As every woman does, I love to switch up my look now and again. Why not right? I love curls, waves, long, short, kinky and straight hair. There are many ways to straighten or stretch natural hair without using heat. I have highlighted African threading in previous posts and curlformers on my youtube channel. These methods are awesome to use for elongating hair strands without the use of potentially damaging heat. These styles or methods however, do require time. I normally spend all day or sleep overnight with them installed to make sure my hair dries completely. They are time consuming.
At times I just don’t have the time so I then grab my blow dryer followed by either my straightening brush or flat iron depending on the level of straightness I desire at that particular moment in time.
Below are a few tips that are yet to fail me. I have never had to deal with damage after applying heat to my hair and I attribute that success to the following steps and treatments. Not necessarily in this order, here is what I do.
- I treat my hair with a penetrating oil before shampooing. This process is called a prepoo and this helps in the retention of hair nutrients during the contraction and expansion of the strands when moisturizing. I explained all this in my coming ebook and also shared some moisturizing tips in a previous post about properly moisturizing natural hair.
- I always cleanse and clarify my hair. That means I am removing any and every product and spec of dirt that might be on my hair strands. How can your hair receive any type of nutrition if it is coated in dirt.
- Now that I treated my hair pre shampoo and shampooed, I then deep condition my hair. Deep conditioners infuse nutrient into your strands and conditioners provide for care on the outer layer of the strands. So when i rinse out my deep conditioner, i apply a regular conditioner and do a final rinse.
- At this point many are tempted to apply oils and creams to the hair but listen, you are about to apply heat so why add products that will fry under heat. I apply a light leave-in conditioner preferably a liquid one that is as close to water as possible.
- I then add a very light layer of butter (soon to be available on my online store), add a heat protectant and put my hair in twists and allow it to dry 50% if I plan on blow drying my hair, 100% if i skip the dryer.
- Now I blow dry my hair on a low to medium setting. This may take a while if you have thick high density hair. Just make sure to avoid high heat. Hair starts burning at 450 degrees fahrenheit.
- For straighter hair, I then flat iron my hair
The process does not end here. Once you are done flaunting your going with the wind tresses, it’s time to nurse your hair to health. Our hair is made of over 80% protein. That heat we applied to the hair, definitely compromised the strength and structure of the strands.
- Spray the hair with water to activate those curls
- Once hair is saturated go ahead and shampoo that hair
- Now I use a protein treatment on my hair followed by a moisturizing deep conditioner.
- I seal my hair with oils and butters and proceed with styling.
These steps have helped keep my hair healthy and safe from heat damage.