‘Tis the Season to be Straightened

5 Tips to Make your Salon Trip Jolly

by Shelli of Hairscapades

Whether it’s for the ease, the longevity afforded by low dew points, a slew of holiday parties, a style change, or a gift to pamper oneself, straight hair seems to be a holiday season favorite. And, if you are going the salon route, you may be a bit nervous about over-manipulation and/or heat damage. But, if you follow a few quick tips, you don’t have to be!


How to Get Super Straight Natural Hair Using the Silk Wrap Method

by Sabrina Perkins of SeriouslyNatural.org

The original purpose of silk wrapping was to give relaxed hair that ‘flat ironed and silky’ look without excessive heat abuse.  This treatment involves applying a bit of moisturizer and shine spray to the hair before wrapping it, securing with saran wrap and sitting under the hooded dryer for a spell.

Somewhere down the line, though, someone got it in their mind to try this technique on heat styled, natural hair.  It works great for natural hair that has been roller set, blown out, pressed and/or flat ironed. The silk wrap serves the same purpose, with the added benefit of reducing the volume of the hair for a ‘flatter’ look.

If you're looking to extend the time between blow-outs and want to switch things up with a super sleek look, then this might be a great tip to try!

Read On!>>>

Dos and Dont's: How to Straighten Natural Hair

Some say that variety is the spice of life. I agree. For me, the monotony of anything has the potential to become boring. That includes wearing my natural kinks, coils, and curls.

Every now and then, I like to flat iron my hair. Being that hair is fiber, over time, manipulation, constantly pulling it back, extreme environmental temperatures, hair color, hormonal changes, illnesses, and heat can alter our hair’s texture. That is why I am deliberate about my process of thermal straightening---from beginning to end.

Read On!>>>

How to Stretch Natural Hair Without Using Direct Heat

by Kanisha Parks of BlackNaps.org

Stretching natural hair has a variety of benefits: it prepares the hair for other styles, allows you to see your length, and can make for an easier detangling session. One of the quickest and most common ways to stretch hair is by simply blow drying all of your hair, but there are many ways to stretch your hair without resorting to this. Here are a few techniques that can be done on wet or dry hair to get your hair stretched out naturally and easily:

Read On!>>>

How to Flat Iron Natural Hair for Silky Results

She'kia Renea is back, and with the weather getting all chilly and lacking humidity, she's showing us how to wash, blowout, and flat iron your natural hair.  Enjoy!
Watch Now!>>>

I’ve Become A Straight Hair Natural (without Heat Damage!)

by Shelli of Hairscapades

And I like it!! That’s right, I said it. I’ve been natural for 15 years, big chopped twice, and have nothing to prove. I love my natural curls. However, right now, I love the convenience and ease of straight hair a lot more! And, sometimes, that’s really all there is to it.

Read On!>>>

4 Things A Flat Iron Should Have for Healthy Natural Hair

by Bri of Naturally Fierce

When I began the search to find the best flat irons for natural hair I thought it would end with one quick trip to the search engine box...Oh was I wrong. I dived the irons into a massive list - -ceramic, ionic, tourmaline, titanium, nano, and silver, only to come out with one conclusion. Flat irons all do the same thing, but the results will vary depending on the brand and how you use them. Before we get to the 'how' part, make sure your flat iron has the following:

Read On!>>>

Straightening Natural Hair

Watch as Mini Marley straightens her naturally curly hair!  To get the look she used--

-Shea Moisture's Curl Mouse: http://tgt.biz/1nr3p5b
-A Denman Brush
-Large Rollers/ Clips
-QT Performance Flatiron: http://bit.ly/1kpXWMv
-A Comb

Heat Protectants- Silicones Are Our Friends

In my Fry Eggs, Not Your Hair experiment I demonstrate the effects of heat transfer on an egg to emphasize the importance of incorporating a heat protection product into your thermal styling regimen. If this demonstration does not convince you that heat damage is real, I really do not know what will. Heat softens the keratin in hair to become more pliable; however, if you are not careful, too much heat penetrating the hair too fast will cause water to boil on the inside of the hair shaft, which will instantly weaken the hair. If you are going to use heat on your hair, there is no way that you can completely eliminate the damaging effects that it will have, but you can decrease the amount of damage by protecting yourself.

Will Grape Seed Oil Prevent Heat Damage?

via the Beauty Brains-

Lilypad asks:
I’m transitioning from relaxed to natural hair and a lot of blogs and video bloggers tout grape seed oil as a heat protectant when blowdrying or flat ironing hair because it has a high smoke point (about 420 °F). Is there any truth to this claim? The smoke point refers to the oil’s use in cooking but does it apply to hair as well?

Read On!>>>

Preventing Heat Damage & Selecting an Effective Heat Protectant: The Science.

Temperatures encountered during blow-drying, flat-iron straightening, and hot curling processes can be high enough to cause severe trauma to the hair. Results of this can include cracks in the cuticle layer, bubbles or voids in the cortex, frayed and split ends, chipped and ragged cuticles, faded color, diminished curl and increased frizz, as well as, in Tori's case, broken strands. If avoiding high heat styling methods is not an option, it is important to take precautions to prevent or minimize damage. There are a number of products on the market advertised as heat protectant sprays, lotions, and serums which claim to prevent or repair the detrimental effects of high temperatures on hair. Are these products effective, and if so, how do they work, and which ingredients are responsible for their performance?

Read On!>>>

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.

Make Your Straight Hair Last Longer

by Nicole Harmon of HairLiberty

Use products that promise humidity protection

When your hair is straight, your roots are usually the first to revert back to curly. That's because sweat or humidity in the air has penetrated the hair closest to your scalp and made it swell. "Humidity-blocking" products condition your hair by wrapping each strand with a lightweight protective film. Follow up your leave-in conditioner with a thorough application of a styling cream or foam that says "humidity protection" or "anti-frizz". Try Tresemme Smooth and Silky Anti-Frizz Secret Crème, Hair Rules Blow Out Your Kinks, Motions Light Styling Foam, or Living Proof Straight Styling Treatment.

Choose a "flexible" hold hair spray or skip it

Most hairsprays make your hair stick together at the ends. If you run your fingers through your hair or put your hair in a ponytail, the hair-sprayed areas are likely to break. If you need to make sure every hair stays in place, choose a hair spray that says "flexible", "workable", or "natural" hold. Always spray from as far away as possible for the best results. To get the most days out of your straight hair as possible, skip hair spray altogether.

Protect your hair from shower steam using a moisture-wicking headband and a shower cap

You'll definitely wear a shower cap in the shower, but your hair may still frizz from the steam. Keep your hair away from the water by putting on a moisture-wicking headband like the ones made by Nike and Under Armour. The microfiber in the headband will absorb moisture and trap it between the threads of fabric. Put on the headband, then the shower cap, and keep your shower short.

Wrap or pin curl your hair at night and tie on a scarf

Your straight hair will last longer if the strands aren't allowed to rub up against each other while you sleep. If your roots revert quickly, take the time to pin curl your hair at night after applying a very small amount of moisturizer or serum to each section. Tie a satin or silk scarf over your head to keep your hair in place and your edges smooth. You can get away with less bedtime prep, but the better your hair is protected at night, the better it will look the next day.

Following these tips can make your straight hair last for weeks, but that's a long time to go without washing your hair. If your scalp starts to get itchy, it's begging to be shampooed and conditioned. You can buy yourself a few extra days by blotting excess oil from your scalp with an alcohol-free toner or a mixture of 1/8 cup aloe vera gel and 3 drops of tea tree oil. To keep your hair healthy with minimal breakage, it's best to shampoo and condition at least once a week.

Hair Liberty (def): The freedom to rock whatever style you want, whenever you want. Curly, straight, natural, relaxed, whatever! Free yourself! Go to hairliberty.org, to get expert advice for kinky and curly hair.

New Year, New 'Do- Versatility at its Best!

While standing in the mirror this morning at 4am, jet lagged, overwhelmed and feeling as if I'd been hit by a truck, I realized that not only did I not feel like doing my hair, I wanted to try something a lil' different. I was thinking cut and color... or better yet, cut and flat iron, which sounded slightly less drastic. I've been cutting and shaping my own hair and hadn't been to a stylist (or worn it straight) since Feb 14, 2007, so this was kind of a big deal. I got hubby on the phone to get his opinion and he was like, 'either way... either way it's getting pulled!'

I called Marie, Syl's stylist, for a last minute favor (seeing as how it's back to PA tomorrow) and she obliged. I told her I needed my twist-outs to fall between chin and shoulder length without having to curl the ends and beyond that, she had total creative control. Her work was masterful and I couldn't be happier.

Super posh Shi Salon in St. Louis, MO

Poo, condition, and an aromatherapy scalp massage. Hot damn! It felt amazing having someone else do my hair... it's been a long time.

I'm clearly talking ish here...

Detangled and 80% dry. You can see the henna glow!

Sectioning and prepping to blow dry... Boogie had to get in the mix!

all blown out...
Marie was surprised at how nearly even I've managed to keep my hair with my at home trimming sessions! I snip the ends of my twists (a little shorter in the back) once every two months to keep a chin length-ish bob, which gives my fine hair improved volume. Apparently it's a pretty effective technique!

Boog was not having it...
by the way, that ain't her bracelet and it ain't mine either. Boss.

commence flat ironing...

She used Davines from start to finish. Totally blown away, I bought every. last. expensive. ass. product! I'll report back soon!

Super straight, right? She used very little heat... it was cray.

all done!

Chop chop!
She recommended Hakari brand hair shears for my future DIY exploits
New shape!

even got some fringe... what?!


Curls, duh.

So it looks like I'll be a pin curling sista for the next couple of weeks. If you're ever in STL, you must pay Marie a visit... and tell her Nik sent ya!

Later Gators,

Got any new plans for your hair this year?

The Perfect Roller Set- Transitioning Styles

The Perfect Roller Set!
by CurlsDivine

I’m in my 7th month of transitioning from relaxed to natural hair, and what an exciting journey it has been so far! I’ve had so much fun trying new hairstyles and products. I really hate (with a passion) to sit under the hairdryer, but for these results, its well worth it! Check out how I achieve the perfect roller set:

  • I began with a clean head of hair. It's your choice whether you use shampoo or conditioner for co-washing; I decided to co-wash using Biotera Ultra Moisturizing Conditioner. I didn't rinse completely, leaving a little in for moisture. If any of you are unfamiliar with Biotera products, PLEASE head to Sally’s Beauty Supply and check them out . One word- WONDERFUL!
  • I detangled in the shower with my wide tooth comb and denman brush. Outside the shower, I sprayed a bit of setting lotion (Lotta Body).
  • I then parted in sections, and rolled from bottom to top. My rollers are the magnetic Yellow and Black, large size. I also added a little bit of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil on the ends to seal.
  • I sat under a hooded dryer for about 1 ½ hours. I allowed the roller set curls to fall, but I did flat iron the front edges. However, throughout my hair, I felt nothing but little bumps of curls!

Lots of body and fullness, with minimal direct heat. The shine was so divine!

How do you achieve the perfect roller-set?

CN Responds: I don't... wayyyyy to lazy to roll my wet hair, especially on such large rollers. I started the process on several occasions, but after one or two rollers were in place I was ready to throw in the towel. I'd love to see how it'd turn out on me though... any takers? I'm not tender headed :)

InStyler on Natural Hair

MzMillion writes:

This is a quick show of how straight the Instyler will make natural hair... it didn't burn or damage my hair. As you can see, I show how to make your roots extra straight with the Instyler. I was very skeptical but this is the best flat iron I have ever used.

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