Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Ladi's Tresses: Straightening Natural Hair, A Step-By-Step Tutorial

When I'm planning to straighten my hair, I always start by pre-pooing.  I usually end up straightening on a Friday night after work, so to save time I do this by wearing a shower cap with a thick winter hat over it for 30 min to 1 hour while eating dinner and getting all of my supplies ready to do my hair.

I shampoo with a sulfate free shampoo. (Shea Moisture Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo)

I condition with a cheapie conditioner to detangle. (Suave Tropical Coconut Conditioner)  This is what my hair looks like after rinsing:

I then use a dime size amount of leave-in conditioner ( that is either a liquid or has a thin consistency) for each half of my hair.  (Kinky Curly Knot Today)

Now it's time to start using heat.  I use a quarter size amount of a heat protecting straightening creme to prepare my hair before I blow dry it.  (CHI Straight Guard).  

My blow dryer has 3 air speed settings (low-medium-high) and 3 heat settings (cool-warm-hot).  I blow dry on medium heat with the lowest air speed. Depending on how I feel, I may use a blowdryer with a comb attachment, or use the round brush technique to stretch out my hair during the blowdrying session.

Between the blowdrying and flat ironing step, I apply a heat protecting serum. (GVP Silk Infusion or Fantasia IC Heat Protecting Serum).

I then part my hair into 4 sections, take one section and begin to flat iron my hair in small, 1-inch sections.  I set the temperature on my flat iron to anywhere from 360-400 degrees. 

The final step is to use an anti-humectant to lock in the moisture that's already in my hair, and block out the moisture from the air.  This is a KEY STEP in preventing frizz and keeping the hair from reverting.   (Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade)
The final result:

To prepare my hair for bed, I start by parting my hair from ear to ear. I comb back the front section of hair as if i'm going to make a high ponytail at the top of my head, then I take that section and roll it into a large flexirod. Next I gather the back section and comb it up to the top of my head and set it with a flexirod. I use the 7/8" purple flexirods:

Here is what my hair looks like with the flexirods in:

I then tie a mesh wrap around my head and cover it with a large triangle wrap cap to sleep.

When I wake up, my hair has a nice, loose curl to it.  With my nighttime routine, and applying a little bit of oil and the Aveda Brilliant Anti-Humectant Pomade on my hair every couple of days, my straight hair lasts about 2 weeks.

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