I love natural hair. The amount of versatility that comes with it is endless, I can be curly one day and bone straight the next. While I've taken a hiatus from heat this season, other naturals are still wearing their curls pressed. I decided to give out a few tips to keep your hair healthy, happy and make sure your curls aren't victim to heat damage!
Picking products for pressed hair can be a little tricky. Your first reaction may be to reach for the same products that you use in your hair while it's in its natural state and I am here to tell you NO. Those products will most likely weigh your hair down and cause a massive amount of build up. Opt for lighter oils (NO BUTTERS) and serums for your hair. A favorite is Aveda Light Elements Smoothing Fluid. It's light weight, provides shine and is great for taming fly aways. You can also pair it with the Aveda Smooth Infusions blow-dry prep. This is great for preventing heat damage from the blowdryer, while the smoothing fluid will save your hair from the flat iron.
Blowdrying technique is also VERY important when going straight. I've heard that certain techniques can cause damage to your hair, but I am here to tell you that ANY thing done wrong can damage your hair. Whether it be the pic method, Denman brush, or paddle brush. My first recommendation will be to apply the proper moisture to your hair then braid it and wait overnight for your hair to dry. This allows your hair to be stretched out and partially dry, cutting blowdrying and the heat damage risk factor in half. If you choose to blowdry your hair while it is wet, apply a leave in conditioner and heat protectant then section your hair off into sections detangle and braid. Using your preferred blowdrying method, work through each section getting hair as straight as possible, this will help you in the flat ironing process. Make sure not to leave the blowdryer focused on one section for too long to avoid heat damage.
Once your hair has been blown straight, we enter the flat ironing stage, I recommend that you have your flat iron on the lowest setting that is still able to get the job done. Section your hair off using clips and apply a heat protectant serum to each section before flat ironing. If you are not sure whether or not your flat iron is too hot, you can purchase marcel papers at your local beauty supply and test it out that way. Using a rat tail comb, use the comb chase method to make sure that your is tangle and snag free, this also helps straightens the ends.
Once your hair is straight you can style it however you like,after that it is recommended that you use little to no heat on your hair, and add light moisturizers if any. Coconut and jojoba oil are great light weight moisturizers.