If you have naturally curly hair, you’re probably well aware that it can sometimes take an a lot of hair styling products and heat tools to create a smooth, sleek look. It’s not as simple as a quick blow-dry after a hot shower or swiping a flat iron over your hair. You have to space out time in your schedule and use appropriate technique to straighten kinky-curly hair. If you're not getting the results you want when you flat iron your hair, it may not be the iron it could be your technique. Try these 5 tips for flat ironing for a smooth, sleek finish!
Before you even turn on that flat iron, ask yourself this: is my hair well-conditioned? Is it moisturized? If it's not, turn that iron off and tend to your hair first. The most important thing for your hair is health. The heat required to straighten your hair can be very damaging so if your hair is already compromised stay away form the heat!
NEVER Start with Dry Hair
The most effective straightening starts from is on a wash day (and deep conditioning, if necessary) . If you have very kinky hair it's best to wash it in sections to make it more manageable and much easier to detangle. I've always found it easier to detangle my hair while it is wet and coated with conditioner! You have to do your part to make sure you're only applying direct heat to hair that's in a condition where it can handle it without doing further damage. If you try to brush out very curly hair when it's dry, you're likely to get a lot more breakage which can also result in matting your roots.
Straighten in Small Sections
Keep your hair in sections and use a towel to blot away as much of the excess moisture as you can. Work on small sections of the hair so that you can reach the roots! This make sure every inch of the hair is thoroughly brushed, dried, and moisturized. Use a tail comb along with a wide tooth comb to part the hair into layers, starting at the back and pinning the rest of the hair out of the way. Big, chunky sections won't straighten properly.
Nourish with Oils
It's really important, especially for kinky-curly hair, to add in conditioning products while you're straightening your hair. I use Hot Cocoa from Curly Temple on towel dried hair hair and run it through each section with my fingers before applying heat. For finer hair types, you might be better off with a leave in conditioner instead of an oil. A heat protection spray is also a great idea, but try to use one that doesn't have a lot of alcohol in it. Look for humidity-resistant formulas, particularly if you live in a climate where moisture-filled air makes a frizzy mess of your straightening work as soon as you step out the door.
Use Blow-Dry Brush Comb
Make sure you dry your hair thoroughly before going anywhere near it with straighteners, or you'll get the dreaded sizzle. Some people swear by blow dryers with comb attachments, but I've personally never found them that effective. My hair is very kinky and I would often break the comb. I prefer to use the modified tension method along with detangling with a wide tooth comb this will help to elongate the hair.
Invest in a Good Straightener
It's worth investing in a good pair of straighteners, because some straighteners just won't be able to tackle very curly hair. Your hair should only be ironed at a low setting, below 300 degrees, as it is fine and damaged (the same goes for chemically treated hair). Normal hair can be ironed at 300-380 and thick, coarse or extra curly hair at 350-400. And don't get fooled, though—a heat protectant helps, but even the best brand won't hold up to heat that's too high. Don't crank it up high. Stick to the absolute minimum temperature you can use to get good results. Try not to flat iron when you're on a time limit. Flat ironing is is a technique that requires slow, controlled movement, but also avoiding letting the iron sit in one place for any length of time. Once straightened style your hair however you like! I recommend adding a little castro oil to make your hair shine and minimize frizz!