Normally, African Americans have a harder time straightening out their hair because of their natural curl and kink. More heat should be generated on the flat iron's surface and subsequently, more hair products have to be used. However, you can still accomplish this feat by following these guidelines before using the flat iron.
Here are some of the tips on how to flat iron and style African American hair.
- Look for a high-quality flat iron that would generate more heat than the usual flat irons. Flat irons made from ceramic, tourmaline and titanium are usually good for African American hair. Because of the African Americans' naturally curly hair, more heat is needed to loosen and moisturize the hair roots.
- Look for a skinny flat iron with teeth as this will straighten edges and untangle ends. Make sure that the teeth are not removable because they can come off at the wrong time. This kind of flat iron can cause injury to those who are not careful.
- Prepare the hair. Shampoo the hair thoroughly and generously lather conditioner. The conditioner will help preserve moisture in the hair shafts. After baths, do not blow-dry the hair. Just comb the hair out. Separate it into sections. You can twist or braid it, then let it dry. If you have to use a blow dryer, comb the hair gently using a wide toothed comb. Do not completely dry out the hair while blow-drying it.
- Use the flat iron with teeth. Run it through sections of hair to loosen the tangles and straighten the edges found in your hair. Do all of your hair using a flat iron.
- Go slow but steady. Do not flat iron when you are in a hurry. But do not let the iron sit in one position for a long time. This technique requires a slow pace, but it must also be a controlled movement. Begin close to the roots and move smoothly toward the tips. Do this step repeatedly.
- Apply a leave-in hair protection conditioner. This would keep the ends of the hair from drying out. Then, comb all the hair forward until it hangs from the forehead. You can even separate it into sections. Starting from the back portion, use the ceramic flat iron with no teeth to run through the hair sections. Part thin rows and straighten it as you go. Continue this until you get to the front and all of the hair is straightened.
- Wrap hair at night. Cover your hair with satin or silk before going to bed. This way, when you wake up in the morning, you can easily comb through your hair.
These are some of the tips to flat iron and style African American hair. This type of hair may require more effort, but with the right tools and products, ironing out curly and kinky hair will be easy. Even if flat irons only straighten hair temporarily, this method is usually less damaging compared to thermal reconditioning and thermal relaxers. Flat irons are naturally safe and effective ways to straighten hair.