Thermal straightening also known as flat ironing, a press and curl or a blowout is a popular alternative to permanently straightening natural hair and offers a way to achieve looks that commonly created on relaxed hair.
A common complaint is that the blow out doesn’t last long or the hair begins to revert very quickly, and this can be quite discouraging. When the hair is straightened, it is most often a desire that it remain straight for at least a week. Besides the fact that all textures are not created equally, there are some useful ways to wear this style with a more positive attitude towards it.
Here are some tips to improve and/or increase the amount of time you can wear a blowout:
- Start with healthy hair. There’s nothing like having damaged hair and applying heat to it. Damaged hair can be many things, dry, brittle, dull, knotted, matted, thin and tangled. Trying to achieve a smooth blowout on damaged hair is a recipe for disaster causing further damage.
- Trim away split ends. Part of having healthy hair is ridding yourself of any split ends. Split ends can cause your blowout to be very frizzy and will be smooth along the length of the hair and puffy at the ends.
- Work with clean hair. Hair that is not freshly shampooed may have product build up and will not give a very smooth appearance when blown dry and flat ironed. If the hair has a lot of build up, try a clarifying rinse to improve results.
- Use a leave in conditioner. Detangle sections of hair using a leave in conditioner to make detangling easier.
- Use a heat protectant. Grapeseed oil is a great heat protectant and is very light. Apply a very small amount to the ends of the hair, working toward the scalp before blow drying.
- Work in small sections. Blow dry the hair in small sections. Parting the hair into 4-6 sections can help ensure the hair gets completely dry. Tip: Another option is to roller set the hair on large barrel sized rollers and sit under the dryer to stretch and smooth out hair before flat ironing it.
- To flat iron the hair, part the hair in ¼ to ½ inch sections with a rat tail comb and start in the back of the head (nape). Smooth the section once, then a second time with a ceramic flat iron.
Tip: Ceramic flat irons are a great tool because they are gentler on the hair than metal plates and gives a smoother finish.
8. Finish the smoothing with a silk product or another type of oil to tame fly-aways and add shine to the hair.