When you're have naturally textured hair (wavy, curly, coily, kinky, etc.,) there's more pressure then ever to embrace your texture and wear it proudly. If you want to go straight to change up your look does that make you a curl traitor?
While curl and texture pride is a great hair philosophy to follow, not everyone wants to always wear their tresses the same way. And why would they? Some hair consumers want to go from naturally textured hair to straight and they want to do it safely.
Afterall, the beauty of hair color, hair extensions and hair accessories is that it offers instant tweaking to hair hues, lengths and styles.
Yes You Can Change Up Your Hair Look
While there's been a lot of controversy regarding chemical straightening products ranging from relaxers to the potentially toxic Brazilian Blowout products this doesn't mean that if you're naturally textured you can't change up your look safely.
Even naturally textured celebs like Beyonce, AJ Michalka, Jordin Sparks and Sarah Jessica Parker (SJP) alternate between clouds of gorgeous ringlets to stick straight strands.
Going Straight Safe Options
If you want to maintain your natural texture without risking major damage from excessive dryness to loss of curl formation consider the following options:
1. Go temporarily straight with a blow dryer, flat (or round) brush and flat iron
If you don't do this on a regular basis and make sure to apply conditioner afterwards you hair will mostly likely be fine.
To protect hair always use a heat-protectant before blow drying and flat ironing. Use a high quality set of tools to prevent unnecessary damage to delicate textures.
Remember that heat-protectants can be layered with other styling products such as an anti-defrisant like Phytodefrisant for an integrated cocktail.
2. Pop on a spectacular wig
Many celebrities like Beyonce and Jordin Sparks have an array of short, medium and long wigs in an array of textures that they can wear to instantly go with a straighter texture. A wig is 100% safe, especially if worn for short periods of time.
3. Play with extensions
Clip-in extensions can often provide a similar straightening experience as a full lace front of similar wig. Some of the clip-in extensions have a cap attachment which allows for you to tuck your natural texture away and allow the new texture to flow free.
4. Go with fusion hair extensions
Selection fusion hair extensions, whether hot or cold or similar is a much bigger commitment. Many people with naturally curly hair will often go with a weave requiring the placement of tiny braids to anchor the add-on hair.
Fusion extensions or weaves do come with more risks or long term damage than temporary extensions, but they can be worn around the clock which are not true of clip-ins.
5. Opt for a soft relaxer
Some of the soft relaxers will only slightly soften tight curls offering a wavy look without a root re-growth line, major damage or curl profile loss.
A professional hairstyle who specializes in relaxers can often apply a relaxer so that there is virtually no damage, but a softening effect. Be sure to discuss potential curl recovery timelines and damage potential.
6. Try an old fashioned wet set
Instead of blow drying hair straight, apply a defrisant and temporary straightening product to wet strands. Set entire head of very large sponge or similar hair rollers and either air dry or dry hair under a traditional hood or bonnet style hair dryer. The larger the curlers the softer the resulting texture.
Many curl experts believe that an old fashioned wet set is the least damaging of the options listed here. This is because there is less damage from the hair from a hood or bonnet style hairdryer.
7. Go for a traditional wrap
This type of hair setting involves wrapping the hair around the head to straighten as much of the natural texture as possible. Unless you have had a wrap done before you may want to go to a hairstylist who is willing to demonstrate so you can do this at home in the future.
Traditional wraps are also considered less damaging then temporary straightening techniques which involve heat or hot tools.
8. Combine different options
Many people will combine one of the methods above when they want to try a new texture. They might apply a defrisant and temporary straightening balm, set hair on rollers and then flat iron as a last step.
Or they might blow dry hair straight with a paddle brush but then set on hot rollers.
Risks To Your Natural Texture
It is important to remember that there are always risks when you alter your natural texture. If you only occasionally blow dry your hair straight or flat iron and deep condition in between the straight times, you may not do as much damage compared to someone who is flat iron or blow drying straight on a daily or weekly basis.
One trap people get into is falling into a vicious circle where they feel they have to flat iron to look good. The more they flat iron, the more damaged their hair and the more they feel they have to iron.
If you do get into a flat ironing cycle it's important to recognize that with lots of TLC you can get your natural texture back so that you can wear your hair au natural and it will look great.
If you have natural texture there are options you can select to temporarily go straight and sleek ranging from use of hot tools to popping on a lace front or similar wig.
Keep in mind that when you mess with your natural texture there is always a risk of damage or disruption to your natural texture profile.
Evaluate all your options carefully before proceeding with a trip down the silky smooth lane.
- Revised Date: 01/05/12
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