I straightened my hair! It's been a year and a half since the last time I flatironed my hair. Back then, I had no idea what I was doing. My hair never stayed straight for long, and it felt dry and brittle soon after.
I've written up a series of three posts which will cover thermally straightening natural hair. Today's post will cover preparing your hair to be straightened.
Preparing the hair to be straightened will ensure that the hair has the maximum amount of moisture and protection before it meets the heat. It also includes stretching your hair out as much as possible to get the straightest possible look.
I prepared my hair the day before straightening it by:
- Shampooing my hair with a very moisturizing, non-stripping shampoo. I used Beautiful Curls Shea Butter Shampoo (check out my review here.)
- Applying a moisturizing conditioner to my hair and leaving it in. I used Blended Beauty Curl Quenching Conditioner (check out my review here.) This is a conditioner that I can either rinse out or leave in. Try to use one that you can leave in without any problems (aka, don't use a conditioner that is meant to be rinsed out or that you know doesn't make your hair feel good leaving in.)
- Applying a deep conditioner on top of the conditioner. I used Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment (review will come later.)
- Covering my hair with a shower or plastic cap and leaving the conditioners in for a long period of time (over an hour.) I left it in for about 3 hours.
- Rinsing out about 80% of the conditioner + deep conditioner by running it under water and squeezing the twists to release some, but not all of the conditioner. Then, I used my favorite moisturizer. Use preferably a moisturizer that leaves your hair moisturized for several days. Pair this with a sealant that will keep the moisture in your hair. I used my new love, SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, which works as both a moisturizer and a sealant. I applied a generous amount onto my hair.
- Stretching the hair out using the banding method. I recommend banding the hair to stretch the hair because it is a heatless way to stretch your hair out, as opposed to blow drying. Banding your hair means that the only heat your hair will have to come in contact with is the flatiron, and the less heat, the better. I wore the bands for the rest of the day and overnight to ensure that my hair was fully dry and that my hair was fully stretched.
All of these steps will help to:
- Put and keep as much moisture into your hair as possible. Since your hair will be straightened, any kind of moisture will make the hair revert. So you want to put in as much as you can since you won't be moisturizing it again until wash day.
- Stretch out your hair as best as possible for the next day. The more stretched your hair is before flatironing it, the better your straightened hair will come out!
Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, the actual straightening!