At first I was scared of causing heat damage, so I vowed not to use a flat iron. But as I did more research, I discovered that an important part of preventing or minimizing heat damage is to use a good heat protectant. After scouring through what felt like dozens of heat protectants, I finally found one whose ingredients I am happy with. So I will be using a flat iron, but here are some tips I've found on safely flat ironing your hair:
- Always detangle your hair first! I know this goes without saying, but I still had to say it! lol
- Moisture, moisture, moisture I've been learning that it's vitally important to make sure your hair is properly moisturized prior to applying heat. Deep condition beforehand.
- Use a heat protectant Prior to putting any heat tool to your hair, you want to first apply a heat protectant. There are many options to choose from, so find the one that's right for you.
- Choose a flat iron with temperature control If you use a flat iron that has no temperature control, chances are it will get too hot, probably 400+ degrees. At those temperatures you are literally singing your hair.
- Use as little heat as possible to get your desired effect Figure out the lowest temperature setting that will yield your desired results.
- Once, twice, but not thrice The fewer passes you make on each section of hair, the better.
- Small sections When grabbing sections to flat iron, make sure they're not too big. If you flat iron too much hair at once, it'll take more passes to get your hair straight.
- Use a fine-toothed comb If you've ever had your hair flat-ironed in a salon, you probably noticed that the stylist used a fine-toothed comb in front of the flat iron on each pass. I haven't found much info that says this is absolutely necessary, but it is recommended if you'd like to take extra precautions against taking fewer passes with the flat iron.
- Different texture, different temp For the thicker, curlier, or kinkier parts of your hair, use a slightly higher temperature. For the areas of your head that have a looser, softer or wavier texture, use a lower temperature. I would probably avoid using high heat along your hairline in the front and back.
I will be posting the results of my straightening and length check soon. I'm so excited! Stay tuned :)