Natural curly hair is great but sometimes we want to have a break and do something a little different. It might just be time to pull out the flat iron.
Now I know some may say that you shouldn’t straighten natural hair but honestly having a little change every now and again never hurt anyone.
If you follow the basic rules for straightening natural hair you shouldn’t have a problem straightening your hair and then getting your natural curl pattern back afterwards.
If you want to know how long a flat iron lasts on natural hair and the best way to maintain your straight hair then keep reading for some very important tips!
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How Often Can You Flat Iron Natural Hair?
When it comes you flat ironing your hair you have to be very careful. Curls can be very delicate and the last thing you want is to have overdone it to the point where you can’t get your curls back.
There are certain things that you have to put into place before you even allow a flat iron anywhere near your curly tresses but we’ll discuss those later on.
I personally wouldn’t straighten my hair with a flat iron more than twice a month and that’s a push. On top of that even if I did do it twice in one month the next month I wouldn’t do it at all. I have seen many people flat iron their hair so many times that gradually they begin to lose their curls over time because of the excessive number of times that they reach for the flat iron.
Having said all this that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it, it just means that you should be extremely cautious about it.
How Long Does A Flat Iron Last On Natural Hair?
For the most part, a flat iron can last 2-3 weeks depending on how you look after it. The weather can also play a part in this too. If the air is humid then the chances are that your curls will revert to its natural state much sooner than you expected.
The length of time that your hair can stay straight really will depend on the circumstances.
If you work out a lot, the sweat could also cause your hair to revert a lot sooner too.
If you want your hair to remain straight for any amount of time then there are some do’s and don’t that you should take note of.
We’ll discuss those in the section titled “How to care for flat ironed natural hair”.
How To Prepare Your Natural Hair For A Flat Iron
Before you take to straightening your natural curls, you need to do some prep work first to avoid potential damage.
Firstly where possible start on freshly washed hair. You will get much better results having done this because your hair will be free of product build-up and overall will be much lighter. You can use a clarifying shampoo if you are prone to build up in your hair. If possible using a deep conditioner while washing would be a good idea too to allow your hair strands to have ample moisture.
Next, put your hair into sections. Doing this will help to manage your hair to make it easier to straighten. Small sections are always going to be easier to work with.
Take the first section and apply a small amount of leave in conditioner to it.
You may want to also use a very light oil but that is down to personal preference. You may find that you may not need it, especially if you have a lot of natural oils coming from your scalp.
The next thing is to use a heat protectant. This is a really important step. If you do nothing else in your routine you must use a good heat protectant to stop your hair from experiencing heat damage. Even if you already have some heat damage using a heat protectant will prevent further damage to your hair.
At this point, you can use a blow dryer on your hair on the lowest heat setting possible if you have wet hair. You can also use the blow dryer on damp hair too. Doing this will help to give your hair a bit of a head start with the straightening process so you can run the flat iron less times on your hair while still giving the best results.
Be cautious because drying your hair on high heat will strip your hair of moisture very quickly. After having gone through the deep conditioning process you’ll need to keep that moisture as best you can.
The final step would be to use the hair straightener to straighten your hair.
You can repeat this for each section until your whole head is complete.
How To Care For Flat Ironed Natural Hair
Caring for your straight hair is the other half of the battle. Remember that your hair will want to revert to its curly form because that is its natural resting place. So you need to do as much as you possibly can to stop that from happening without damaging your hair.
No matter what hair type you have your curls will always want to come back.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts for you.
Make sure that you wrap your hair before going to bed with a satin or silk scarf like this one. Wrap your hair all the way around your head just like in the video below so that your hair remains in a flat state.
Remember to wrap your hair at night time with a satin scarf. This is the best way if you want your hair to remain straight and keep its moisture locked in at the same time.
Related post: How to keep your hair straight overnight
Keep Water Away
This might seem obvious but do your best to stay away from water. If you are in the shower make sure you use a shower cap to stop moisture from getting to your hair. If you are out and it begins to rain make sure you have a good umbrella to stop your hair from getting wet.
If you are a gym buff and you like to work out then be aware that you are likely to sweat. I wouldn’t like to say don’t work out whilst your hair is straightened but I would say keep your hair wrapped and tied down flat. The key to this trick being successful is to make sure that you don’t remove the headscarf until your hair is completely dry afterwards.
Consider The Season
The season that you choose to flat iron your hair also makes a difference. If you do it during the summer time, the chances are that your hair could quickly revert due to the humidity. You may also find that you could end up with frizzy hair too.
Other Ways You Can Straighten Natural Hair
If you are a little turned off from going with the flat iron there are a few other options that you can explore when it comes to straightening your hair. These may not get your hair bone straight but they will straighten your hair to some degree.
- Hair dryer
- African threading method
- Roller set
- Banding method
- Bantu knots
- Hot comb (Be extra careful with one)
- Silk press
- Keratin treatment
Final Thoughts On How Long A Flat Iron Lasts On Natural Hair
As I said at the beginning of this article, straightening your hair can be a really nice thing to do once in a while but you must be aware of the risk involved when doing so. Even straightening your hair just once the wrong way or by using too much heat can cause hair damage. The less heat you can get away with using the better.
If you follow the steps above you should be able to do so just fine.
Enjoy your new look!
Other related posts you might enjoy:
How to thoroughly wash natural hair
How to keep your natural hair moisturised
How to straighten natural hair without heat
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