Even though you've been blessed with a head of natural curls, coil, kinks or waves, you may have lusted after silky stick straight hair all your life.
You also may have cried about how you can't harness your horrible hair texture. If you're determined to have silky straight tresses for an upcoming Prom, Wedding or special event what are your options?
Although I prefer to preach the hair gospel of "love the hair you were given", I totally get the desire to have an absolutely fabulous new look for that once-in-a-lifetime day.
Hair Straightening Options
With advancements made in today's hair texturing there are a wide variety of straightening, relaxing and smoothing options.
Although there are a wide range of re-texturizing options available, each of them have pros and cons which need to be weighed and evaluated before moving forward.
1. Temporary Straightening
This involves a good straightening balm (like KMS Flat-out) and a few other handy tricks with shampoo, conditioners and the right blow dryer. It can be done, but it's definitely temporary until your hair gets wet or your next shampoo, whatever comes first.
2. Non-Toxic Relaxing Method
There are methods of relaxing the hair that involves non-toxic chemicals. These methods work like their chemical cousins. The Miano-Viel Salon and Spa in Midtown Manhattan (212-980-3222) has a special secret treatment created by Minako that turns super curls into soft straight locks or waves. The good news is that the treatment has been working for many curly and wavy headed clients for several years.
3. Relaxing Hair With Chemicals
This is the least drastic chemical approach. It costs a lot more money than buying a smoothing balm or lotion and usually requires help from a stylist to guarantee good results. Yes, you can do it at home, but there are more risks which have to be considered carefully.
4. Chemical Straightening
This involves strong chemicals and is not temporary or even simple. Because of the type of chemicals utilized it is required that an expert apply the solution.
Do you have any other options? If you want to wear your hair straight and down your only other option is to find a gorgeous long straight wig.
Straightening Steps For Temporary Sleekness
Now that you know the options, if you still want to wear your naturally curly or wavy hair straight for a special day or evening, let me suggest that you go for the temporary straightening options.
It may not be as easy as you might like to accomplish but it does minimize long term risk to your hair. If you are trying to grow your hair longer it is not a good idea to utilize a blow-dryer for anything but occasional experiences. However, if you do it right and deep condition after the fact, using a dryer to temporarily straighten you hair should prove minimally harmful.
Believe it or not, people with naturally curly hair have emailed me after a straightening experience to ask for their curls back. Sorry. Once they are gone, only growing will restore them. It's also important to remember that thinning or fine hair may not turn out as stick straight as you like.
Step 1 - Shampoo your hair with a clarifying product or shampoo formulated for normal hair. Avoid heavy moisturizing shampoos since they tend to weigh hair down. This prevents hair from achieving fullness and movement.
Step 2 - Avoid using a rinse out conditioner unless your hair tangles easily or you have damaged ends. If you need a conditioner, use as little as possible of a light conditioner and concentrate its use on the ends or damaged parts of your hair only.
Step 3 - Rinse shampoo and any conditioning products well. Finish with a cool to cold water rinse. This will help to close the hair cuticle and help the hair attain natural shine.
Step 4 - Be prepared to "layer" hair care products. Use a light detangling spray on any dry or damaged ends and any part of the hair that naturally tangles.
Spray the detangler into the palms of your hands and then smooth lightly over the tops of your hair, on the damaged tangle parts or on the ends. Go lightly with the detangler to avoid weighing the hair down unnecessarily.
Step 5 - Start at the front of your head, near the forehead and part your hair towards the back of your neck. Using a wide-toothed comb or large pick, carefully part and separate your hair into 4-6 equal parts of hair thickness.
Special Tip: If you have thin and/or fine hair, you will probably only need 4 sections. If you have thick and/or full hair, you will probably need 6 sections.
Step 6 - Next, coat each individual section of hair with a good temporary straightening aid, such as KMS Flat-Out Relaxing Balm or similar hair product. Be sure to apply the balm or gel to your hands first and then apply with your fingers to get an equal distribution of the product. Apply a little more straightening lotion on the curliest or waviest parts of your hair.
Step 7 - After you have applied the smoothing lotion secure each of the individual hair sections with a fat jaw clip. Separate your hair on each side of a part into two top and two bottom chunks.
It's important to wind your hair sections into small tight twists. The hair twists will retain moisture and thus prevent your hair from air drying and becoming unruly. The tighter the twist, the more moisture your hair holds. This process guarantees maximum blow dryer straightening potential and even drying.
Step 8 - Use either a small round or paddle style boars head brush to straighten each individual section. Use a blow dryer set on a warm setting. Avoid using the hottest setting to minimize hair damage. Carefully work on each individual section of your hair at a time.
Use the brush to pull the section of hair straight at the ends. Keeping the airflow directed downward, move the blow dryer back and forth to prevent directing hot air to any part of your hair for more than a few seconds. This will also minimize any potential heat damage.
Special Tip: As you blow dry your hair, always be sure to direct the air flow of the blow dryer from the roots down towards the ends. This will smooth the hair cuticle and help it remain straighter.
Step 9 - For extra hair shimmer add a tiny drop of shine product to the palms of your hands and then glide carefully over the newly dry section. Softly and loosely clip the dried section into place to hold its shape.
Step 10 - After every section of your hair has been dried and allowed to completely cool, use either a straightening iron on each section to guarantee total sleekness. If you prefer you can use large hot or Velco rollers (at least 3 inches in diameter) to lock in some body and movement. Remember, whenever you use hot hair tools, avoid direct scalp contact to avoid potential burns. Do not place heated appliances right next to your scalp.
Step 11 - If you use hot or Velcro rollers be sure so spray a light setting lotion on each section of hair before you wrap it around the roller. Lock the roller in place and let them cool while you finish getting ready. Wait until the last possible minute to remove the curlers.
At The Finish Line
If you are going to a wedding or a Prom and have some privacy, throw a huge scarf on top of the rollers and wear them in the car to the hall or the church. If you can sneak into the hall or church with the curlers intact and remove them just before you make your grand entrance, even better.
If not, then wait until the last possible minute to finish your hair. If you used rollers, take them out. Brush lightly through your hair. Don't overdo the brushing or else it can disturb your beautiful new set. Carefully flip your head over, and spray underneath your hair with a light hair spray. Then flip your head back and spray it again. Spraying your hair upside down will give it a lot more volume and holding power.
Remember to use your fingers to carefully arrange your hair and limit your use of a brush or comb that can disturb the look. Be sure to spray your entire head with a good shaping spray. Don't forget to check the back of your do. Use a mirror to make sure your beautiful straight locks fall evenly throughout the back of your head.
Special Tip: Avoid using faux flowers in your hair. Real flowers look more elegant and much softer than fake ones. The only time to use faux flowers is when they are very small, like tiny hair jewels. Remember that Baby's Breath are currently out of fashion.
If you spot a few escaped hairs don't panic. Just apply a light spritz of spray onto your hands and run them over the sprays.
To be safe, tuck a tiny bottle of hairspray into your purse for last minute fix-ups. . What did I tell you. You're absolutely stunning with sleek straight locks. Enjoy!
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