Many natural divas choose to press their hair so they can wear it straight. However, there are a few rules you may want to follow in order to keep your pressed hair healthy.
- Do NOT go to the Dominican salon to get your hair pressed. Dominican stylists are very rough with kinkier hair textures. The use extreme heat from multiple appliances, from roller setting and flat ironing all in one visit. From a personal experience, avoid this type of styling at all costs. I once went to have my hair pressed and the stylist didn’t deep condition my hair. I recommend learning how to flat iron your hair yourself. By doing so you can take preventative measure to ensure you are protecting your hair and eliminating a lot of unnecessary breakage.
- If you do opt to press your hair yourself, Invest in a tourmaline or ceramic flat iron with adjustable heat settings. Higher quality heat styling tools reduce friction and unnecessary pulling, tugging and frying. Although higher quality styling tools may cost more, it is definitely worth the expense. They often heat up more quickly and reduce the number of times that you will have to pass through your hair with heat. To avoid drying and breakage try using a medium setting rather than a high temperature if it can successfully straighten your hair. Otherwise if your hair requires higher heat try to reduce the number of times you pass through your hair with the flat iron only doing what is needed to straighten it.
- Apply a deep conditioner to your hair at least once a week. Look for a store-bought deep conditioner made especially for your hair, in the alternative, apply coconut or olive oil. Deep conditioners infiltrate the hair shaft and help protect the proteins that create strong hair. Be sure to coat all of your hair with the conditioner from roots to tips.
How to Make it Last
- You may consider applying a leave-in shine-enhancing conditioner to your hair every couple of days. Products with grapeseed oil, argan oil and keratin give natural tresses hair strength and shine after intense heat treatments. Keratin is especially effective at reintroducing essential proteins for healthy hair.
- The next step would be to stretch your straight hair styles. Instead of washing and roller setting your hair every week, try other styles to keep the “straight look” without using heat. For example, after a week you may notice your roller set hair is flat and lifeless. Try a bantu knot out on straight hair using minimal oils to create a deep wavy texture. You can do this every night for 2 weeks.
No When it’s Time For a Break
If you hair is showing signs of stress, put away the flat iron for a few months. Any type of styling tool that requires heat to do its job has the potential to dry out your hair. Breakage or severely split ends are a sign that you need to take a vacation from pressing. Deep conditioning once a week and a trimming can help get your hair back in shape and healthy enough to withstand future pressings.