One of the questions we hear the most from you, is how to straighten hair in a way that does not damage it. It took us a long time to get to a routine that gave us desirable results with minimal damage and to be honest, we are constantly researching new things we may add or get rid of.
Also, we do not straighten often or use heat, so that may be a contributing factor for the lack of damage since it is only done occasionally. From my sisters, I am the one who does it the least since I slack off on my regular daily routine so I get scared that I am playing with my luck lol. But this time that I straightened it, I made sure to document my steps so you guys can see how I do it by myself. So lets’s get to it:
The day before (if your hair tangles as easily as mine) I detangled my hair. I pre-poo’d as usual with coconut oil (so it started and helped the detangling process) followed by shampooing with my sulphate shampoo since I want to get rid of all product build-up, then I air dried and went to work. When I pre-poo with coconut oil my hair feels super soft so I didn’t need to put a leave-in to help, but if that is not the case for you, go ahead and add the leave-in. Another alternative is to add conditioner while in the shower and detangle there. Do whatever works with your hair and whichever method you’re most confortable with.
The next day (yes, these are my Simba pajamas) when I woke up I dampened my hair with a spray bottle.
Then used Philip Kingsley’s Elasticizer Extreme Treatment. Honestly, we love the Philip Kingsley brand since it has a line that caters to coarse/ African-Caribbean hair! The price is a little steep and it is kind of hard to get a hand on some of the products, because of that whenever I use any of their products I will try to give you an alternative that should suit your needs. Another thing that I love about Philip Kingsley is that their website is full of information so you can go check it out here if you want more info.
*Alternatives: Joico Moisture Recovery Conditioner / Macadamia Deep Recovery Treatment
After that I shampoo’d my hair with Avalon Organics Clarifying Lemon Shampoo and followed with the Philip Kingsley Re-moisturizing Conditioner.
Next, I used Thayers Original Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera as a scalp toner. I will be completely honest with you, this is the first time I do this and I only did it because in the conditioner bottle it said that I should follow with scalp toner. Because I did not have it, I went to the Philip Kingsley website and read the ingredients of their scalp toner and witch hazel is one of the first. I love my witch hazel and swear by it for my skin (as you can see in my skin routine post here) so I really wanted to see how else I could use it. I sprayed it on my scalp to avoid irritation, dandruff and dry scalp. Next, I sprayed some Joico Daily Care Leave- In detangler which is also a thermal protectant and then let my hair dry.
*Alternatives for Leave-in: Phillip Kingley Straight Hair Gel / Revlon Equave
When I dry my hair I use a microfiber towel but a 100% cotton t-shirt is good as well. I left it on my head for 10 minutes then took it out and let my hair air dry for about an hour. My hair takes forever to dry, so after an hour it was still damp but that’s what I need in order to blow dry it. I blow dry under high heat and used my hairbrush, although Elle and Di have a handle-less blow drier that has a comb attachment that works wonders (do not worry they will do a post as well). It is best to not blow dry wet hair since it needs more heat to get drier, that is why I let my hair become damp to the touch.
After that, it’s time to flat iron it! To ensure a nice long lasting result I first added the Chi Iron Guard for protection and used what some call the chase method. Each time I took a small section of hair, and brushed it with a boar bristle brush (because my hair was already detangled from the day before, it was easier) and chased the brush with the flat iron. Once the whole section was straight, I combed it one more time with the brush to avoid flyaways.
And here is my final result! Super shiny hair that felt healthy from the get-go!!
Let us know if you have any tricks for straightening your hair and what steps you usually take, also let us know any questions you may have now that I showed you how I do it!