I flat ironed my hair yesterday and I figured that I should do a post on safe flat ironing. It seems that with all the information out there about caring for our hair, heat has become the enemy. I believe that like everything else, heat can be used in moderation without having harmful effects to your hair. Below are some useful tips for flat ironing:
1. Deep Condition for atleast one hour prior to flat ironing. This is important as it infuses moisture and protein into the strands. Curly hair normally reverts when flat ironed because of humidity (moisture in the atmosphere), if your hair is moisturised well, it would not suck moisture from the atmosphere into your hair, thus your press would last longer.
2. Use a liquid leave-in. I have found that cream leave-in conditioners make my hair heavy and limp when I flat iron.
3. Use a heat protectant
A good protectant is absolutely necessary when using heat. Fine strand ladies should use a liquid and for thicker strands a serum can be used.
4. Try to air dry your hair in braids or blow dry on the cool setting prior to flat ironing
Most people blow dry their hair to prepare for flat ironing. This helps stretch out the curls and makes the press last longer. Instead of blow drying on high heat, a warm or cool temperature can be used along with the tension method. A better alternative is to braid the hair and air dry or sit under a bonnet dryer.
5. Try low manipulation styles on pressed hair.
Twist outs, braid outs, bantu knot outs etc. are great on pressed hair. After wearing a fresh press for about a week, it tends to get a bit heavy and the *swag* is gone. These styles are great as it allows you to wear your press for a longer time. My flat ironed hair can last for about a month. This helps in reducing how often heat is used. I think using heat once a month should be the max. for our hair.
6.NEVER RE-FLAT IRON ALREADY FLAT IRONED HAIR
This is a BIG mistake many ladies make. Please do not do this, it is very damaging to our hair. The effect may not be visible immediately but after some time you will get breakage.
7. Use the comb-chase method. This is simply inserting a comb into the root of the section you are ironing, as you move your comb downward, insert the flat iron behind the comb and follow it down to the ends.
8. Be mindful of the thickness of your strands and using the appropriate temperature. Thick strands need a higher temperature 450F is good for this type of hair. Medium hair like mine should be pressed using 400-430 F and fine hair ladies should use a temperature below 400F. This is just a general guideline as curl pattern and general health of the hair must also be considered.
Below are some pictures of my flat iron results, yes I am aware that I am posing like super woman lol, I was just trying to give an idea of where my natural waist is ;)
|freshly washed and deep conditioned hair|
|Blown out on low heat using tension method|
I hope these tips are useful, thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment and subscribe.