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How to Safely Straighten Natural Hair

Avatar • Oct 16, 2011

5. If you must use a blow dryer make it is at the lowest setting possible.

6. Use a thermal protector spray before you blow dry to prevent heat damage. Thermal protectors employ natural materials to retain the heat and distribute it along the hair shaft. A thin silicone layer encompasses the strands to add further protection against too much heat

7. Ceramic plated /coated tools and tourmaline ionic blow dryers are safer options because they distribute heat more evenly along your strands, which prevents small/targeted areas of your hair from suffering heat damage.

8. If you need to increase the temperature settings on heated tools do so at increments of 5 degrees or less.

9. Divide your hair into smaller sections when flat-ironing, pressing, curling or blow-drying. Smaller sections require less heat/lower temperatures to achieve the desired look. (If you are straightening, curling or blow drying larger masses of hair, more heat is required because of the thicker density.) Also remember it is important to know the density of your individual strands. If you have fine strands less heat is required.

10. Use of heat on hair that is chemically free (including color) is advised. Chemicals strip your hair of its natural oils (sebum) and adding heat can put more stress on your strands, making them even more susceptible to breakage.

11. If you are planning to straighten, curl or blow dry your hair after your washing process please make sure your tresses are at least 85 to 90% dry. Using heat on damp hair definitely will increase your chances of heat damage.

12. Treat your hair like your body. Would you want to eat something without knowing what it is? The same applies to your hair. Make sure to read the instructions of the tools and appliances you are using. The more equipped you are the better your results will be.

Ladies are there any other tips you would like to share for straightening natural tresses safely?

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LBell
LBell
9 years ago

Another great post…thanks, Cipriana! I haven’t used direct heat on my hair (irons, etc.) in 8 years but when I did I always tried to stretch my hair as much as possible beforehand, usually through heat-free methods like plaiting or rollersets. I have fine, mostly 4b strands and I was always surprised at how straight I was able to get them simply by stretching; it meant I never had to use high heat. I also never went for “bone-straight”; it looked and moved like straight hair, but kept a lot of its body. I never suffered any heat damage at… Read more »

Joy
Joy
9 years ago

This is a very good article and the tips are so great! I’ve only learned to cherish my hair as of late and I’m coasting in to my second year fully natural. I only permed by hair because it’s very curly and I wanted to loosen the curl pattern. I’m grateful I learned my lesson and I’m off the creamy crack!

Thank you for such an informative site. I love it!

Clf
Clf
9 years ago

What kind of heatprotectors do you advise?

MsAfriKanaChic
MsAfriKanaChic
9 years ago

I use curlformers before I flat Iorn my hair because I’m able to achieve an almost press & curl style using them; resulting in less usage of heat when I run the flat iron over it after taking out the curlers.

NIa/Chic Working Moms
9 years ago

Great post! Very good tips I’ve never heard of before. I need to straighten next week for a trim so I’ll be bookmarking this for sure!

TGL
TGL
9 years ago

What a coincidence, I straightened my hair for the first time in a year the same day that this was posted. I set my hair (using curlformers and magnetic rollers) just to get it a bit straighter and then I went over my hair once with the flat iron on a medium temp. Both my setting foam (keracare), flat iron spray protectant(Fantasia IC pink bottle) and curl wax (keracare) protect my hair. My hair isnt super straight, but it’s straight, and I was able to trim better than I have all year. I followed this same method last year and… Read more »

Phoenix
8 years ago
Reply to  TGL

I love roller setting! Okay…maybe I’ve never truly tried another stretching method in order to reduce heat, but I can’t imagine anything working as well as rollersetting. I would set my hair in the biggest rollers possible, have them dry completely, use a heat protectant in small amounts (otherwise my hair ends up looking and feeling limp) and then iron with my GHD in small sections, going over the hair only once, thus having bone straight hair with LOTS of body and movement.

Jeanna
Jeanna
9 years ago

I really like the tip to avoid straightening the ends. I’m definitely going to do that.

Zyaran
Zyaran
9 years ago

But you can also use flexi rods and get the hair pretty much straightened that way as well. “Prettydimples01” just did a great video 10/15/11 on this minus the flake problem from a new product she tried. But it came out gorgeous, and I will definitely be trying this new product.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb2Msu8Zapk&feature=channel_video_title

Hope Morgan
Hope Morgan
9 years ago

What do you do if you’ve experienced heat damage? Is cutting the hair off the only option?

Shelli
9 years ago

I’m planning on getting Afro Puffy Twists in November, but am wary and undecided about two things. I know that I need to have my hair “stretched” and believe that I’m going to do that myself (not trusting a salon as the last time I had a Dominican blow out, the woman used high heat and passed the flat iron over my hair and my ends multiple times). But, I haven’t straightened my hair myself in about 3 years and it’s a lot longer than it was the last time I did it!! I used to blow out my hair… Read more »

Tiffannie
Tiffannie
9 years ago
Reply to  Shelli

Hi Shelli, I don’t know of salons in jersey but I live ny and I’m in love with a stylist in Brooklyn. The salon is called Wayne Agassi. It’s and aveda Concept salon. His name is G. You can go by or they have a website just type it in google. I would also suggest using aveda products they are expensive but work well. He straightens my hair with no problem at all. And anytime I need a trim I go to him. I’ve been everywhere in ny even to saks which was way too expensive but the very first… Read more »

Star
Star
8 years ago
Reply to  Shelli

That Henna is Blinging girl!!! 🙂 I love your hair, I’ve followed you indirectly, like when you post on CN or other blogs, You are my hair idol! and honestly inspired me to henna my hair! Do you have a blog Shelli?

hairscapades
8 years ago
Reply to  Star

I completely forgot that I posted on this link! LOL! Star, yes, I have a blog. It’s hairscapades.com:). It’s always hyperlinked on my name in comments and in the posts on CurlyNikki. Thank you!!! Thanks for the info Tiffannie, though it’s obvious I didn’t see it until now:(. I actually ended up doing the blow out myself following MopTopMaven’s old post. I didn’t fully straighten for the twists, just did a tension blow-out and it worked out fine! I’ll have to remember the Aveda Concept salon in Brooklyn though!! I actually ended up getting my hair pressed in Orange, NJ… Read more »

latisha
latisha
8 years ago
Reply to  Shelli

Simplyonique (think thats the correct spelling) has a great tutorial. Chk her out on youtube

Tonna
Tonna
9 years ago

What heat protectants do you suggest? Thanks.

irobot review
8 years ago

Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I am hoping to give one thing back and aid others such as you aided me.

Ashley F.
Ashley F.
8 years ago

good article, I think having a list of the best heat protectors could be beneficial too.

shanti
shanti
8 years ago

i flat iron my atural hair the other day now it wont get back to its natural state after washing it. help!!!!!

Chantel
8 years ago
Reply to  shanti

Unfortunately, that sounds like heat damage. This happened to me before i knew the dangers of blow-drying soaking wet hair.

Avelina Fyke
8 years ago

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trackback

[…] according to Black girl with long hair, the proper way is to do what I did but then wait for the hair to be 80% dry before starting to […]

Brynne
Brynne
8 years ago

What is the appropriate temperature to use on natural hair?

rina abdusalam
rina abdusalam
8 years ago

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/545614_10150633485306561_659830029_n.jpg[/img]

Laura
Laura
8 years ago

Best heat protectant I’ve used is the Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan oil. It’s not greasy and argan oil is VERY beneficial for hair, especially dry, frizzy or chemically treated hair. Put some on after a shower, blow dry and voila!!

Sheron
Sheron
8 years ago

What is a good heat protectant if you have very oily hair?

Gayle Allen
Gayle Allen
8 years ago

Ok … I’ve only used heat on my hair twice since going natural since 94, mainly because it was short. 4 months ago I washed and deep conditioned it and went to the salon to with lots of Giavonni Leave in conditioner in my hair and let the girl who has been cutting my hair for 6 years blow dry it. She used a round bush with an attachment on the blow dryer; this was done in small sections. My hair was very straight following this. I’m sure there was probably some hair loss but I don’t think it was… Read more »

Angel Christian
6 years ago

Thanks for the such a great tips while straightening.Its very nice tips.

Lisa
6 years ago

BVery boring and time consuming task going to salon for flatten hair.

Stella
6 years ago

Best article and yeah i agree with you this the best way to staighten natural hair at home inplace of wasting money in salon.

Rosie
6 years ago

If you want to straighten hair then you have to do it at your home by your self.and its very easy and natural tips that make your hair perfect straight.

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