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.