This past weekend, I straightened my hair for the first time in 3 years for my best friend’s wedding. I was reluctant because of the heat damage I sustained last time I straightened my hair. After much research and educating myself, I realized that there’s nothing wrong with using heat in my hair, but it’s the technique I used in the past that caused my hair to become unhealthy. If you’re a curly girl like me and find it hard to straighten your hair without damage, I have some tips to maintain healthy straightened hair just for you!
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Just like in anything, the preparation process is the most important because it’s the foundation. Preparing our hair properly for heat styling is key because when we use heat, the protein in our hair breaks down. So, what’s the best solution to decrease the chance of protein breakdown? It’s as simple as adding protein to your hair. The protein acts as a coating on each strand of our hair. This is beneficial for keeping healthy hair because the heat will penetrate the coating first and preserve your hair. The easiest way to add protein is to find a deep conditioner with protein properties and let it sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes after washing it.
Use A Heat Protectant
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Using a heat protectant is one step that should not be skipped at all. If you know that you’ll be using direct heat on your hair, a heat protectant should be the first thing you think of. Not only do heat protectants act as another barrier between your hair strands and heat styling tools, but they work great for keeping the hair smooth. Personally, I prefer to use 2 heat protectants just before blowdrying. The John Frieda Frizz Ease 3-Day Flat Iron Spray works wonders to keep my frizz-free and the CHI Silk Infusion keeps my hair smooth while locking in the moisture.
Know Your Temperature Settings
The temperature of the flat iron that your using can be the difference between healthy hair and heat damage. Too high of a temperate will just fry your hair, but too low won’t get it as smooth and straight. If your hair is on the thinner side, 300-350 ℉ is ideal to prevent heat damage. If you have medium hair, you should be flat ironing at 350-400℉. Lastly, thick/coarse hair can be flat ironed at 400-450℉. With each temperature setting, test a small piece of hair at the back, if your hair smoking a lot, turn the tempeture down 10℉. The flat iron that I recommend for even heat distribution and lasting results is the KIPOZI Professional Hair Straightener. I love that this straightener ranges from 250-450℉ and prevents frizziness.
One Pass Rule
This one is SO difficult to adhere to! The one pass rule literally means going over a section of hair once with the flat iron. I was guilty of going over a section of hair 2-3 times to make sure it was bone straight and I believe this is what ultimately caused me heat damage. A technique that helped me adhere to the one pass rule was the chasing comb method. I used a fine-tooth comb and chased the flat iron with it down my hair shaft, taking my time. With this technique, my hair came out bone straight! I will never do more than one flat iron pass on my hair anymore because it’s not necessary. With every pass, it weakens the protein bonds in our hair.
What I Learned
After following these easy tips to maintain healthy straightened hair, I can never go back to my old techniques. My hair literally felt like I just came from a salon. With these techniques, I say there’s no need to feel like I can’t maintain healthy straightened hair.
Thanks for reading!
Let’s chat in the comment. How often do you straighten your hair? What are some techniques/products you use to make sure your hair stays healthy?