Yay! Very happy to have my natural texture back!
Hello ladies! I am happy to report that there is not one strand of heat damaged hair on this natural head of mine! I can't say that I wasn't a little nervous because my first flat ironing experience a couple years ago was not as successful. As I've said before, flat ironing your natural hair is always risky(when keeping your natural pattern and texture is important!) I was confident in the condition of my hair going in for my service but there was still an element of fear because I wasn't the one flat ironing it. Although I am no pro at flat ironing or preventing heat damage, yet! I can definitely share some tips that will lessen your chances of crippled curls!
- Don't have your hair flat ironed on a whelm.. Prepare your hair 1 to 2 weeks in advance
- During prep week(s) do a strengthening treatment on your hair (you can do Henna or a mild protein conditioning treatment) & do a Deep Moisturizing Conditioning treatment.
- During prep week Moisturize, Moisturize,Moisturize(you can wear wash n goes, or increase co-washes, never flat ironed dry brittle hair)
- If you're seeing a stylists, book a consult in person first to discuss their process and your expectations
- The day of your service make sure your hair is clarified or cleansed well(you can opt to deep condition again if you choose)
- Don't blow dry soak and wet hair on high heat. Use low to med heat or you can put in chunky twists and let it stretch dry up to 85% or sit under a dryer
- Add a Heat Protectant before using direct heat
- Blow dry your hair the rest of the way, I would use a med setting. (Some people can skip blow drying all together)
- Use a ceramic plate flat iron with a temperature gauge (Avoid the marcel stove irons)
- Flat iron small pieces of hair; no more than one or two passes
- To up keep, do not add any more heat, use natural styling(bantu knot outs, Bun outs etc.)
- Also, try to limit flat ironing to no more than twice a year if your natural texture/curl pattern is important to you
What temp should I use? On Temperature I personally would not go over 400 degrees f on the iron. But everyone's hair is different and it would be smart to start off as low as you can and work your way up in heat as needed to get results you are comfortable with. Also, if you have textures throughout your head that are looser than others, I would lower the temp to avoid heat damage in those areas because they typically don't need as much heat to get straight.
ONE LAST TIP! When I was ready to wash my natural hair back in I used Hydratherma Naturals Amino Acid Protein conditioner first, as a deep treatment(over night). My texture bounced back gloriously!
Well, until Next Time!!