Dear CurlySuzy:

My hair has always been (3a) curly, and up until a year ago I didn't really care. Then, I became really self-conscious of my curly hair and started straightening (blowing out and flat-ironing) it every time I showered.

It became too much for me and I decided to just leave my hair curly when I went out. I don't hate it, but I don't love it. My first question is: did I do any permanent damage to my hair blowing out and flat ironing it every day?

My second question is: I've been thinking about getting it permanently straightened; will that do any permanent damage?

And my final question is: is there any product I could use to keep my hair straight through a shower? I have some friends who have almost the same hair as me (a mix of 3a and 3b) who straighten their hair, and can shower, and the straight stays! I've heard them say they use a product, but is it possible?

Hi Mary:

I am going to give you some links that will help you learn more about some keratin processes that can be used for straightening or loosening your curls. The first one is an article we recently published about keratin.

Check out what one of the founders of NaturallyCurly did with her curls. The videos are near the bottom of the blog and they are great. She still wanted some curl — I am not sure if that appeals to you.

In regard to blow drying and flat ironing, yes, that is super-drying and damaging. I would suggest using a deep conditioner once a week for 30 minutes to help with that.

Deep Conditioners

30 minutes once a week with heat and follow with a cool rinse, really really helps!!

Here is a straightener that I know works very well with just using a blow dryer. No flat iron needed!