Nov 10, 2012

Posted by in Awesomeness, Fresh Fruit, Friends, Hair Wise, Hairstyles, Instant Smiles, Natural Hair | 0 Comments

Straight Option

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Hey guys! Today’s article is extra, extra special. First, let me say women with natural hair have a plethora of options when it comes to styling their hair. They can wear in an afro, wash-n-go, braid-out, twist-out, bantu knot-out, twists, braids, and the list goes on. But, today’s article is special because it’s about the “Straight Option.” So, why is the “Straight Option” soooo special, you might ask. Answer: The vast majority of women with curly, coily, and/or kinky hair prefer their hair straight. And, for many black women, that’s why they use relaxers. I wanted to do this post to inform women that it is possible to be natural, and still achieve the straight look.

Meet Brandi (she’s another reason why this post is extra special). I don’t know where to start! She is like no person I’ve EVER met. Not only is she stunningly beautiful, she has THE SWEETEST spirit. She’s genuinely a kind-hearted person, and I am so blessed to know her & call her my friend…Brandi is the subject of this post because SHE’S BEEN NATURAL HER ENTIRE (i.e. she’s never had a relaxer). It was hard for me to believe when she initially told me that, because, as long as I’ve know Brandi, she’s always worn her hair bone straight. And, in my mind, I thought a black women could only achieve that look with a relaxer. Boy, was I wrong!

 

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I understand that everyone’s hair is different. Brandi’s curl pattern may be looser than the next girl’s, but, I’ve learned that over time, a person’s natural curl pattern loosens up with the steady use of heat (this is referred to as “heat trained” hair). Once the curl pattern is loosened, it makes the hair easier to straighten & stay straight for longer periods of time. This is ideal for a natural who wants to wear her hair straight most of the time, but not ideal for the girl who likes to wear her curls the majority of the time (like me). So, if you have natural hair, I would suggest deciding which way you want to wear your hair (straight or curly), because straightening your hair frequently will loosen/alter your curl pattern over time. BUT, there are naturals who balance the two: they wear their hair curly the majority of the time and straight here & there (and they have no problems with their curls being altered). NOTE: “heat-trained” hair, to some, is also be referred to as “heat damaged” hair. It depends on your perspective, I guess…One more thing: Whenever using heat, it’s key to use a heat protectant.

 

Okay. I definitely talked enough! On to Brandi. Here’s what she had to say about her hair and routine:

I have been natural my whole life! I have never had a perm in my life. I started getting my hair professionally taken care of 8 years this December. I have seen the same beautician during that whole duration.

I get my hair straightened every two weeks. My beautician washes my hair with multiple shampoos and then conditions it. She places me under a dryer for about 40 minutes and then rinses me and blow dries and flat irons my hair. She doesn’t like to use oil sheen and seldom uses it unless she has to. I don’t use grease unless I have to.

 

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I wrap my hair every night. I use a heat protectant EVERYTIME I apply heat to my hair. I forget what brand I use, but I get it from Sally’s and it’s in a green bottle and it has olive oil in it. I make sure that if I flat iron my hair myself, I use a protecting flat iron (titanium or ceramic plates); even though heat tolerance is important, I don’t use maximum temperature (very damaging), and I start from the back to the front by parting horizontally in small increments to assure I get every strand.

I don’t really do anything to avoid frizz. If it does, I just kinda throw it up :) At night, I generally just wrap it, and in the morning it’ll straighten back out.

 

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I have very soft and fine hair (thin) and my hair isn’t as difficult to straighten as others; however, because I have been getting my hair done for years, it does tend to stay straighter longer. When I don’t straighten my hair, I wear it curly (which I have looser curls and waves), I use a mouse and pull it back :)

I try not to use tight hair ties as well because that breaks off your hair. If I can wear it down, I do! But, if not, I just throw it up in a loose bun. And, if i know it’s dirty and don’t want to straighten it, I just wear it curly :)

 

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When it’s straight and I curl it, I take smaller pieces and curl them individually and do what’s called a “pigtail curl.” I pin the curl from the bottom up to my scalp and sleep with a head full and when I take them out, I have a full head of luscious curls! I might wrap it for 30 seconds and it loosens them; and if I want to, sometimes I use hair spray (a tight holding). I use the Pantene brand, but be careful because it might frizz your hair. Even if I curl it I use heat protectant!

And sometimes, if my edges start curling up and and my hair is straight still, i just leave them because all that heat isn’t worth it sometimes. and IF I do, I use heat protectant.

Also, I like to curl my hair A LOT, but I make sure that I don’t overdo it. Even a heat protectant doesn’t provide 100% protection from blow dryers and flat irons. I make sure I don’t curl my hair more than 2-3 times a week.

 

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**G.I.G.**

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