I had to share my good news. I hit a major milestone this past weekend – I got my hair straight using the flat iron. Take my word for it when I say this was no small feat. I have attempted to straighten my using the flat iron and electric pressing comb on several occasions during my transition process this past year. Typically, I will notice the hair starting to revert before I finish my entire head. Not this time! I decided to put all of the tips and tricks that I have read about over the past year to use.
- I started with a good blow-dry session using a decent amount of heat to get the hair straight. I always apply a heat protectant on my hair prior to blow-drying so I wasn’t too concerned about heat damage.
- I fired up the flat iron and set the temperature on a higher level than I usually use but knew would likely get my hair straighter than in the past. I believe that increasing the temperature setting on the flat iron was the most critical step in the process. I use a Ceramic Tourmaline 1” flat iron. This time I put the heat setting on 33 which equates to approximately 400o – 440oF. Early on in my transition process, I read so many posts and listened to so many YouTubers warning that you can damage and ruin the natural curl pattern of your hair by using too much heat, that I’ve been afraid to crank up the heat. Now that I’m a year into the transition process and see the texture of my type 4a/b/c hair, I’m not as concerned about altering the natural curl pattern. Based on trial and error, I have found that I have to twist my hair to get the ‘curls’ I want so not sure that altering the natural curl pattern has to be a major concern for me. Time will tell.
- I took my time and parted my hair into small sections to help with the straightening process. I used a small tooth comb to comb each section before flat ironing to make sure all tangles were removed. I then applied oil to the length of the section before applying the heat. Based on past experience, applying too much oil or heat protectant to the hair before applying heat does not help me so I’ve learned a little goes a long way. My oil of choice this time was old school Blue Magic® Bergamot. It seemed to do the trick. I begged the mother of one of my friends several months ago to tell me what products she uses to press her hair and that was one of her staples. The ladies who rock the press n curls from back in the day have the straightness that I am trying to achieve. I have used heat protectant as well as whipped shea butter on my hair in the past while flat ironing and those would have likely worked just as well since I increased the temperature on the flat iron. I did two passes with the flat iron on each section.
- I cut a lot of the remaining permed ends in the top and middle of my head. All of the relaxer is out of the back half so just a little left in the front. Cutting the permed ends made the hair look fuller and styled in my opinion – especially since the natural hair was straight for a change.
I could tell immediately that there was a difference this time around. As I was flat-ironing the hair, I was noticing that the hair wasn’t attempting to revert back like in the past. When I finished, I was shocked. The end result was the closest to a relaxed look that I’ve had since I started the transition. It’s been four days since I flat-ironed the hair and it’s still pretty straight even after a session in the gym! Now that’s impressive. The end result has inspired me to continue on this journey to healthy hair. I will try to refrain from flat-ironing my hair on a weekly basis and continue utilizing the two-strand twists but it sure is nice to know that I have options.