Do you desire natural bone-straight hair? You may have met other women who share the same level of interest in having a natural bone-straight mass of hair as you do. During such interactions, one thing that never seems to be lacking is the mention of heat-powered appliances to straighten curly hair. The thought of having a mass of healthy-looking straight hair is so desirable that most women rarely leave their houses in the morning without making an effort to keep their hair more straightened. Unfortunately, most of these women, and probably you, depend on thermal straightening to achieve this.
What is Thermal Straightening?
This is the use of heat-powered devices such as hair iron and blow-dryers to straighten naturally curly hair. It is a very effective procedure but has a truckload of 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:
When the hair is exposed to excessive natural heat, it becomes brittle and dry. Also, when the hair is exposed to heat applied through metallic and iron appliances, its natural moisture content largely depletes. This, in turn, makes the hair dull, brittle, and generally unhealthy.
2. Hair Fall:
When the hair becomes brittle and fragile, any form of manipulation may make it break and fall off. The application of heat for straightening has an impact even on the scalp. This impact damages the hair follicles and leaves the hair looking much less attractive than ever (2).
The use of heat to straighten hair is time and finance-intensive yet, very impermanent. The average heat straightener will need to 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
The level of attention and effort needed to straighten hair and the length of time the hair may stay straight afterward largely depends on its texture. Also, whatever texture your hair may be, there is the need for a thorough hair care process. To get it right, an understanding of hair texture is critical. These hair textures include
1. Straight Hair:
This is usually the most desired hair texture. The hair texture is bone-straight, soft, thin, and shiny; it also 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 coiled 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 clean, 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 available 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 the use of chemical treatment, non-chemical conditioning treatment, and hair masks. The use of hair care products for straightening 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, the use of chemicals is highly effective with immediate results, but in the same vein, it shares most of the disadvantages that thermal straightening has (5).
Non-Chemical Conditioning Treatment:
A popular non-chemical conditioning procedure used in salons and spas is hair botox. Botox, a short form of the botulinum toxin (a protein used to remove fine lines and wrinkles from the face), describes this treatment’s efficacy in removing frizz, restoring volume, luster, and moisture most importantly, straightening the hair.
Unfortunately, non-chemical conditioning hair straightening treatment is difficult to avail. 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 very popular and readily available. Their antioxidant, moisturizing, and glow-enhancing qualities are some of the reasons people usually walk through the fruits, milk, egg, and essential oil aisles when visiting the mall.
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 leave it more smooth than it was. For example, milk, honey, and banana paste mixture will make an ideal mask for hair straightening (7).
Directions for Use:
- Cut 1 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 scalp to 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 effective as well.
Directions for Use:
- Whisk two eggs and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to get a fine mixture.
- Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it for 40-45 minutes.
- Wash 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:
- Empty half a cup of coconut milk or oil into a bowl and mix it with 4 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 scalp to tip.
- Wrap your hair with a warm towel for 25-30 minutes.
- Unwrap the towel, apply shampoo to your hair and rinse it off with tepid water.
2. Hair Styling Tools:
Hair rollers may seem old-fashioned, but they will give you the results you desire. Rollers, comb, 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, with these styling tools, you can wear your hair straight for some time.
Apart from a nostalgic feeling about the ‘old good days,’ using hair rollers rightly on your hair will get it straightened.
Directions for Use:
- First, apply a light spray or mousse to your hair root and comb through to make it tangle-free.
- Using any hair conditioner of choice to slightly dampen your hair if it is completely dry.
- Divide the hair mass into small portions.
- Hold unto 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 a straightened hair (9).
This does not mean the popular mild feeling of heat running through the scalp. Instead, this hand-held hair styling tool has a cool 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 your hair healthy.
Directions for Use:
- Divide your hair into 6 -10 equal parts.
- Dry one section at a time using the cool 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 cool 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 advantages of straightening your naturally curly hair without resorting to the use of heat can’t be exaggerated. Any non-thermal straightening options you opt for will straighten your hair without sacrificing the moisture needs of your hair. In addition, these non-thermal options also leave your hair nourished, dense and healthier (if you opt for the use of hair masks) than it’s ever been.
Disadvantages of Straightening Hair Without Heat
With the teeming advantages, it’s easy to assume that there are no disadvantages associated with the non-thermal procedures. However, impermanence is a major disadvantage. Straightening naturally curly hair with hair styling tools, hair mask, or non-chemical conditioning treatment is a process you may need to repeat every 2-3 weeks. This may pose a challenge; you need to show up in straight hair if you have an impromptu invitation. The use of chemical treatment is fast and more permanent, but just like heat treatment, it has more long-term detriments than immediate merits.
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 a bit 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 get older. But no matter how old you get, naturally curly hair can’t completely turn straight.
How can I increase the permanence of my straightened hair?
Depending on the procedure used 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