How To Straighten Black Hair

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February 20, 2011 ‐ By Genevieve St. Bernard

Proper straightening can be the difference between a gorgeous ‘do right now and the ability to have gorgeous hair later on. Excessive heat and poor technique can cause Black hair major damage.

Prepare The Hair: Wash your hair thoroughly (if product build-up is an issue, use a clarifying shampoo) and towel dry, being careful to remove all excess water. Apply a light weight conditioner, straightening cream, serum or oil to the entire length of your hair; you don’t have to use one designed for Black hair, but be sure to select one that will adequately protect and moisturize your strands.

Blow Dry: If you have a high-quality blow dryer, you may be able to use it to straighten your hair without using an additional heat styling tools. However, this may not work on Black hair that is very course or tightly curled. Put the blow dryer on the highest setting and dry while running a comb through your hair, until it is straight.

Flat Ironing: A flat iron is one of the best styling tools to have in your beauty aresenal; however, it is recommended that you invest in a good one (such as the CHI, which is extremely popular amongst stylists who work with Black hair), especially if you plan to straighten your hair often.

Roller Set:  This is a classic straightening method for Black hair, as you very well may have seen your grandmother set her hair on rollers back in the day. Substitute the products above for a setting lotion. Roll your hair neatly and sit under a hooded dryer for 20-30 minutes, until the hair is completely dry. Remove the rollers delicately. Your hair will be straight with a nice curl at the end.

Pressing Comb: Another old school Black hair staple, hot combs can be pretty dangerous if not used properly. Chose a plug-in model, as opposed to the kind that requires sitting on a burner and comb through hair that has been dried thoroughly and moisturized with a lightweight oil.  Most hot combs don’t come with a temperature control, so be mindful of how hot your hair is getting. Excessive heat can cause Black hair to break very easily (I can’t say that often enough).

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