by Cassandre of CassandreBeccai.com (pictured above)
The first time I ever heat straightened my hair was a disaster. It took what felt like an eternity to go through the whole process of roller setting my hair prior to flat ironing. My hair reverted within an hour and it looked nothing like I anticipated.
However, I didn’t know what I did with my hair immediately after my press and every evening that follows would have such a huge bearing on how long my hair lasts in the straightened style. I’ve yet to keep a super pin straight look on flat-ironed natural hair for longer than 7 hours, but I’ve learned a few techniques that help it to stay relatively straight for two weeks.
Here are my tips to maintaining heat straightened natural hair:
1. Use a silicone or mineral based oil to repel humidity.
While I’m not a big silicone or mineral oil user, these ingredients have their place especially when it comes to heat styling. Silicone is a good heat repellent for flat ironing and moth silicone and mineral oil are best for long-term water repulsion. I suggest using them right at the start to keep frizzy hair at bay. Just a note- mineral oil can be super oily, so if you don’t want that look use a light hand when applying it to your hair.
When I first flat ironed my hair as a new natural, I didn’t understand that my hair would instinctively revert as soon as the flat iron was removed from my hair. I didn’t realize that my kind of hair needed a little bit of “setting” before I could wear it out to allow my cuticles to settle down and not grab for water so quickly from the atmosphere. One trick I learned to prolong that quick reversion is rolling each freshly flat-ironed piece around a flexi-rod, other curler or pin curl it.
3. Immediately wrap hair after your press.
This is relatively the same idea as #2. Once I’m done pressing my hair, I remove all the flexi-rods and wrap my hair around my head then put a satin scarf around it. After my hair has cooled down from the flat ironing, I take down the wrap for a nice silky, straight look. You can skip this step if you want the curls to remain in your hair. Just don’t remove the curlers before your hair has cooled down.
4. Use an oil every other day to help repel humidity.
Following the days after I flat iron, I now use an oil to help repel humidity. I like to use my “brilliant sealant” concoction (check it out here). It’s a little oily, but it’s helpful in providing nutrients to my hair while keeping it relatively straight, shiny and soft.
5. Pin curl or wrap your hair every night.
I don’t think this tip can be replaced or removed. For my hair, I’ve found that it’s essential to maintaining a straightened style. I prefer pin curling my hair because I found that a curly style on straightened afro-textured hair tends to better hide reversion.
What are your best tips for maintaining thermally straightened afro-textured hair?