I sometimes straighten, if my trim falls during this season. I sweat A LOT so I don't really straighten as a style, but because I like my hair trimmed straight, I flatiron or get a press'n'curl. My regi is:
1. Wash with a clarifying shampoo (I always do this any way, but especially before a press'n'curl so that my deep conditioning is really effective). I don't test products before my press - I need to know how my hair will react.
2. DC and detangle with a moisturizing conditioner. Straight moisture, no protein. I want my hair to be as pliable/soft as possible so that my blow drying session does not turn into fight night. More elastic
hair = easier stretching/blow drying.
3. Blow dry with ONE product that has some heat protecting ingredients, like a butter/oil/silicone with a high smoke point. I don't want too much between my hair and the dryer/pressing comb. For me, mixing different products increases the chance of my hair
a) Burning from too many ingredients mixing together that later react negatively when heated by the blow dryer or pressing comb
b) More product on the hair = more heat you must apply to get the hair dry
c) Being weighted down, making my already fine hair look stringy
I blow dry on damp/wet hair (more pliable, easier to manipulate and stretch than dry hair), working my way from the ends to the roots WITH a comb attachment. I dry the bottom 2-3 inches before moving upward. This way I do not have to battle dried ends that have already curled, decreasing the chance for breakage.
4. Flat iron on 330
F, or get my hair pressed (Dr. Mirmirani has a full article entitled "Ceramic flat irons: Improper use leading to acquired trichorrhexis nodosa", the above link is just a summation - I can email the complete article for those that want it). Many people are afraid of pressing combs, as they should be if they are in the hands of someone who is inexperienced
. My go-to hairdresser for a press'n'curl has had her combs for a lonnnnngggg time, those bad boys are tempered to perfection. Actually, I prefer a pressing comb. Usually one pass and that is it, so less heat = less trauma.
The heat protectants I highly recommend are KeraCare Creme Press and Tresemme Heat Tamer.
When my hair is straight I only use products that do not have water, like butters or pomades. I do not wrap my hair either (all of the hair would just be closer to my sweating scalp). Empressri has a great demo
I have never had a problem with my hair not
reverting, but I don't do this often and I make sure I use a protein rich conditioner (or henna) after. After care is just as important. I DC with the protein conditioner before
I shampoo - so that the proteins are the first "drink", not the shampoo.
Sorry this is a book, but this is serious business. HTH