August 28, 2014

How to Prevent Heat Damage from the Flat Iron - Natural Hair



I typically straighten my hair once per year, but I have actually gone as long as a year and a half. When I do straighten, I want to do it the safest way possible and I want it to last a solid week. No use in using all that heat on my hair if I’m just going to go back curly in a few days. If you're scared of heat damage (and the big question: will my curls come back?) then you will want to follow these tried-and-true tips for straightening safely.

Wash & Deep Condition
I wash my hair and then deeply condition it with my go-to deep conditioning concoction, which includes honey and olive oil. I want to ensure that my hair has ample moisture before I zap it with the heat.

Air Dry
After my hair is wash and conditioned, I wait for it to air dry at least 80% of the way. This reduces the risk of damaging my hair because of the moisture and heat combination.

Blow Dry
My next step is blow-drying. I separate my hair into four sections, detangle each section, spray with a heat protectant, and then blow out each section with a blow-dryer that has a comb attachment (wide tooth). For me, it’s a little hard to blow out my hair with the blow-dryer in one hand and a brush in the other. If I run into any snags along the way, I simply stop and detangle with a regular comb and then proceed again.

Flat Iron
My final step is to actually straighten my hair using a heat protectant and hair serum. I like using Instyler because it has a brush that allows for more of a sleek straightening result, for me at least.

To straighten, I separate my hair into four sections and begin on the back. I take small sections of hair, spray with heat protecting spray, and then apply Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Serum on each piece.

In order to avoid too much heat I try to avoid styling with a curling iron. I’ll put my hair in large twists to create goddess waves. If I want it a little more on the curly side, I will braid it instead and take it out in the morning.


Revert to Curly Hair
When I’m ready to revert back to curly hair, I will deep condition on dry hair and let it sit overnight (the night before I wash). I want to put moisture back in my hair and revert my curls. In the morning, I will wash and deep condition as I would do normally with naturally curly hair. Then, I will usually try to give my hair a break and put it in a protective style such as twists. This will impart more moisture into my strands and allow it to get some more TLC that it was lacking while it was straight.

How do you prevent heat damage? How often do you straighten? 

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