October 23, 2021 l by Tara E.
Straightening natural hair does not need to be a traumatic experience if you are planning to use heat. While many natural hair mavens in the natural hair community may frown on the practice of straightening natural hair using heat, you should know that it is possible to perform this task without harming your gorgeous coily hair.
Yes, there will be some challenges to perfecting the process the first few times if you are planning to attempt this feat at home. However, half of the fun of being natural is to embrace the demands of caring for the specific needs of your natural hair. For example, if you have thick, long, natural, kinky hair, straightening this hair will undoubtedly challenge your patience and commitment to the process. After all, you will potentially have to fight frizz, shrinkage, varying textures, and in some instances, dryness throughout the process.
Using heat to convert your naturally, coily hair to straight hair without doing any heat damage can feel daunting.
This article is going to teach you the proper way to straighten your natural hair, achieving salon results at home! Follow these instructions carefully and you can get those silk press results without spending silk press money.
What You Need:
- a pre-poo treatment
- a clarifying shampoo
- a moisturizing deep conditioner or hair masque
- a leave-in conditioner
- a thermal heat spray or heat protectant
- a wide-tooth comb
- a paddle brush
…And Don’t Forget to Bring:
- a blow dryer
- a ceramic flat iron (preferably tourmaline)
- hair clips for hair sections
- a hair oil (optional)
- plastic cap or thermal heat cap or deep conditioning caps
Before Straightening Naturally Curly Hair…
First, you will want to pre-poo your hair. You can do this using a homemade pre-poo solution, or you can purchase a pre-poo product such as African Pride Moisture Miracle Aloe & Coconut Water Pre-Shampoo. Your goal is to use a pre-poo solution that will help to alleviate gnarly tangles that can contribute to breakage while creating an environment to seal in moisture and strengthen your hair.
Next, thoroughly shampoo your hair with a clarifying cleanser. This step is vital because you want to start with a fresh, clean base. A clarifying shampoo will remove any dirt and build-up so that your hair will come out light and fluffy. If straightening your natural hair is something that you do regularly, then you may alternate between a clarifying shampoo and a moisturizing shampoo so that you do not strip or dry out your hair out.
Next, once you have cleansed your hair and scalp, begin applying your moisturizing deep conditioner and/or hair masque throughout the hair. You should apply this product from root to tip, getting heavier as you get closer to the bottom. Because your roots are new growth, they don’t require as much product. You must allow this to sit for at least 20 minutes with a shower cap, thermal heat cap, or deep conditioning heat cap. If you would like, you may sit under a hooded dryer or heat cap for better penetration. Also, sealing your conditioner with a hair oil helps lock in nutrients.
Once you have rinsed out your deep conditioner, you may begin sectioning your hair to apply your leave-in conditioner. This serves as both a softener and a heat protectant that will shield your hair from the heat of the blow dryer. You should have at least four sections.
After applying for the leave-in conditioner, thoroughly detangle each section with your wide-tooth comb from tip to root. Clip each detangled section out of the way once you are finished. Now, you may begin to blow dry your hair.
Going section by section, use your paddle brush to move down the strands alongside the blow dryer. This should be done in uniform motion, to get the best results. Do not be overly rough to avoid breakage and be sure that you blow-dry until there are no damp spots!
Once you have successfully blow-dried your hair, spray it with your thermal spray and/or heat protectant. This is going to serve as a layer to shield your hair from possible damage to the straightener. Now, put your hair back into sections so that it will be easier to straighten.
Taking your ceramic flat iron, you are going to begin flat ironing. Be sure that your temperature is cohesive with your hair type. Flat iron temps on naturally, straight hair should not exceed 350 degrees. Flat iron use on naturally, wavy hair should not exceed 375 degrees. Finally, flat iron use on naturally, curly hair should not exceed 400 degrees and for kinky hair, it should not exceed 450 degrees.
How to Flat Iron Your Natural hair
When flat ironing, take small sections of no more than two inches. Use your boar bristle brush, starting at the root, to pull the hair taught. This action is going to give you the smoothest results. Make sure that you hold your flat iron directly behind it, and chase it down to the ends.
The drag should not be extremely slow as this will burn the hair and cause creasing, but it should not be extremely fast because it will not have enough time to fully straighten. Your speed should be approximately between 0.5 and 1 second per inch. Do this to your entire head.
At this point, you have straightened your entire head of hair! If you would like some extra sheen then you may spray a shine spray or oil sheen. Be sure to LIGHTLY mist the hair to not weigh it down. After that, you are done.
That is how you properly straighten natural hair! Applying these tips in your styling routine is guaranteed to give you a better aesthetic and more longevity. Before using heat to straighten your hair, make sure that your hair is healthy and ready to withstand this process.