all over your head. Use smaller sections for tighter curls.
8. Dry your hair completely. You have the option to either air dry or sit under the hooded dryer*.
9. Apply a light oil to your fingers and unravel, being careful not to cause too much frizz.
10. Gently fluff and go!