Your hair is friend, and you know the problem: you use that flat iron daily, as if your life depended on it. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t depend on it! There are plenty of things you can do with your natural hair to stay away from damaging hot irons. The key is feeling beautiful and doing what’s best for your hair!
12 Step Recovery
1. Admit that your hair is in need of change
Flat irons are very damaging for your hair. If you are addicted to it, more than likely your hair is dry, lifeless and needs repairing. Admit that ironing your hair does not make you feel beautiful anymore. It’s time to discover what does.
2. Go cold turkey
Sounds harsh? Cutting yourself off from your flat iron is sometimes the best way to get over it. Have a friend hide it, or throw it away if you’re really gung-ho. Whatever you decide, it's essential that you minimize the use of a flat iron in order to eliminate your dependency.
3. Say hello to your natural hair
Take a shower. Let your hair dry naturally, and take a look a good look at it. What exactly is your natural texture? Is it curly? Wavy? Straight? What does your hair do when it dries? Knowing your hair’s behavior is fundamental to working with it.
4. Give yourself a pep talk
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself it’s going to be OK. Your natural hair probably doesn’t make you feel attractive. Isn’t that why you straighten it in the first place? Don’t worry; there are plenty of things that can be done with your natural hair to make you feel beautiful again. Take a deep breath and tell yourself that you are doing what’s best for you.
5. Time to repair your hair
Now that you are on a journey towards natural hair, it’s time to repair it. There are lots of products that you can buy to repair your damaged hair. Try to look for products that repair all three layers of your hair, not just the top. Here’s what you should have on your shopping list:
- Hot oil treatment
- Re-conditioner Treatment
- Jojoba Oil
- Hair mask or deep conditioner
Note: Be patient. Many of these products need to be absorbed into your hair or scalp. The more damaged your hair is, the longer you should wait for these products to work on your hair.
6. Invest in high quality shampoos and conditioners
Your hair deserves the best, and the healthiest of options. Try investing in a sulfate-free cleanser that is specifically formulated to repair your hair. Sulfates can cause the hair to be dry and frizzy, so if you know your hair is prone to such, stick to sulfate free cleansers. As for conditioners, you want to find one that will repair your hair from all the heat.
7. Get a haircut that works with your natural texture
You should probably cut off those fried ends. Pick a hair cut that your natural texture will look good with. While brainstorming for styles and cuts, ask yourself: will I need to use a flat iron for this cut? If so, choose another. Most importantly, get a haircut that you feel comfortable and beautiful with. Here are some helpful tips when choosing a hair cut:
- If your hair is really thin, try staying away from long hairstyles.
- If you want more body, try a short hairstyle that’s above the neck.
- Long thick layers look best on wavy hair.
8. What’s your style?
Now it’s time to style your newly repaired hair. Before you grab that hot iron again, note that there are several styling products that can enhance your natural texture. While still in the repair stage, try not to use hair bands or ties that will break your hair strands. Observe women around you, browse through magazines, and choose a style that WILL NOT require a hot iron. You might want to keep these tips in mind for achieving your style:
- Use mousse, light gel, or styling cream that won’t weigh your hair down.
- Let your hair air dry or use a diffuser.
- Once your hair is dry, smooth a little pomade or serum over your hair to hold the style.
- If your hair is curly, do NOT brush it once it is styled.
9. Maintain your healthy hair
So you’ve dropped the flat iron habit. It’s time to replace it with healthier habits!
- Deep condition weekly. Your hair needs the moisture that deep conditioning provides.
- Don’t brush too often. Everyday brushing leads to breakage and split ends.
- Don’t wash your hair every day. Shampooing your hair sucks the moisture from it, leaving it dry and brittle.
- Sleep with a satin pillow. Cotton creates friction and leaves one side of your hair flatter than the other.
- Use a wide tooth comb. Wide-toothed combs do less damage to your hair when detangling it.
10. Resist temptation
Stay away from things like curling irons, or even hair dryers if you know it will tempt you to return to your flat iron habit. If you do decide to use a blow dryer, make sure you use it on a low setting that won’t damaged your newly repaired hair. Eventually, you should be able to return to your flat iron. But only allow yourself this luxury for special occasions; do not rely on it or you could slip back into your old habits.
11. Establish a hair regimen
By now you should know your hair like the back of your hand. You should be familiar with how your hair behaves, what it needs and what is doesn’t look good with. This is a great time to establish a routine for your hair care and styling.
Choose products that your hair works best with, but above all, establish a routine for your hair that you enjoy. Having a routine that you enjoy will encourage you to keep it and maintain healthy hair.
12. You’re not alone
Transitioning to your natural hair is a tough journey, but remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of women out there who are returning to their natural hair texture. Share your experiences, get some tips, and ask for advice from the many women who have been successful in embracing their natural hair. With help, you can leave behind the flat iron and say hello to healthy beautiful hair.