By Cipri­ana of UrbanBushBabes.com

If you have read any of my pre­vi­ous arti­cles you know how I feel about heat. I am not again­st the use of heat, many nat­u­rals use heat suc­cess­ful­ly for eas­ier detan­gling ses­sions or just to get a new look.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly going to a salon for a flat iron or a press can be an epic fail since most of the­se busi­ness­es are on a time crunch to make room for more clients, and use high­er amounts of heat for faster results.

But unless a salons is burn­ing incense, you should nev­er smell some­thing burn­ing in the air ladies. And just because a salon sells itself as specif­i­cal­ly cater­ing to nat­u­ral hair you shouldn’t be afraid to ask ques­tions about what tem­per­a­ture set­tings they use for YOUR hair (a safe tem­per­a­ture will vary depend­ing on the con­di­tion, tex­ture, strand thick­ness, den­si­ty and poros­i­ty), prod­ucts, qual­i­ty of tools, etc.

Now if you are try­ing to nurse your strands to health or gain more length I cam­paign for no heat because people’s idea of min­i­mum heat varies. In my per­son­al opin­ion min­i­mum heat use is, at most, once a mon­th, using the low­est set­ting on heat­ed tool or appli­ances as pos­si­ble. But if you know how to use heat on your own hair in a healthy way then any­thing above that is your own pre­rog­a­tive! (I’m not an anti-heat fanat­ic but I do love to see women’s hair flour­ish to what­ev­er hair goals they’ve set). The­se 12 tips are ded­i­cat­ed to the ladies who prefer a lit­tle heat in the kitchen!

1. Try plac­ing your hair in a non-heat stretched style such as braids the night before you are plan­ning to straight­en or blow-dry your hair. Then take them down in the morn­ing. This will make your straight­en­ing process much eas­ier, and require less heat, since your strands will be semi straight.

2. I know you may love your beloved heat tools, but as a pre­cau­tion I would sug­gest dis­card­ing most tools after 5–6 years. The tem­per­a­ture set­ting or gauge is more like­ly to work incor­rect­ly with age and you may not notice the change until it is too late.

3. Make sure you apply ther­mal pro­tec­tor on clean hair. Hair that is full of pro­duct can change the effects of the ther­mal pro­tec­tor, and dimin­ish the cov­er­age and pro­tec­tion for your strands.

4. If you are not try­ing to achieve bone straight hair and are straight­en­ing to ease your detan­gling efforts, skip the usage of heat on your ends. The years I did use heat I would stop about 3–4 inch­es above my ends and dry stretch the ends with braids or ban­tu knots. Your ends are the weakest part of your hair (because they are the old­est) so avoid expos­ing them to heat to reduce the risk of split ends.

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31 Comments on "How to Safely Straighten Natural Hair"

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Rosie

If you want to straight­en hair then you have to do it at your home by your self.and its very easy and nat­u­ral tips that make your hair per­fect straight.

Stella

Best arti­cle and yeah i agree with you this the best way to staight­en nat­u­ral hair at home inplace of wast­ing mon­ey in salon.

Lisa

BVery bor­ing and time con­sum­ing task going to salon for flat­ten hair.

Angel Christian

Thanks for the such a great tips while straightening.Its very nice tips.

Gayle Allen
Ok … I’ve only used heat on my hair twice since going nat­u­ral since 94, main­ly because it was short. 4 months ago I washed and deep con­di­tioned it and went to the salon to with lots of Giavon­ni Leave in con­di­tion­er in my hair and let the girl who has been cut­ting my hair for 6 years blow dry it. She used a round bush with an attach­ment on the blow dry­er; this was done in small sec­tions. My hair was very straight fol­low­ing this. I’m sure there was prob­a­bly some hair loss but I don’t think it was… Read more »
Sheron

What is a good heat pro­tec­tant if you have very oily hair?

Laura

Best heat pro­tec­tant I’ve used is the Pro Nat­u­rals Moroc­can Argan oil. It’s not greasy and argan oil is VERY ben­e­fi­cial for hair, espe­cial­ly dry, frizzy or chem­i­cal­ly treat­ed hair. Put some on after a show­er, blow dry and voila!!

rina abdusalam

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Brynne

What is the appro­pri­ate tem­per­a­ture to use on nat­u­ral hair?

trackback

[…] accord­ing to Black girl with long hair, the prop­er way is to do what I did but then wait for the hair to be 80% dry before start­ing to […]

Avelina Fyke

Thanks for the sug­ges­tions you are shar­ing on this web site. Anoth­er thing I would like to say is the fact get­ting hold of copies of your cred­it pro­file in order to check out accu­ra­cy of each and every detail will be the first motion you have to exe­cute in repair­ing cred­it. You are look­ing to clear your cred­it reports from dan­ger­ous details faults that wreck your cred­it score.

shanti

i flat iron my atu­ral hair the oth­er day now it wont get back to its nat­u­ral state after wash­ing it. help!!!!!

Chantel

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, that sounds like heat dam­age. This hap­pened to me before i knew the dan­gers of blow-dry­ing soak­ing wet hair.

Ashley F.

good arti­cle, I think hav­ing a list of the best heat pro­tec­tors could be ben­e­fi­cial too.

irobot review

Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It real­ly use­ful & it helped me out a lot. I am hop­ing to give one thing back and aid oth­ers such as you aid­ed me.

Tonna

What heat pro­tec­tants do you sug­gest? Thanks.

Shelli
I’m plan­ning on get­ting Afro Puffy Twists in Novem­ber, but am wary and unde­cid­ed about two things. I know that I need to have my hair “stretched” and believe that I’m going to do that myself (not trust­ing a salon as the last time I had a Domini­can blow out, the wom­an used high heat and passed the flat iron over my hair and my ends mul­ti­ple times). But, I haven’t straight­ened my hair myself in about 3 years and it’s a lot longer than it was the last time I did it!! I used to blow out my hair… Read more »
latisha

Sim­ply­onique (think thats the cor­rect spelling) has a great tuto­ri­al. Chk her out on youtube

Star

That Hen­na is Bling­ing girl!!! :) I love your hair, I’ve fol­lowed you indi­rect­ly, like when you post on CN or oth­er blogs, You are my hair idol! and hon­est­ly inspired me to hen­na my hair! Do you have a blog Shel­li?

hairscapades
I com­plete­ly for­got that I post­ed on this link! LOL! Star, yes, I have a blog. It’s hairscapades.com:). It’s always hyper­linked on my name in com­ments and in the posts on CurlyNikki. Thank you!!! Thanks for the info Tiffan­nie, though it’s obvi­ous I didn’t see it until now:(. I actu­al­ly end­ed up doing the blow out myself fol­low­ing MopTopMaven’s old post. I didn’t ful­ly straight­en for the twists, just did a ten­sion blow-out and it worked out fine! I’ll have to remem­ber the Aveda Con­cept salon in Brook­lyn though!! I actu­al­ly end­ed up get­ting my hair pressed in Orange, NJ yes­ter­day… Read more »
Tiffannie
Hi Shel­li, I don’t know of salons in jer­sey but I live ny and I’m in love with a styl­ist in Brook­lyn. The salon is called Wayne Agas­si. It’s and aveda Con­cept salon. His name is G. You can go by or they have a web­site just type it in google. I would also sug­gest using aveda prod­ucts they are expen­sive but work well. He straight­ens my hair with no prob­lem at all. And any­time I need a trim I go to him. I’ve been every­where in ny even to saks which was way too expen­sive but the very first… Read more »
Hope Morgan

What do you do if you’ve expe­ri­enced heat dam­age? Is cut­ting the hair off the only option?

Zyaran

But you can also use flexi rods and get the hair pret­ty much straight­ened that way as well. “Pret­ty­dim­ples01” just did a great video 10/15/11 on this minus the flake prob­lem from a new pro­duct she tried. But it came out gor­geous, and I will def­i­nite­ly be try­ing this new pro­duct.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb2Msu8Zapk&feature=channel_video_title

Jeanna

I real­ly like the tip to avoid straight­en­ing the ends. I’m def­i­nite­ly going to do that.

TGL
What a coin­ci­dence, I straight­ened my hair for the first time in a year the same day that this was post­ed. I set my hair (using curl­form­ers and mag­net­ic rollers) just to get it a bit straighter and then I went over my hair once with the flat iron on a medi­um temp. Both my set­ting foam (ker­acare), flat iron spray protectant(Fantasia IC pink bot­tle) and curl wax (ker­acare) pro­tect my hair. My hair isnt super straight, but it’s straight, and I was able to trim bet­ter than I have all year. I fol­lowed this same method last year and… Read more »
Phoenix

I love roller set­ting! Okay…maybe I’ve nev­er tru­ly tried anoth­er stretch­ing method in order to reduce heat, but I can’t imag­ine any­thing work­ing as well as roller­set­ting. I would set my hair in the biggest rollers pos­si­ble, have them dry com­plete­ly, use a heat pro­tec­tant in small amounts (oth­er­wise my hair ends up look­ing and feel­ing limp) and then iron with my GHD in small sec­tions, going over the hair only once, thus hav­ing bone straight hair with LOTS of body and move­ment.

NIa/Chic Working Moms

Great post! Very good tips I’ve nev­er heard of before. I need to straight­en next week for a trim so I’ll be book­mark­ing this for sure!

MsAfriKanaChic

I use curl­form­ers before I flat Iorn my hair because I’m able to achieve an almost press & curl style using them; result­ing in less usage of heat when I run the flat iron over it after tak­ing out the curlers.

Clf

What kind of heat­pro­tec­tors do you advise?

Joy

This is a very good arti­cle and the tips are so great! I’ve only learned to cher­ish my hair as of late and I’m coast­ing in to my sec­ond year ful­ly nat­u­ral. I only per­med by hair because it’s very curly and I want­ed to loosen the curl pat­tern. I’m grate­ful I learned my lesson and I’m off the creamy crack! 

Thank you for such an infor­ma­tive site. I love it!

LBell

Anoth­er great post…thanks, Cipri­ana!

I haven’t used direct heat on my hair (irons, etc.) in 8 years but when I did I always tried to stretch my hair as much as pos­si­ble before­hand, usu­al­ly through heat-free meth­ods like plait­ing or roller­sets. I have fine, most­ly 4b strands and I was always sur­prised at how straight I was able to get them sim­ply by stretch­ing; it meant I nev­er had to use high heat. I also nev­er went for “bone-straight”; it looked and moved like straight hair, but kept a lot of its body. I nev­er suf­fered any heat dam­age at all.

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