Are you dreaming of effortlessly achieving natural, bone-straight hair? If you’ve ever discussed this desire with other women, the conversation likely revolved around using heat-powered appliances to straighten curly hair. The allure of having a lush, straight mane is undeniable, prompting many women, including yourself, to incorporate thermal straightening into their daily routines. However, there’s a need to explore alternative methods to achieve the desired straightened look without relying solely on heat-based styling. Let’s delve into healthier, less damaging approaches to maintain a sleek, straight hairstyle.
What is Thermal Straightening?
This uses heat-powered devices such as hair irons and blow-dryers to straighten naturally curly hair. It is a very effective procedure but has side effects on the hair (1).
Side Effects Of Hair Straightening
Although the thermal straightening of curly hair gives immediate satisfaction, it may leave you with numerous long-term disadvantages. Some of these disadvantages include
1. Poor Hair Health:
Excessive exposure to natural heat can render hair brittle and dry. Similarly, when subjected to heat from metallic and iron appliances, the hair’s natural moisture content significantly diminishes. Consequently, the hair often appears dull, brittle, and overall unhealthy.
2. Hair Fall:
Brittle and fragile hair is susceptible to breakage and shedding with any form of manipulation. Heat application for straightening affects not only the hair but also the scalp. This impact can damage the hair follicles, resulting in a less attractive overall appearance of the hair. (2).
Using heat to straighten hair is time and finance-intensive yet very impermanent. The average heat straightener must repeat the exercise every 7-10 days to keep the curls away. This will leave the adverse effects of brittleness, less moisture, and a dull appearance.
Hair Texture and Thermal Straightening
Achieving and maintaining straightened hair involves varying levels of attention and effort, with the duration of the straightened effect influenced by the hair’s texture. Regardless of your hair texture, a comprehensive hair care routine is essential. To navigate this effectively, a crucial understanding of hair texture is required. Different hair textures include
1. Straight Hair:
This is usually the most desired hair texture. The hair texture is bone-straight, soft, thin, and shiny and holds curls poorly. The look it affords women who wear it naturally attracts others to change theirs, making it the most common style.
Also, Read – 10 Most Effective Shampoos for Curly Hair
2. Curly Hair:
The curly hair texture is slightly wavy and is divided into three subtypes by some experts (thin, medium, or coarse), depending on how loose or tight the curls are. The curls tend to run from mid-hair; hence, the entire hair mass can be curled or straightened easily.
3. Coily Hair:
This hair type has a more pronounced wave than the curly hair type. Also, unlike the curly hair type that starts curling mid-way, this one runs from scalp to tip in a spiral texture.
4. Kinky Wavy Hair:
This hair type is defined. It runs in a dense zig-zag pattern from the scalp to the tip. This hair texture requires the most attention and care to stay healthy and straightened (3).
Straighten Curly Hair Without Heat
The dilemma associated with the availability of two or more viable options is often tiring. Even if the situation is choosing how to straighten your naturally curly hair. The two options offer similar safety guidelines and results but are distinct (4).
You may straighten your hair without heat by using
- Hair Care Products
- Hairstyling Tools
1. Hair Care Products:
This process includes chemical treatment, non-chemical conditioning treatment, and hair masks. Using hair care products to straighten naturally curly hair is effective, efficient, and time-saving.
An expert may use chemicals like keratin to turn curly hair into a bone-straight, attractive mass of strands. However, just like heat, using chemicals is highly effective with immediate results, but in the same vein, it shares most of the disadvantages of thermal straightening (5).
Non-Chemical Conditioning Treatment:
A popular non-chemical conditioning procedure used in salons and spas is hair botox. Botox, a short form of botulinum toxin (a protein used to remove fine lines and wrinkles from the face), describes this treatment’s efficacy in eliminating frizz, restoring volume, luster, and moisture, and, most importantly, straightening the hair.
Unfortunately, non-chemical conditioning hair straightening treatment is challenging to find. However, it may be found in specialized distribution channels – saloons and spas with professionals trained for its administration. The result of this treatment is semi-permanent and stays visibly evident for 10-15 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair and how fast it grows (6).
Hair masks are trendy and readily available. People usually walk through the fruits, milk, egg, and essential oil aisles when visiting the mall because they have antioxidant, moisturizing, and glow-enhancing qualities.
Hair masks have lots of benefits to the hair, and depending on your choice of ingredients, they may serve as a good curled hair straightener.
Masks that may significantly change your hair type from whatever it is now to a mass of straight strands include:
Milk, Honey, and Banana Hair Mask:
Besides almond milk, any other milk applied to your hair will make it smoother. For example, the milk, honey, and banana paste mixture will make an ideal mask for hair straightening (7).
Directions for Use:
- Cut one big-sized banana into chunks and blend.
- Add a cup of milk and 3-4 teaspoons of honey to the blended banana and whisk thoroughly.
- Apply the mask to your hair from the scalp to the tip.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with a conditioner.
- Leave the hair to dry naturally in a well-ventilated room or under a fan – cold air.
Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask:
This mask is easy to make and practical as well.
Directions for Use:
- Whisk two eggs and two tablespoons of olive oil for a fine mixture.
- Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it for 40-45 minutes.
- Then, Wash your hair thoroughly using a good conditioning shampoo (8).
Coconut, Lime Juice, and Olive Oil Hair Mask:
You may use coconut milk or oil for this mask.
Directions for Use:
- Mix half a cup of coconut milk or oil into a bowl with four teaspoons of fresh lime.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil if you are using coconut milk.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 40-50 minutes.
- Massage the mixture into your hair from the scalp to the tip.
- Wrap your hair with a warm towel for 25-30 minutes.
- Unwrap the towel, apply shampoo to your hair, and rinse it with tepid water.
2. Hair Styling Tools:
Hair rollers may seem old-fashioned, but they will give you the desired results. Rollers, combs, and hairbrushes are some styling tools you can use to straighten your hair. So whether you have a curly, coily, or kinky-wavy hair type, you can wear your hair straight for some time with these styling tools.
Apart from a nostalgic feeling about the ‘old good days,’ using hair rollers correctly on your hair will get it straightened.
Directions for Use:
- First, apply a light spray or mousse to your hair root and comb through it to make it tangle-free.
- Use any hair conditioner to dampen your hair if it is scorched slightly.
- Divide the hair mass into small portions.
- Hold onto a portion and place rollers (preferably big-sized ones) on the crown of your hair. Then, roll the hair up around the rollers.
- Repeat this process until all hair portions are rolled firmly on rollers.
- Leave the rollers for two or more hours.
- Remove rollers to reveal straightened hair (9).
This does not mean the mild feeling of heat running through the scalp. Instead, this hand-held hair styling tool has a relaxed setting. Your hair will need an extra 20-30 minutes to dry when using this setting compared to the hot one, but it is safer and will leave it healthy.
Directions for Use:
- Divide your hair into 6 -10 equal parts.
- Dry one section at a time using the relaxed setting.
- Keep combing through while you blow-dry till it gets as straight as you desire.
This is similar to using the blow dryer in a relaxed setting.
Directions for Use:
- Carefully comb through your semi-damp hair using a wet brush (10).
- Apply any frizz-reducing hair product of your choice.
- Sit under a fan or in a properly ventilated place for 30-45 minutes, brushing your hair every 5-7 minutes.
Advantages of Straightening Hair Without Heat
The benefits of straightening your naturally curly hair without relying on heat cannot be overstated. Opting for non-thermal straightening methods ensures your hair is straightened without compromising its moisture requirements. Moreover, these non-thermal options, particularly with hair masks, leave your hair nourished, voluminous, and healthier than ever before.
Disadvantages of Straightening Hair Without Heat
Despite the numerous advantages, it would be a mistake to overlook the disadvantages of non-thermal procedures. One significant drawback is their impermanence. Straightening naturally curly hair through methods like hair styling tools, hair masks, or non-chemical conditioning treatments may require repeating every 2-3 weeks. This poses a potential challenge if you must maintain straight hair for impromptu events or invitations. While chemical treatments offer a faster and more permanent solution, akin to heat treatment, they come with long-term detriments that outweigh immediate benefits.
Taking care of your hair till you achieve the desired glow, moisture and texture is a very important part of sustaining and enhancing your good looks. Like with every other part of the body, constant care of the hair should be a routine especially if the goal involves changing it from one texture to another. Straightening your hair will give it a great look and captivating shine. However, it is important to opt for healthy hair straightening instead of using heat or thermal straightening processes. This ensures you do not sacrifice your hair health, in exchange for straight hair.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can my curly hair become straight naturally?
The answer is No. You may see some ladies with previously curly hair now flaunting a straight one, but the reality is that it took extra effort to achieve it. You can straighten your hair using heat, chemicals, non-chemical conditioning, hair masks, or hair care tools.
Is it better to straighten curly hair wet or dry?
It is generally advised to leave the hair to dry before any form of manipulation (including treatment). However, you may start straightening your hair while damp but with extra care, possibly with a wet brush.
Does my hair get less curly with age?
As a result of gravity activities, curls tend to loosen as you age. But no matter how old you get, naturally curly hair can’t wholly turn straight.
How can I increase the permanence of my straightened hair?
Depending on the procedure to straighten your hair, it can stay straight for 2-15 weeks under favorable weather conditions. To keep it straight for longer,
- Frequently shampoo and rinse it.
- Apply hair masks constantly.
- Avoid exposure to much heat and cold.
- Frequently detangle the strands with a wide-toothed brush.
- “Hair straightening” – wikipedia.org
- “How to Fix Severely Heat Damaged Hair” – naturallycurly.com
- “Hair” – wikipedia.org
- “4 Simple Ways to Straighten Your Hair Naturally, Without Heat” – oprahdaily.com
- “Everything You Want to Know About Permanent Hair Straightening” – healthline.com
- “What Is Botox for Hair?” – healthline.com
- “What Are the Benefits of Using Bananas for Hair?” – healthline.com
- “How to Create an Egg and Olive Oil Hair Mask” – wikihow.com
- “7 Jumbo Rollers That Straighten Hair Without A Flat Iron” – bustle.com
- “The Best Way to Air-Dry Your Hair, According to Experts” – healthline.com