It may seem like a simple enough task, but if you’re a curly trying to straighten curly hair, you know it can end up being a disaster. It’s not always as simple as slathering a product in your hair and taking a straightening iron to it. For us curlies, it takes a lot of patience and finesse to get straight strands. But with some advice from seasoned pros with type 3 curly hair, you never have to go wrong again!
First Things First: Flat Irons
They’re not products, but they’re still really important. Flat irons are a pretty recent invention that can do wonders if used properly.
Unfortunately, if you’re using the wrong flat iron, or using it incorrectly to straighten your hair, no product can save your curls.
Be sure to use ceramic instead of metal, and choose a hair straightener that’s middle range in price. You don’t want to break the bank, but getting a low quality straightener will damage your hair.
Proper use is also important. Little things like a high temperature setting, leaving the straightener in your hair in one place for too long, or straightening upward instead of down can make your hair look fried and unkempt. Remember to read directions and ask your hair stylist for pointers.
Straightening Products to Avoid
The utensils and the technique you use to straighten your hair are important. However, without a decent line of products at your disposal, straightening curly hair can be a disaster.
That being said, it can take a few tries to get it right. Tony, a type 3, recalls when he first had his hair straightened.
“I’ve only had my hair successfully straightened once, chemically.”
But for Tony, that was the first and last successful attempt at straightening his hair. In his case, Tony believes that the following two times he straightened, it “had something to do with the fact that there’s like 3 different chemical types of straightener.” When you attempt to straighten your hair, you should research any products you are mixing and matching, not just because one may not work as well, but because a combination of chemicals can be bad for your hair.
Low budget straighteners may also be detrimental to type 3 hair. Although Staci, a curly with type 3 hair, now receives regular Brazilian Blowouts, she’s had her fair share of mishaps. Her worst experience involved “cheap straighteners like Vidal Sassoon.”
Although in many cases a low-budget product can be beneficial, not all products are created equal; research is key. A valuable lesson to learn about products is the most affordable product that are specialized to straighten your hair may just be the product that makes your hair frizzier and messier than ever.
Straightening Products You Need
As many products as there are to avoid, there are others that you just HAVE to pick up. Out of those must-have products for straightening curly hair involves an in-salon treatment.
Like Staci, many women choose to have what is commonly referred to as a Brazilian Blowout. There are a variety of different companies that create products and treatments that chemically straighten hair without all the daily muss and fuss. And unlike many shampoos and conditioners that promote or help straighten your hair, the blowouts have some permanency.
There are a couple of downsides to the chemical treatments, though, including possible health risks. That being said, if you’re the type who only wants straight hair occasionally, there are a couple of products you should have in your curly hair arsenal.
Be sure to use a heat protectant when you straighten, or don't use heat on your curls at all! If you're straightening often, up your deep conditioning treatments from one to twice or three times a week. Because straightening can seriously damage your curls, you want to give them all the moisture and protection as possible so that when you want to rock your ringlets, you can!
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Have you tried a specific sealant or leave in conditioner for your straightened hair? How about shampoo? What are your must-have products for straightening curly hair?