Aside from the bantu-knot out, straightening natural hair is probably the most enigmatic process of them all. There are so many variables that can affect the outcome, hence why videos and blog posts on this subject are googled more than any other. I figured I’d narrow your search and make this a one stop shop! Fact of the matter is, though many of us have chosen to forego the chemicals, we still desire straight, silky hair sometimes. Here products and appliances that have been proven best practice.
FHI Runway Flat Iron ($400)
This flat iron is made of 6 layers of pure ceramic, helping to provide quick and even heating. Unlike other FHI irons, the Runway offers variable temperatures, ranging from 266°F to 450°F, making this flat iron ideal of textured hair. Avoid flat irons which only allow ‘low’, ‘med’, and ‘hi’ temperature settings. Here is an inexpensive flat iron option.
Coconut Oil (16 fl oz, $19.95)
Coconut oil is one of the very few oils which molecules are small enough to enter the cortex of hair to act as a moisturizer. Moisturizing from the outside in is important for two reasons: (1) silky straight results and (2) even heat distribution, reducing the possibility of heat damage. Consider adding a tablespoon of this oil to your moisturizing deep conditioner of choice.
It is also important to note the different processes in the production of coconut oil matters in its performance, as revealed in this post [+]. Tropical Traditions Gold Label is 100% organic, made using the wet-milling process of fresh coconut meat, yielding a higher quality oil.
FHI Blow Dryer ($82)
This dryer is powered by ionic and Nano Fuzeion technology which allows hair to dry faster with less heat, sealing in moisture and reducing frizz.
Vented Brush ($5)
Ultimately, the blow drying process is the determining factor in the outcome of your flat ironed hair. The more work you put in during the blow drying process, the straighter, silkier, and more full of body your hair will be once flat ironed. A vented brush allows your hair to be blow dried as straight as possible for easy flat ironing.
Many attempt to skip blow drying with the intentions of exposing their hair to less heat, but in all reality, more heat will be required in the flat iron process if you attempt to achieve the straight silky results. Often times, hair that has not been blow dried previous to flat ironing will not have as much body had it been flat ironed to begin with.
Nioxin Thermal Bliss Thermal Protector ($10)
In the blow drying process you want to avoid the use of creams and butters, but still impart moisture and protection. This liquid has 3 characteristic: moisturizer, detangler, and heat protectant. Consider using this spray after freshly washing and allow your hair to air dry and then blow dry. Use of any product once hair has been blow dried will result in weighted down hair void of body. Be sure to use all products before the blow dry process.
Vented Straightening & Cutting Comb ($7)
During flat ironing, this comb allows hair to remain detangled while the flat iron slides down the section of hair. Being that the flat iron and vented comb will come into close contact, the ceramic nature of the it prevents melting, unlike typical rat-tail combs.
Hair Therapy Wrap ($28)
Deep conditioning with a moisture-rich product for an extended period of time (2+ hours) is an absolute must! There is no substitute. In addition, to increase moisture penetration, heat should also be employed. Because of the time required, the therapy wrap allows you to be mobile and get other things done while you prepare your hair for the blow dry/flat iron process.
How To| Straighten Natural Hair
How To| Avoid Heat Damage
How To| Prepare Natural Hair for Silky Straight Results
My Wash Day Regimen (detangle, deep condition, deep co-wash)