Natural African American hair can seem to have a mind of its own; sometimes it can be really hard to style it and keep it neat if a more formal situation requires that. This type of hair is more likely to be thick and coarse, and because of its dryness it is prone to breaking and it can be easily damaged if you apply too much heat to it. Flat ironing can be a great idea if you need a quick way to straighten your natural hair, but you have to be extremely careful not to damage your precious locks in any way. We give you tips both about the right styling products for your type of hair and about the flat iron you should use. Just remember – flat ironing is not something you should be doing every day! Do it just once a week, with one quick fix couple of days later only if it’s absolutely necessary.
Choose your styling products carefully:
- First thing you must think about is proper moisturizing. Your hare must be adequately hydrated before you apply any kind of heat to it. Use a conditioner that works well with your hair after every washing. That way you will get healthy looking, shiny and smooth hair.
- Apply thermal protectant before you flat iron your hair. They can be found as a spray that you lightly apply to each strand of hair before you iron it, or you can find something with a consistency of a balm or a gel, that you apply to wet hair after washing.
- Smoothing balms are good if your hair is really stubborn, and it just won’t stay flat. They are usually resistant to moisture in the air too, so your hair doesn’t get frizzy immediately after you leave your house.
- Make sure your hair is protected while you sleep. You should always wrap your hair in a silk or sating cover before you go to sleep. That way it won’t get tangled and you will prevent static electricity in the morning.
It’s important to have a right flat iron too:
- Choose 100% ceramic. Read the label carefully, there are many flat irons that only have ceramic-coated plates, and these can be really dangerous once that layer peels off. Ceramic is the best heat conductor that won’t cause burning of your hair, but it will be strong enough to straighten it completely.
- Added Titanium or Tourmaline is a nice bonus. These flat irons tend to be most expensive but they are also very effective on natural hair. Try to find one on a sale. This is usually the best flat iron for natural hair.
- Use only flat irons with small plates. This is the best way to catch every strand of your hair uniformly and next to the roots. That section is going to be extremely tricky if you have an iron with plates more than one inch wide.
- Make sure you can adjust your temperature. Experiment yourself to find the minimal temperature needed to iron out your hair. If that temperature is not adjustable on your flat iron, you’re probably burning your hair every time you use it. Try to not increase the heat more than 350 degrees, and try to go over each individual strand of hair no more than once or twice.
No matter how careful you are and how good your flat iron is, try not to flat iron your hair too often. Every time you do it, you expose it to a lot of stress and that is bad for it on the long run. You need to make sure it’s completely clean every time you iron it, and that you’ve done the ironing process meticulously and carefully without damaging some sections excessively. If you use our tips and high quality nurturing products your hair will stay smooth and silky longer so you won’t have to iron it that much. You need to take a break from doing it every couple of weeks. That way not only your hair rests, but you show everyone how versatile and wonderful natural hair can be. When it’s shiny and completely flat it will be truly breathtaking.