There is just something wonderfully sleek about having really long, straight hair. The native americans kept their hair as it represented their connection to the earth, and allowed them to sense their surroundings better. Royalty kept their hair long as a sign of status and wealth. Warriors kept it long as a sign of virility and prowess on the battlefield. To cut ones hair in the past was to castrate a mans.. manliness. Oh how things have changed.. but they don’t need to! A little education goes a long way..If you are like me – at some point in your life you have wanted straight hair. For me being Colombian/Italian, as a child my hair was straight, and then got super curly once I hit puberty. Every now and then I tire of the curly hair and want straight hair, but we all know the dangers of straightening hair..
So how does one grow their hair super long, while still keeping it healthily straightened and beautiful? We all know the dangers of chemical treatments and flat iron treatment – broken scalp hairs, brittle unhealthy hair, hair that looks like its been cooked, that greasy french fry smell after straightening, or that dried out barbie doll hair look.
Through the video below, as well as the written explanation we shall explore exactly how to go about straightening long healthy hair, without damaging your mane.
What you will need for healthy straightening:
1) A fine tooth comb and a wide tooth comb
2) A ceramic blade flat iron
3) Some manner of being able to blow your hair with cool air – whether its a blowdryer or just a regular fan
4) A spray bottle with water and lemon juice in it
Wash your hair as usual – be sure to get as much of the tangles out as you can BEFORE you start straightening. Run your hair under the water on a hard setting if you are showering, or under the tap with a lot of heat so there is a lot of pressure on your hair if you are taking a bath. For one this will remove all the excess shampoo, another it will open up the pores, and most importantly it will help you get any tangles or excess hair that has fallen out and gotten stuck in your hair OUT of your hair. Start from the scalp, work your way to the crown of your head, and down to the tips of the hairs. When your hair separates into snakelike tendrils and feels completely smooth your hair is properly detangled. You need water pressure for this to work quickly and well. If your hair looks frizzy while wet it means your hair is still tangled. Once done run your hair under cold water to close up the pores.
Pat your hair dry so its not dripping, but still wet. Comb your hair out while it’s still wet first with the wide tooth comb and then with the fine tooth comb. Once your hair is slightly wavy and detangled and just hanging you are ready to start flat ironing.
Stage 1: This stage of flat ironing is not going to focus on straightening at all – rather it is going to focus on getting your hair CONSISTENTLY dry. If you don’t do this step properly this is where you will damage your hair. Run the flat iron once through all your hair, from root to tip – not long, not hard, just a once over, then from the back, go over the layers underneath until they are as dry as the layers on top. The underneath should be as dry as the top, the tips as dry as the roots. Once you do this run the wide tooth comb through your hair, and once this is done turn on the cold air and run the comb through it again. You will notice your hair is quite coarse at this stage. This is ok.
Stage 2: This stage of flat ironing is going to focus more on getting a general straightening going. Start a couple of inches down from the roots – and focus more on slowly going over the hair. The process of constantly combing will help the roots straighten out so you don’t want to consistently be putting the flat iron here – that will destroy your hair if you do over time. Go over all your hair. Once it starts to feel warm or hot turn on the fan and this time run the FINE tooth comb through your hair. At this point if your hair starts to feel dried out take the spray bottle with lemon juice and water and spray it all over your head until it’s SLIGHTLY damp – you don’t want to undo all the straightening, just re-moisturize your hair.
Stage 3: This stage of flat ironing is going to focus on getting the finished straight look Start with the top layers, and do it in strips, working your way to the back, and making sure the scalp hairs at the back of your neck are properly straightened the most – as this is where the most moisture collects, although if you did the first stage properly, these should be just as dry as the rest. Then turn on the fan, run first the wide tooth comb through it, then the fine tooth. Then run your fingers through all of your hair. When you flat iron hairs tend to stick together – you want to break all of this up.
Then simply style as you wish – with fingers, comb, water spray if need be. You will notice as you go through each stage that your hair feels softer and softer. Using the cold drying method allows your heated up hair to relax, and also adds shine. This method will also allow your hair to retain its volume, if your hair is thick to begin with.
You want to avoid using damaging products as well as the chemicals are not good for your scalp and hair, and buildup can prevent your hair from growing healthy and properly. You can use baking soda and vinegar to strip off buildup while you shower – or even just plain white vinegar will do the trick.
You want your hair to be uniformly dry when straightening because otherwise you will overheat your hair. The ends will become brittle and dry, while the back layers will still be moist and curly. Also you want to avoid overexposure of heat to your scalp, which causes heat bumps on your forehead and causes that “burnt french fry” smell when straightening your hair.
Check out our most popular guide on the site regarding tips for how to grow out long hair.