I am in NJ too...go to Gina at Atelier (Basking Ridge)! I HIGHLY recommend her for this process...if you do go to her, tell her you got the recommendation from this board...she will know it's me and laugh (I am probably her BIGGEST pain in the ass client so a recommendation from me does not come lightly)
I don't flat iron at all...I am actually REALLY good at blowing out my own hair...I have had to do it all my life and my mom taught me when I was young...I could give classes on how to blow out your own hair! Once in a while when my hair desperately needs to be relaxed, I will flat iron the hair line, but that is about it and even then, it is really rare. After you have this done, you shouldn't need to flat iron and your hair will dry so much faster and less frizzy...I also STRONGLY recommend getting Moroccan Oil (both the oil as well as the styling cream)...it is a bit pricey, but also worth every penny!
One other thing too...I bought a satin pillow case...I think that really helps with bed head and breakage.
I can't wait to hear what you think! (I hope I remember to log back on!)...Good luck!!