i woke up one fateful sunday in 2014 and decided i wanted straight hair. while the creamy crack wasn’t calling my name, i had a serious urge to measure the length of my newly grown high top and just the tools to get the job done — so i thought. after blow drying and flat ironing my hair, without a heat protectant of any sort, it was certainly straight. and it stayed that way. i tried every trick of the trade and my natural locks just wouldn’t revert back. i’d ruined my hair’s texture and felt the natural hair gatekeepers mocking my straggly strands. crushed, i cut my hair low a few weeks later.
soooooo, what in the hell would possess me to try another blow out? it’s spring, duh. the change of season, urges a new ‘do, and i felt compelled again to rock straight hair. however, this time, i consulted a professional and my curls bounced back with these tips in mind:
1. HEAT PROTECTANT. why didn’t i know this?!? using silicone-infused shampoos, conditioners and pomades made to protect hair from heat will bring back your curls after a quick wash. check out this list of products from k is for kinky.
2. don’t overdo it. this might sound obvious, but only use the amount of heat necessary to straighten your hair — using too much heat will destroy your curl pattern by melting your hair’s keratin. assuming that kinky curls required the maximum amount of heat, i cranked the flat iron’s dial up when straightening my hair last year. big mistake. although my curls are tightly coiled, my hair is healthy and straightens really easily. remember thick/coarse hair usually straightens between 302-338F.
3. apply a deep conditioner. obviously, heat protectants are a must, but truly protecting your hair from heat starts long before actually applying heat. make sure to thoroughly deep condition your hair to ensure your hair retains moisture and protein through the straightening process.
4. minimize the heat from blow drying. keep in mind that blow drying and using a flat iron means double heat. either blow dry your hair on a low-heat setting or until it’s damp and let it air dry. i’ve only straightened my hair twice in the 15 years that i’ve been natural (once successfully), and this step was crucial to my hair reverting back.
5. a protein treatment and apple cider vinegar is your friend. if by chance your hair’s curl memory is weakened, try a protein treatment and apple cider vinegar rinse to restore your curls. visit natural hair rules for great tips on this process.
what helps to maintain your natural texture after a blow out? comment and share below!