Saturday, June 22, 2013

Learning How to Straighten My Hair

This post is WAY late, but of course I had to share my most recent straightening experience since this only happens every 6 months. 

For starters, this time around I educated myself prior to reaching for the heat. It's funny, but for some reason I'd never researched how to properly straighten my hair before. One particular You Tuber really helped me: Longhairdontcare2011. From the videos I watched, she seems to prefer to manage her curls by "heat training." This means she uses heat on a pretty regular basis so she's very familiar with how to do so without damaging her hair. And did I mention that her hair is about hip length? Yeah. She knows her stuff.

Armed with valuable info on how to straighten my hair safely, these are the steps I took:
  • New flat iron My old flat iron wasn't good anymore because I'm pretty sure the ceramic surface had worn off and it didn't have a temperature control, meaning it reached its max temp of 450 degrees. Yeah I know, yikes that's too much heat. This time I purchased a new flat iron that I'd been researching for some time: the Sedu Revolution Tourmaline Ionic Styling Iron. I really like the Sedu because it has 1) temp control and 2) smooth plates made of tourmaline and ceramic, which I read are good for flat ironing safely. Also, I only had to use it twice: once to straighten and the next day to curl my ends, and my hair stayed straight for 24 days with very little reversion only around my edges. With my old flat iron - the FHI Heat - I'd have to constantly touch up my hair (even though I knew not to use a flat iron on dirty hair) because it would revert so quickly, especially with any humidity. But even with all the humidity in the air while my hair was straight this time around, my hair still remained straight. It was great!
  • Air dried hair After learning that Longhairdontcare2011 air dries her hair before blow drying, I decided to do the same so I wouldn't have to blow dry my soaking wet hair, possibly causing more damage. But this is why it's important to know your hair, because while this technique works well for Longhairdontcare2011's heat-trained, wavy curls, it did not work well for my kinky-coily strands. I felt like I was causing more damage than I would have had it been wet. Maybe my hair is easier to blow dry when it's wet because my strands have a good amount of elasticity, meaning they can stretch significantly without popping.
  • Protein conditioner co-wash Since I'd washed my hair a few days prior to straightening, I decided to skip the shampoo step and jump right to the protein conditioner. Since I'm pregnant and not able to spend a long time on my hair, I've decided to replace my monthly henna treatments with the ApHogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor for my protein treatments. I like this conditioner; it is a light protein treatment that leaves my hair soft and strong.
  • Heat protectant The first day I used a spray-on heat protectant. The second day I applied a teeny bit of a serum heat protectant to my hair, focusing on the ends, prior to curling. I have yet to find a heat protectant that I'm "sold out" to.
Post-wash. Twisted hair to air dry.
After blow drying. YAY FRO!
Testing for best heat setting.
Left: 340 degrees. Right: 400 degrees.
I went with 400.
Post-flat ironing, prior to getting a trim.
Next day, after a trim.
Second time using Sedu. Added Farrah Fawcett
curls :) This was my first time curling with
a flat iron. I really liked how it turned out.
The Sedu Revolution...

Love the smooth plates - they left my hair
so soft and smooth!
Ah, yes. Thank God for temperature settings :)
After rockin' the Farrah Fawcett look for a bit,
this is how I ended up wearing my hair for about
a week. Since it was so humid I was trying to
preserve my straight look.
I enjoy wearing my hair straight. The funny thing is, I have the habit of complimenting other naturals on their luscious curls, but when my hair is straight I feel funny doing that, almost like I'm a traitor or they wouldn't believe that I'm natural, lol. But otherwise I like the straight look. I might even begin straightening once every 3 months instead of 6 months so I can stay on top of trimming. I like my hair at the length it is, but in order for it to fill in the way I'd like, I have to make sure I take better care of my ends. Between straightenings I'll also be sealing my ends more, a practice that I never really got into since my hair was growing in spite of it.

Until next time!

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