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You Can Regularly Straighten Your Natural Hair and Maintain Your Curls—Here’s How

For a long time, straightening our hair with heat used to come at the expense of our curl patterns. It was accepted that having natural hair meant we could avoid heat 90% of the time and enjoy our coils and curls or use heat to straighten our hair and say goodbye to wash-n-gos because curls tend to look limp and lifeless after they’re heat-damaged. Simply put, you chose one because you couldn’t do both.
Since using heat tools on natural hair causes the disulfide bonds (the chemical bond that gives your hair texture) to weaken, keeping the hair healthy is the secret to enjoying the versatility of straight hair one month and your gorgeous natural curls the next. Keep reading for tips on how to keep your natural hair healthy whether you wear it straight or in a wash-n-go style!

How to Keep Natural Hair Healthy

Prep Your Hair Before Using Heat

When natural hair is hydrated, it maintains its elasticity. The more elastic the hair strands are, the better they are at bouncing back (aka shrinkage) after being styled. Natural hair salons like Hydra Bar in Coral Springs, Florida focus on stripping the hair of oils and butters that can prevent the hair shaft from absorbing water and other hydrating ingredients. The hair bonds are able to withstand the heat from styling tools and are less likely to withstand damage.

Switch to a Ceramic Flat Iron

It is so important to use the right tools for your natural hair. When it comes to wearing your hair straight and curly, health is the top priority. We’re team “No Heat Damage” over here and while titanium flat irons are great when you want bone straight strands, ceramic flat irons are gentler and evenly distribute heat. Your curls will thank you.

Minimize Heat

Once your hair has been straightened, it can be tempting to run a flat iron over areas that start to frizz up as the days go by. Using heat repeatedly (especially on hair that is not clean) can increase your chances of damaging your curl pattern.

If you’re not quite ready to wash your hair but the style is not really giving what it’s supposed to anymore, try another style. Braid-outs, twist-outs, flexi-rod sets—all look great on previously silk-pressed hair.

Choose Tension-Free Low Manipulation Styles

Once you wash your hair and start rocking your curls again, choose styles that don’t require a lot of manipulation. Opt for loose buns and ponytails over sleek and tight updos. Not only will your edges thank you, but the less tension on your natural hair the easier it is for your curl pattern to return to normal after being stretched for weeks.

Check out THIS post on how to wrap your hair at night so your hair is giving Day 1 shine and silkiness!

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