The biggest issues for naturals when flat ironing
-Avoiding Heat Damage
Maintaining my hair when I have flat ironed it used to be a losing task. I have found that moisturizing my hair starts before ever applying any direct heat. This is my go to process:
Preparing the hair for straightening
*This is done a week before flat ironing.
- I prepoo my hair overnight with an infused carrier oil blend. Usually coconut oil.
- In the morning lightly detangle to remove shed hair. Wash my hair with a clarifying shampoo.
- Do a mid-level protein treatment. I use commercial and diy protein treatments. For more info about the diy version read more here.
- Follow up with a moisturizing deep conditioning mask. I apply it and use the hooded dryer for 30 minutes.
- Lastly, I use a protein rich leave in conditioner and layer on a blend of ceramide rich oils. This combo is wonderful for reinforcing the strength in hair.
- I'm sure to style my hair in low tension and low manipulation styles for the week. This reduces the likelihood of experiencing unnecessary breakage.
- Prepoo the hair overnight with an infused oil blend. (again)
- The following morning detangle and cleanse with a moisturizing shampoo. Since I only used water soluble ingredients, the week prior, there's no need for another clarifying shampoo wash.
- Use a moisturizing deep conditioner for 30 minutes under a hooded dryer. Allow the conditioner to cool completely before rinsing out with cool water.
- While the hair is lightly damp apply an anti-humectant moisturizer.
- Apply an oil blend + a silicon based serum. Be sure not to use any carrier oils that are heavy (ex: castor oil). Heavy oils weight the hair down. I like to use Daily Dew oil.
- Detangle from the ends to the roots. Twist the hair. Let it air dry in the twist. This prevents it from tangling.
- Once fully dry section the hair. Flat iron at no higher than 250° in small sections using the chase method. Do not do more than 2 passes with the flat iron. The temp for the flat iron is up to you. Generally there's no need to go above 350°.
You can blow dry the hair prior to flat ironing if you like. I do not like to use direct heat often and i find that there is no need to blowdry before straightening. I've never had heat damage or premature reversion with this method. Also my hair remained moisturized for 2 weeks due to this process.
This process addresses and resolves all 3 of the main issues we naturals have with straightened hair. Give it a try and let us know how well it has worked for you as well.