by Nicole Harmon of HairLiberty.org
Summer is approaching and for many naturals, that means switching it up and trying out new styles. Straightened styles are an option but because heat styling should be used at a minimum, it’s important to get as much wear out of them as possible. Here are 4 ways to make your straightened styles last longer:
1. Use products that promise humidity protection
The hair at your roots is usually the first to revert back to curly because it absorbs the most moisture whenever you sweat, take a hot shower, or go outside in humid weather. Back in the day, all we had was grease, but now hair care companies make “humidity protection” and “anti-frizz” products that prevent reversion by covering your hair with a lightweight protective film. To prep your hair for straightening, shampoo, deep condition, apply a leave-in conditioner and then a styling cream or foam that promises to “block humidity” or keep your hair “frizz-free”. Try Hair Rules Blow Out Your Kinks or Living Proof Straight Styling Cream.
2. Choose a “flexible” hold hair spray or skip it
A good hair spray can lock your hair in place better than any other product, but you don’t want it to be too stiff or sticky. Choose a hair spray that says “flexible”, “workable”, or “natural” hold like Nexxus Comb Thru. Always spray from as far away as possible for the best results. To get the most days out of your straight hair, skip hair spray altogether.
3. Protect your hair from shower steam using a moisture-wicking headband and a shower cap
You’ll definitely wear a shower cap in the shower, but your hair may still revert from the steam. Keep your hairline away from the water by putting on a moisture-wicking headband. The microfiber in the headband will absorb moisture and trap it between the threads of fabric. Put on the headband, then the shower cap, and keep your shower short.
4. Wrap or pin curl your hair at night and tie on a scarf
Your straight hair will last longer if your strands aren’t allowed to rub up against each other while you sleep. If your roots usually revert quickly, take the time to pin curl your hair at night after applying a very small amount of moisturizer or serum to each section. Tie on a satin or silk scarf to keep your hair in place and your edges smooth. You can get away with less bedtime prep, but the better your hair is protected at night, the better it will look the next day.
Following these tips can make your straight hair last for weeks, but that’s a long time to go without washing your hair. If your scalp starts to get itchy, it’s begging to be shampooed and conditioned. You can buy yourself a few extra days by blotting excess oil from your scalp with an alcohol-free toner or a mixture of 1/8 cup aloe vera gel and 3 drops of tea tree oil. To keep your hair healthy with minimal breakage, it’s best to shampoo and condition at least once a week.
Nicole Harmon is a Cosmetic Chemist and the Founder of HairLiberty.org. She has received rave reviews for her seminars on ethnic hair education and science. She’s on a mission to help the Product Junkies of the world save MONEY, sort through marketing HYPE and buy SMARTER!