If you have curly or wavy hair, you probably get a lot of compliments and a lot of people that are envious of your hair’s natural body. Most people with straight hair don’t know the challenges that often come with curly hair, and there are days when you wish your hair were straight.
Not only can straightening your hair be a lot of work, but it can also be damaging to your locks so many curly-haired individuals opt to go au naturel. Want to straighten your hair without relying on a flat iron or harsh straightening chemicals? Here are five of the safest ways to tame your curls without damaging your hair.
Keep in mind that depending on how curly your hair is, you may need to try more than one method.
Use Jumbo Rollers And A Straightening Product
You might be wondering how rollers can straighten your hair when they are designed to create curls for people with straight hair. This method takes a little time and patience, but your hair will thank you for treating it so gently.
After you have washed your hair, gently towel-dry your hair until it is damp, and apply a generous amount of straightening product in your hair. There are tons of straightening serums on the market, but the safest ones that are most gentle on your hair have natural ingredients and help keep your hair healthy.
Once your hair is “prepped” you can put jumbo-sized rollers in your hair; the bigger, the better. The hardest part is waiting for your hair to air dry during this straightening method. Once your hair is dry, use a paddle brush to smooth out your hair and a final product, like hairspray, is recommended.
This safe straightening method is ideal when you’re spending the day at home and don’t have to be anywhere until later in the day.
Almond Milk Treatment
If you’ve ever purchased an over-the-counter straightening mask or had your hair straightened at the salon, you most likely loved the look but hated the chemical smell that lingered; many “industrial” straightening products contain harsh chemicals like formaldehyde. Wouldn’t you rather try something natural?
While you can spend several hours and lots of money at your salon, why not try a natural, DIY hair mask in the comfort of your own home?
This hair mask contains almond milk, which is loaded with Vitamin E, which will keep your hair strong (rather than the dreaded breakage that often comes with straightening). If you already have almond milk on hand, you can make this hair mask in no time.
To make the straightening treatment, mix one-half cup of almond milk with two teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk in three tablespoons of cornstarch and put the mixture in a saucepan. After heating on low until the mixture is thick, remove from the burner and let it cool.
The hair mask should be lukewarm when you apply it to your hair. Massage the almond milk mask into your curls and cover with a shower cap. After about 20 minutes, you can rinse out the mask with warm water and wash hair as usual.
Milk and Honey Mask
If you like the idea of a DIY hair mask with natural ingredients, you make a hair mask of milk and honey. Mix one cup of whole milk, coconut milk, or almond milk with one tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture to your hair, allowing it to soak into the strands for about an hour. After an hour, all you need to do is wash out the hair mask mixture.
Another variation is omitting the honey, increasing the milk by one cup (making it two cups) and adding one egg. You can soak your hair in the mixture for about ten minutes, squeeze out any excess liquid, and put a shower cap on your head. After a half hour, wash out and brush your hair dry.
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Give Dry Brushing A Try
In the last method, we mentioned brushing your hair dry. Not sure what that is or if it works? Some curly headed folks swear by the technique and say that it’s an easy, gentle, and safe way to straighten hair.
Maybe you’ve brushed your hair frequently to evenly distribute the natural oils in your hair (keeping the curls looking healthy), or perhaps you even believe that frequent brushing will make your hair grow faster. Brush drying your hair? That might be something new to you.
Like other safe hair straightening methods, this one works best if you have a little extra time on your hands. After you’ve washed your hair, rather than grabbing a hair dryer, the idea is to let your hair air dry thoroughly and keep it straight by brushing it every five minutes.
Trying pulling out and holding on to a section of hair for a few seconds to “encourage” it to straighten. If you want to speed up the process, you can use a fan or even the cool setting on your hair dryer, but it will require constant brushing. Another key to this method is having the right brush for your curly hair; this will help minimize damage.
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Low Heat and Ceramic Plated Tools
We’ve all seen hair straightening tutorials gone bad on YouTube and maybe you’ve burned off a chunk of your own hair with your flat iron. The results aren’t pretty and it’s hard to fix the damage to your hair.
If you have your heart set on using your flat iron or hair dryer to straighten your hair, you can significantly reduce the damage by using low heat and making sure your straightening tools have ceramic plates.
Straightening your hair can be a lengthy process, but if you work slowly and use low heat, your hair will look (and be) much healthier than if you used high heat and hurried through the process. If your heating tool isn’t hot enough, you can slowly increase the temperature by about five degrees.
Some Additional Tips For Keeping Your Curly Hair Looking Smooth and Healthy
Whether you want to prepare for straighten hair or maintain your sleek do, here are some helpful tips to consider.
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Use Smoothing Products
Curly hair varies with each individual, so there’s really no magic formula for creating straight and smooth looking hair. You can “prep” your hair by using smoothing products such as shampoo, conditioner, and serums.
While there are lots of smoothing products available, take some time to read the ingredients (natural is always better) and even ask your hairdresser for some recommendations, provided that they don’t want to straighten your hair with harsh chemicals.
Say “No” To Heat
As we mentioned above, high heat is one of your hair’s worst enemies. Whenever possible, opt for no heat, as it will reduce the frizz and damage. If you must speed up your straightening process, keep the heat low or use a cool air setting.
Only Use A Flat Iron On Dry Hair
If you decide to use a flat iron, make sure your hair is completely dry before using the iron (and remember, use lower heat). Your iron should not make a sound (like a “sizzle”) when it touches your hair; if it does, stop ironing and wait for your hair to dry.
Clean Your Flat Iron
While a flat iron should be your last resort when straightening your hair, you want to keep your iron in good condition. Flat irons can collect a lot of product buildup, oil, and even some dust and over time it can stop working effectively (and can add even more damage to your hair).
Keep your flat iron clean by using rubbing alcohol or warm water to wash off the plates. Make sure the iron is completely cool and unplugged before you clean any part.
Use Finishing Products To Maintain Your Look
Once your hair is straight, you’ll want to maintain your look for a few days before you need to wash it again. No one likes the look or feel of weighed down hair due to too many products. Find finishing products that are lightweight and designed for straight hair.
If you use hairspray, a good way to make sure that it’s evenly distributed is to spray it on the brush first and then brush your hair.