I do not flat iron my hair often, but I enjoy changing my look every now and then. I was always taught that too much heat whether your hair is relaxed or natural can be detrimental to the health of your hair. With that said, I limit the use of the flat iron on my hair so that I can preserve its health. I learned that flat ironing my natural hair takes a lot of time before, during, and after I have completed the process.
I like to shampoo my hair. Yes, that is correct, I shampoo my hair before I flat iron it. Shampooing my hair allows me to remove any buildup that I may have from using heavy butters and oils that are usually in my products. This will allow my hair to dry faster while I am blow drying it and it will also allow my hair to have body after it is flat ironed.
I like to prepare my hair before I began flat ironing it by deep conditioning it with a moisturizing deep conditioner. Doing this will allow my hair to be properly hydrated before I apply the direct heat to it.
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I have learned that I must start very early in the morning to start the flat ironing process because it can take over 2 hours to do. Time is key and believe me, you do not want to spend your entire day flat ironing your hair.
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Adjust the Temperature
I have never experienced heat damage because I like to keep my heat below 400 degrees. I use a certain level of heat based on the thickness of my hair which is around 350 degrees. Most flat irons will explain to you which level of heat is ideal for your hair type.
Photo by Kevin Sweeny
I like to apply a small amount of moisturizer to the palms of my hand and smooth it over my hair. I only use a small amount (less than a pea size) because I do not want my hair to revert. I also like to seal my hair with oil. The oil helps with shine and it locks in the moisture. Moisture is very important, even when your hair is straight. You do not want to dry your hair out.
Jessica Lewis's tutorials have received more than 22 million views on the MahoganyCurls YouTube channel, and nearly 500K follow the Macon, GA native via social media.