My Journey to Perfectly Flat Ironed Natural Hair

by West Parsons on September 22, 2010 · 13 comments

in my hair, straight hair

The Beginning
It has taken great deal of trial and error before I learned how to really flat iron my hair to garner the best and most healthy results. I began flat ironing in 2007 and I had no clue what I was doing. I wasn’t even aware of the possibility of heat damage. Heat damage? What’s that!?

My mom found out about Brazilian Keratin Treatment and thought it would be a good fit for me since I loved my kinks and curls, but at times longed for a change. That process sounded more permanent than temporary — I passed. I did a little research and found out the main ingredient in that product was keratin — of course. So I searched Sally’s website for something less expensive. I ended up going with a few Aphogee products which all had a high percentage of keratin. Photo results below.

The Screw Up
After flat ironing my hair a few times, I started to notice the texture changed. When my hair was wet, my curls were definitely looser and my twists did not look the same. My twists were deformed and not as fluffy as they used to be, which resulted in non-uniformed twist-outs. Smooth/ silky hair and kinks all on the same strand. Boo!

Although I doesn’t look like it, I was PISSED! I swore I would never put heat to my hair again — those feelings did not last too long. Lol.After doing a bit of research, I realized my hair had been heat damaged. The only way to get rid of heat damage is to grow it out or cut it off. Some people believe you can do hard protein treatments (i.e. – Aphogee Two-Step ) repair itself.

DON’T BE FOOLED! Heat damage is not reversible & Heat protectant is not a savior.

I used it every single time I straightened. When you hair is in its best possible state of being conditioned and moisturized (with a deep conditioner) before the use of heat, you minimize the possibility of heat damage occurring. Well conditioned hair requires less passes of the flat iron for desired straightness.

READ MORE: How to Prevent Heat Damage When Flat Ironing Natural Hair

My hair began to grow out and the heat damaged portion was breaking off so my hair pretty much appeared to be the same length for about 2 years.

Still on the Quest
I did a bit more research and once the damage had all grown out, I decided to straighten my hair, but this time, I just used a reduced amount of heat. My hair was huge! Big hair is nice, but not when a flat iron is involved. So I rocked the big fuzzy semi-straight hair for a while and continued with my research.

I found a deep conditioning tutorial by Patchouli85.  This tutorial outlines how to create an uber MOISTURIZING conditioner.  This conditioner is slathered on using the ‘relaxer method’, meaning the conditioner is applied ensuring every strand is coated.

Mystery Revealed
The first time I tried this method of deep conditioning,  my hair came out pretty straight with one pass of the flat iron.  BUT! I thought it could be straighter. So I tried it again and this time I left the conditioner on for an extended period of time (12+ hours). Wow! What. A. Difference! While blow drying, I really couldn’t tell anything miraculous was about to occur, but when I passed the flat iron over a section of my hair once,  it was like magic! Shiny,silky, relaxer straight hair which was 100% Natural!  The best part of it all is that my hair completely reverts 100% each time I wash.

READ MORE: Patchouli85’s Method For Silky Smooth Flat Ironed Hair

The Conclusion
Moisturized hair, not from a leave-in conditioner, but that from your deep conditioner, is the key to flat ironing successfully. When your hair is moisturized from within it will straighten much easier with the use of less heat reducing your odds of experiencing heat damage. I highly encourage you to really evaluate the level of moisture  your conditioner provides when you are deciding to use heat on your hair. If  you find your conditioner is not up to par, don’t be afraid to create a concoction like Patchouli85.