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by westNDNbeauty of ConfessionsofaBlogVixen.com
Aside from the bantu-knot out, straightening natural hair is probably the most enigmatic process of them all. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome, hence why videos and blog posts on this subject are googled more than any other. I figured I’d narrow your search and make this a one stop shop! Fact of the matter is, though many of us have chosen to forego the chemicals, we still desire straight, silky hair sometimes. Here are products and appliances that have been proven best practice.
Ceramic Flat Iron
Avoid flat irons which only allow ‘low’, ‘med’, and ‘hi’ temperature settings. Ceramic irons help to provide quick and even heating. Be sure to your flat iron’s heating range allows for variable, but specific, temperatures from 266°F to 450°F; this is ideal for textured hair.
Coconut oil is one of the very few oils which molecules are small enough to enter the cortex of hair to act as a moisturizer. Moisturizing from the outside in is important for two reasons: (1) silky straight results and (2) even heat distribution, reducing the possibility of heat damage. Consider adding a tablespoon of this oil to your moisturizing deep conditioner of choice.
Ionic Blow Dryer
This dryer is powered by ionic technology which allows hair to dry faster with less heat, sealing in moisture and reducing frizz.
Ultimately, the blow drying process is the determining factor in the outcome of your flat ironed hair. The more work you put in during the blow drying process, the straighter, silkier, and more full of body your hair will be once flat ironed. A vented brush allows your hair to be blow dried as straight as possible for easy flat ironing.
Many attempt to skip blow drying with the intentions of exposing their hair to less heat, but in all reality, more heat will be required in the flat iron process if you attempt to achieve the straight silky results. Often times, hair that has not been blow dried previous to flat ironing will not have as much body had it been flat ironed to begin with.
Macadamia Heat Styling Spray
In the blow drying process you want to avoid the use of creams and butters, but still impart moisture and protection. Consider using this spray after freshly washing and allow your hair to air dry and then blow dry. Use of any product once hair has been blow dried will result in weighted down hair void of body. Be sure to use all products before the blow dry process.
Vented Straightening & Cutting Comb
During flat ironing, this comb allows hair to remain detangled while the flat iron slides down the section of hair. Being that the flat iron and vented comb will come into close contact, the ceramic nature of the it prevents melting, unlike typical rat-tail combs.
Hair Therapy Wrap
Deep conditioning with a moisture-rich product for an extended period of time (2+ hours) is an absolute must! There is no substitute. In addition, to increase moisture penetration, heat should also be employed. Because of the time required, the therapy wrap allows you to be mobile and get other things done while you prepare your hair for the blow dry/flat iron process.