Before you even think about straightening your hair, you need to assess its condition first. Is it damaged? Does it need more moisture? Is there a hidden problem that is draining it from its luster? How we style and wear our hair is part of how we present ourselves to the world. Damaged hair can be easily identified. Split ends, dry hair that doesn’t seem to hold moisture, brittle- and dull-looking locks, are all signs of damaged hair.
Another sign that points to serious damage is wet hair that takes more than 6 hours to dry. Those who experience any of these symptoms and prefer to wear their hair straight often ask the same question: how can you straighten damaged hair without adding salt to the wound? In the following guide, we will provide some essential tips that will get you the results you want without harming your already damaged hair.
PREPPING STARTS IN THE SHOWER
For some people, avoiding conditioners and shampoos can leave their hair straight. However, this is not an option for damaged hair. Caring for your hair and paying attention to its needs is far more important than a temporary hairdo that can leave a negative impact for a long period. You might be tempted to grab items that come with promises to “smoothen and straighten” such as shampoos that are packed with keratin. These items can help in preparing the strands for straightening sessions. However, you need to make sure that they don’t contain any harmful chemicals that will dry your hair out and backfire as most of them do. The ideal selection would be going for some products that provide moisture, frizz control, and prepare the strands without causing damages.
CHOOSE A HIGH-QUALITY FLAT IRON
If you must use heat to dry your hair, then it’s essential to only pick a safe, high-quality iron to ensure that you won’t make matters worse. If you are not sure about which materials, brand, or model of iron to use, you can consult specialized guides and read more about the different features of each model in order to find the iron that suits your hair best. Usually, ceramic flat irons are ideal for all types of hair as the ceramic surface reduces frizz and provides a flawless sleek finish that will leave your hair looking lustrous and fresh.
It’s essential that we start treating our hair in a gentler manner. Many of us get out of the shower with fragile wet hair and start rubbing it roughly in a cotton towel. This simple act can break your hair strands, strip your hair out of moisture, and raise the risk of split ends. Instead of using a normal towel, it’s much safer to gently dry your hair with a microfiber towel with gentle pats instead of violent rubbing.
Other people depend on blow dryers to quickly dry their hair. While you should never leave your hair out in the air to dry naturally without putting it into a bun or braiding it, you should still steer clear from incorrectly using blow dryers. If you are trying to get that sleek-smooth finish, then it’s better to dry your hair with a blow-dryer using the rough-drying method where you keep shaking it back and forth over your head. It’s also better to set your dryer to the lowest possible temperature to minimize heat damage.
If you can’t go heat-free, then try to reduce its damage. You never want your hair to sizzle. This can be achieved by two bullet-proof tips that you should always keep in mind. The first is to wait until your hair is bone dry before you decide to use your iron or any type of straightener that uses heat. The second is always using a thermal protectant that suits your hair type before subjecting your hair to heat. Choose a thermal protectant that can be used on damp hair to be able to use it before using a blow-dryer to dry your hair. This way, you will provide your hair with maximum protection.
Many women around the world have taken the heat-free route, but it’s totally okay if you are still not ready to give up your favorite hairdo. After all, it’s part of how you express yourself. If you must use heat to straighten your hair, and especially if your hair is damaged, you need to make sure to provide it with maximum protection. This is not only to achieve the flawless, sleek look you are after but to also minimize the damage.