Straightening natural African American can be a challenging process. This type of hair is thicker, coarser, and more sensitive to damage, it is prone to frizzing and it tends to curl back easily. You must make sure to straighten it carefully if you’re going to use flat iron, to minimize the damage and to make sure you get silky and smooth hair. Follow these simple advices to make sure your hair stays healthy and beautiful.
- Make sure your hair is conditioned properly. Applying direct heat to already dry and damaged hair is an extremely bad idea. If your hair is not moisturized enough the flat iron is only going to burn it and you don’t want that. The goal is to have shiny, sleek, healthy hair.
- Use thermal protecting product. Make sure to invest in a proper kind of product. You can choose between sprays, oils, serums or gels, but it has to have a light texture, so it doesn’t weigh your hair down. Don’t use anything that leaves oily residue on your hair.
- Only flat iron recently washed hair. Let it dry naturally to minimize the stress it’s exposed to. You shouldn’t use a flat iron more than once a week, but if you need a quick fix during the week, use minimal heat. Before you start ironing make sure that your hair is completely dry.
- Smoothing balms or serums might help too. Look for the product that is resistant to humidity in the air. That way your hair won’t frizz and it will stay perfectly straight longer.
- Iron it slowly and carefully. It’s not a good idea to use flat iron on your hair when you are in a hurry. You need to properly separate your hair in two to four sections, and then use flat iron on one strand at a time. Brush out that strand before applying any heat to it. Begin near the roots of your hair and move the iron down in one smooth motion. Don’t iron too much hair at once, because big sections won’t be straightened properly.
- Don’t use the maximum temperature. Try out to see what the lowest temperature that straightens your hair is and use that setting on your flat iron, to make sure you won’t cause any damage to your hair.
- Protect your hair during the night. Wrap your hair in a silk or satin cover while you sleep. If your hair is not too long, you can sleep on a silk pillowcase and spread your hair gently on it, to avoid having it messy in the morning.
It is also extremely important what type of straightening iron you use on your hair. The best flat iron for natural African American hair must be strong enough to straighten it completely, but it also has to be of high quality materials, so it causes minimal or no damage. Read these advices to help you choose what works best for you:
- Try to go with 100% ceramic. These flat irons are the most expensive, but for a good reason. You don’t want an iron with hot plates that are just coated in ceramic layer. Those are significantly cheaper, but the layer of ceramic will quickly peel off, leaving your hair exposed directly to hot metal. You don’t want that at all, that way you’ll burn your hair a lot.
- Added Titanium or Tourmaline is a good choice. Flat irons with these materials smooth out and straighten natural African American hair very effectively. They are more expensive, but trz to find one on sale or online.
- Use flat irons that have small plates. Plates that are no more than one and a half inch wide are the best for the thickness of natural African American hair. You will be able to straighten your roots more easily with them if you work with small sections of hair.
- Look for a flat iron with adjustable temperature settings. Average temperature setting on flat irons which are not adjustable is around 400 degrees. This is simply too much. You have to make sure you can lower the temperature settings, especially if you plan on using your flat iron regularly. Try to go below 350 degrees. Wait a couple of seconds for your flat iron to reach the proper temperature setting.
If you put enough effort and care in your hair it will be strong and healthy and it will put up with all the stress of straightening it with a flat iron often better. If you use an iron of high quality, the damage will be minimized. Don’t iron your hair too often, make sure it’s properly hydrated and only then every hairstyle you try out will look great on you.