Perfect blowouts don’t just happen in salons. You can get the same effects at home as well. But if you’ve been straightening your hair the same way since middle school, chances are, it puffs up into a frizzy nightmare after a long day.
Knowing how to maintain flat-ironed natural hair will help you transform your look for days while minimizing hair damage.
While straight hair can be challenging to achieve using a flat iron, it’s even harder to maintain. Despite the popularity of flat irons, not many people know the right hair straightening techniques that will make them look chic for a longer period.
To help you enjoy your straight hair for days, there are many valuable tips that can help.
Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner
You can’t decide that you want to keep your hair straight just a few minutes before you go outside. If you want to maintain flat-ironed natural hair, the trick is to start your commitment in the shower.
Invest in a good shampoo that will give your hair smoothness. Look for products with keratin since your hair is largely made up of this protein.
When your shampoo and conditioner have a good amount of keratin, you will enjoy smoother hair because it will smooth down the layers in your hair cuticle.
Shampooing your hair also allows you to get rid of dirt, oil, and any unwanted buildup so your hair can absorb moisture from the conditioner.
In the same way, always apply conditioner even if you’re in a rush. While shampoo eliminates grime, it also gets rid of your hair’s natural oils. When you apply conditioner, you can seal moisture and keep your hair from becoming frizzy even after a long day.
If you have extra time, opt for a deep conditioner treatment with keratin. Let it sit in your hair for 10-30 minutes. Be generous since you’ll wash this out later.
Use Leave-in Serum
Apply hair serum and make sure it is anti-humidity or anti-humectant. If not, you’ll spend hours flat-ironing your natural hair only to have it puff up the minute you go out of the house, especially when humidity and temperatures rise. There are tons of products geared for different hair types – wavy, curly, thick, or dry.
Ultimately, get a product that protects and coats your hair strands and seals your split ends. This way, your hair will get the maximum amount of keratin and moisture to penetrate each hair strand.
Keep in mind that if your hair is already loaded with moisture, it will stay straighter for longer.
Apply Heat Protectant
Natural hair needs extra care so it can stay straight even during the humid and rainy seasons. The ultimate way to do this is to protect your hair from further damage by applying nourishing products.
To nurse your hair back to health, use a little amount of heat protectant spray to slow heat transfer from hair tools to your hair fiber. However, be careful of applying too much since it will only weigh down your hair. While heat protectants and leave-in products are things you shouldn’t miss out on, make sure to apply them properly.
Blow-Dry Your Hair
If you have curly hair, a single pass of flat iron won’t magically straighten it. One important trick in how to maintain straight hair is to take out all the major curls using a hairdryer. This is important, especially if you have coarse hair.
First, brush your hair with a wide-toothed comb. Your hair is at its weakest when it’s wet, so if you forgo using a wide-toothed comb, you may damage or break your hair strands. Start detangling with your comb, and work your way up.
Then, use a concentrator attachment if you have one and a round brush to make the hair straight before you whip out your flat iron. The round brush will enable hot air to flow freely through the brush holes, making it less stressful for your hair.
Lift a small section of your hair with your round brush under it, and apply heat from the blow dryer from above. Move slowly. Repeat this process until all the kinks in your hair disappear.
This process may sound time-consuming, but it will actually enable you to save time in the flat ironing process.
If you have wavy or straight hair, you can skip this step since there is no need to add more heat to your hair. Just wash your locks the night before, or give it time to air dry before you take out your flat iron.
Apply Hair Spray
Many women think of hair spray as a post-styling product. However, applying it to your dry hair before you straighten it will allow you to keep it looking sleek for a longer period.
Make no mistake – this is not the time to whip out your favorite strong hold hair spray since it will only make your locks crispy after using your flat iron.
Light hold spray is the ultimate product for this step. This will allow you to keep frizz at bay and keep your curls from coming back when the weather is humid.
Use Your Flat Iron
One thing you need to learn if you want to maintain flat ironed natural hair is to let your hair cool down before touching it with a flat iron. This will allow each hair cuticle to stay flat and prevent moisture from seeping into the hair strand.
Your flat iron of choice also plays a big role in keeping your hair straight for days. As much as you can, only use professional flat irons with titanium or ceramic plates.
This will reduce the potential damage it can cause to your hair. Not only that, professional hair tools distribute heat evenly so your hair won’t suffer from hot spots.
Thankfully, flat irons are not that expensive, and there are tons of products on the market priced at less than $100. If you want to flat iron your hair regularly, professional flat irons are something you should not skimp on since it’s worth the investment.
Turn on your flat iron and make sure the temperature does not exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need a high temperature if you have coarse hair. If you have fine, damaged, or color-treated hair, do not go beyond 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
When ironing your hair, the key is consistency. Divide your hair into small sections and always start from the root to the end.
If you grab big sections of your hair, the flat iron won’t be able to get to every strand. Straightening your hair in small sections will also ensure no additional heat application.
Even if your hair already looks straight from blow drying it, you need to start from the root, so you don’t get unmanageable textures in the middle of your hair.
After a few tries, you’ll eventually get the hang of this motion. When needed, pull your hair to create tension, especially if you are working with curly hair. This will prep your strands by giving them direction.
Finish with Products
If your hair easily curls up even after you use a flat iron, invest in good hair styling products. For this step, you can use your light hair spray again after your hair has cooled down.
Shake the can and hold it a foot away from your hair before you spray it on your hair.
Proper Maintenance is Key
While braids or updos will make you look stylish, they could ruin all your effort and put unwanted kinks in your hair. After your hair straightening routine, leave it down until it’s completely cool, and if you need to tie it back, use a soft hair tie instead of an elastic one.
You also need to protect your hair when you’re sleeping. After all, the way you put pressure on your hair can destroy its style. Before you sleep, wrap your hair in a silk scarf since cotton pillowcases can be rough.
Avoiding water and moisture for as long as possible. This is important if you want to maximize your hair straightening efforts. No matter how tempting it is to touch your silky hair, avoid it. Your fingertips produce oils that can be transferred to your hair and may make it look limp and oily.
If your hair is starting to get greasy, use dry shampoo to reduce the oil and buildup in your scalp. Then, brush it outwards. This will let you enjoy silky straight hair days after you use a flat iron.
Achieving Straight Hair is Easier Than You Think
The only reason why most women are intimidated to try straight hairstyles is that they usually don’t know how to achieve it. After trying the tips listed and finding out the techniques that work best for your hair, you can finally make it your go-to hairstyle.
Are you excited to straighten your hair with a flat iron?