One of the main questions I get asked about my hair is, “How do you keep your hair straight?” While I absolutely adore my curls and get a kick out of finding new ways to wear them, my blow-outs warrant affectionate head turns from the opposite sex and give pause to a few girls who didn’t want to look my way to begin with. So I’ve been #TeamStraightNatural for years!
Most are amazed because I am quick to confess that I do them right over my tiny bathroom sink. But the unbelievable part is certainly that it usually takes me less than 20 minutes. Which in my style book, makes it the best blow-out ever! Since I love you beauties, I figured I’d share the details with you—blow by blow (pun intended)!
1. Clean and detangle.
As much as I like to say that my hair behaves better when dirty, and on some days this is true, a good blow-out is filled with volume, bounce and shine. Dirty hair is capable of none of the above.
2. Preserve and divide.
One reason why I am able to go from straight to curly, and back around again, is because I prep my hair for the trauma I am about to heap upon it. The beauty supply store shelves are overflowing with heat protectants and smoothers that will allow your tresses to glow all while preserving that gorgeous curly texture you also cherish. Once you’ve protected your hair, it’s a great idea to separate your curls and tackle one section at a time to minimize your drying time.
The most important part of a blow-out is… the dryer. DUH! Invest in a good professional-like dryer with a hot and cold setting with attachments that your arms will later hug you for. Your blow dryer determines how straight you can get those curls. Dry your hair from root to tip, then switch your dryer to the cool setting to fight unwanted frizz. Your chances for heat damage are lessened when you start with straighter roots.
4. Put some heat to it.
Flat ironing your natural hair is tricky. Once your hair is blown out you don’t want to use excessive heat. I use this rule: one shampoo a week, with one flat iron connection a week. Remember that flat irons are not one size fits all and you will need to upgrade or downgrade according to the length of your hair. The right iron will reduce heat damage and is easier to maneuver. Remember to clean your iron after each use with lukewarm water and a cloth.
5. Wrap it up!
Bonnets, butterfly clamps, and hair pins will become a close friend of yours. In order to retain this oh-so-fab blow out, you’ll need get those tresses under wraps (insert your laugh here). Pick your poison by either wrapping your hair, or pin-curling it. Then tie your hair down for the start of your beauty sleep.
6. Shine bright.
The next morning your curls should be laid! Unwrap or unpin and add a little shine to finish.