Black African American hair is unique in its texture and structure, which can make it challenging to maintain and style. Many people with this hair type desire to have straight hair, but traditional methods of straightening can cause damage and breakage.
In this blog, we will discuss the right way to straighten black African American hair, including techniques, products, and maintenance tips.
Understanding black African American hair
Before we dive into the right way to straighten this hair type, it’s essential to understand its characteristics. Black African American hair is often thick, coarse, and tightly coiled, which can make it challenging to manage. The hair strands are also flat and ribbon-like in shape, which causes them to curl tightly together. This hair type is also prone to dryness, which can lead to breakage and damage. It’s essential to keep black African American hair moisturized and nourished to maintain its health and strength.
Straightening techniques to know
There are several ways to straighten black African American hair, and the method you choose will depend on your preferences and desired outcome. Here are some popular techniques:
A blowout involves using a blow dryer and a round brush to smooth out the hair while adding volume and bounce. To achieve a blowout on black African American hair, you’ll need a good heat protectant spray, a blow dryer with a concentrator nozzle, and a round brush. First, apply a heat protectant spray to your hair to prevent damage from the blow dryer’s heat. Then, section your hair into small sections and use the round brush to pull the hair taut while blowing it dry with the concentrator nozzle. Repeat this process until your hair is completely dry and smooth.
2. Flat iron
A flat iron is a popular tool for straightening hair. You’ll need a high-quality flat iron with adjustable temperature settings, a heat protectant spray, and a comb to use a flat iron on black African American hair. First, apply a heat protectant spray to your hair to prevent damage from the flat iron’s heat. Then, section your hair into small sections and use the comb to detangle each section. Next, clamp the flat iron onto a small section of hair close to the roots and slowly glide it down to the ends. Repeat this process until your entire head is straightened.
3. Chemical straightening
Chemical straightening, also known as a relaxer, involves using chemicals to break down the hair’s natural curl pattern and straighten it. This method is more permanent than blowouts and flat ironing, but it can also cause significant damage if not done correctly. If you’re considering chemical straightening, it’s essential to consult with a professional stylist who is experienced in this technique. The stylist will evaluate your hair type and condition to determine the appropriate relaxer strength and application method.
Products for Straightening
Using the right products is crucial when straightening black African American hair. Here are some recommended products:
1. Heat protectant spray
A heat protectant spray is essential when using heat-styling tools like blow dryers and flat irons. It helps to prevent damage and breakage by creating a barrier between the hair and the heat.
2. Straightening serum
A straightening serum is a lightweight, non-greasy formula that helps to smooth and straighten the hair while adding shine and reducing frizz.
3. Shampoo and conditioner
The right shampoo and conditioner are crucial when straightening black African American hair. Look for products that are moisturizing and nourishing, such as those that contain natural oils like coconut oil or shea butter.
Maintaining straightened black African American hair requires special care to prevent damage and breakage. Here are some tips:
1. Use a silk or satin pillowcase
Cotton pillowcases can cause friction and breakage on straightened hair. Using a silk or satin pillowcase can help to preserve your straightened style and reduce damage.
2. Wrap your hair at night
Wrapping your hair at night can help to maintain your straightened style and prevent tangling and breakage. Use a silk or satin scarf to wrap your hair or use a bonnet or cap to cover your head while you sleep.
3. Avoid excessive heat styling
Using heat styling tools too frequently can cause damage and breakage to black African American hair. Try to limit your use of these tools and opt for low-heat settings when possible.
4. Avoid too much washing
You should not wash your hair too often as this will make your hair water loss and dullness, evenly shedding. Usually, you just need to wash your hair twice a week.
Straightening black African American hair can be challenging, but with the proper techniques, products, and maintenance tips, you can achieve a sleek and smooth style without causing damage or breakage. Remember to always prioritize the health and strength of your hair, and consult with a professional stylist if you’re unsure about any aspect of the straightening process.