Summer is upon us! And although it might not be the summer we imagine, because of the pandemic (dancing outdoors; day drinking on the beach), we’re determined to still make it work by ensuring our hair looks and feels great. And if you’re planning on rocking straight hair, or styles that require heat during this season – or any season really – there are a few things to consider and apply in order to minimize heat damage.
Straight hair can most definitely be a vibe. We get it! Maintaining and styling curly hair on the daily can be a full time job that, for some of us, just doesn’t fit our lifestyle, which is where straightening comes to the rescue!
Also, we’ve got some news! We just launched two products – our Witch Hazel Scalp & Hair Nourishing Tea Rinse and our Moringa & Marula Sensitive Scalp Oil for the first time as individual products. Previously part of the #HAIRGOALS kit, these two magical products are essential for any naturalista looking to give her hair the TLC it needs whilst also retaining length. The Witch Hazel Tea Rinse can be used to keep the scalp nourished and free from itchiness and dryness, and our Moringa & Marula Sensitive Scalp Oil was created specifically to help dry, tight, itchy, sore, flaking scalp. You don’t want to miss grabbing them!
Now, back to the big question: is it possible to have healthy hair that’s been straightened? In a nutshell, you can minimize the damage it does – but avoiding it completely if you’re applying heat consistent is impossible. To ensure you maintain your curl pattern take major precautions and pay extra attention to your hair on wash day. Read below for our must-follow rules:
It’s not necessary or recommended to use high temperatures when straightening it. This can deeply damage the hair from the start and the brittleness that comes with it is what you want to avoid. Stick to medium temps for the best results.
An unfortunate caveat of using hot tools is that no matter how much you protect it, you’re still gonna experience dryness on some level. Restore lost moisture and nutrients by deep conditioning with every wash. The intense moisture levels are going to keep the hair nice and elastic, making the process of bouncing back after straightening a little bit easier. You can add two tablespoons of our Witch Hazel Tea Rinse into your deep conditioner for some extra nourishment. Witch hazel helps to soothe itchiness and irritation. It also has medicinal benefits and can aid in healing skin injuries, bruises, bites and inflammations. It also fights bacteria, making it a great natural way to clarify your scalp – creating the perfect base for straight hairstyles.
Note: The rinse will serve as your ‘liquid’ in the process. So follow these steps by going in with your oil and butter – dependent on the order you’re going for.
People will often say to use oils as natural heat protectants, but this is something you actually want to avoid since most oils have a smoking point once the temperature is too high, defeating the purpose. This is one of the few times you should apply a synthetic heat protectant to the hair, specifically one that contains silicone. This will create a protective barrier on the outside of your strands that will prevent it from experiencing the full brunt of the heat. If you straighten often you will have to make sure you clarify often to get rid of silicone buildup.
It’s recommended that if you’re straightening the hair more frequently, you should alternate between applying heat and using heat-free methods like wrapping the hair, using curlers, or using a cool blow dryer.
Flat irons are a dime a dozen, but a good flat iron should always have ceramic plates. Ceramic plated flat irons ensure even heat distribution, so it only requires one pass through the hair, rather than a half dozen. Going over the same section over and over again increases the chances of damage. Ceramic flat irons take the worry out of that and allow the heat to be applied thoroughly and evenly. These are ideal when straightening the hair because it helps keep the process gradual and damage to a minimum.
This is the method of running a fine or medium tooth comb through the hair at the same time as the flat iron. It helps stretch the hair as you’re straightening it and allows for better heat distribution. It takes some practice and it’s always easier when someone else does it for you, but it’s the best way to straighten out the tighter curl patterns without too much pulling or snagging.
Wash day should be the day when you do everything: shampoo, deep condition, moisturize, and style. If you use hot tools, it’s important not to use them between wash days because too much heat is only going to damage the hair more. Try to avoid your hot tools during the week and opt for heat free methods to keep the hair straight and make it last.
This is a surefire way to fry your curl pattern and you should always wait until you’re hair is completely dry before you apply heat to it. Using hot tools on soaking wet hair is not only kinda dangerous, it’s also deeply damaging because the hair cuticle is still wide open. You’ll notice an almost instant change in your curl pattern and the state of your ends during your next wash day.