Styling wavy or curly hair is most often a daunting task. Curls, for example, have to be set a certain way to look “right.” Wavy tresses, on the other hand, waiver on the precipice and seemingly can’t decide which way to turn – curly or straight? Additionally, hair that escapes the grip of elastic bands and scrunchies can make any girl go mad with frustration.
It is not a surprise, then, to note that more and more women are preferring straight hair. From Brazilian blowouts in high-end salons to irritating chemical hair baths in corner stores, the straightening trend has become one of the latest trends.
Thankfully, there are now safer ways to have your hair straightened. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely risk-free. The chemicals in straightening agents typically cause hair to lose its natural moisture, drying it out and making it brittle.
For this reason, chemically straight hair care requires more maintenance to make it look naturally healthy and supple. What is more, you will need to bring back the nutrients sapped from your hair during the procedure.
Many girls who have had their hair straightened have had issues with the after-care, but you don’t have to. Check out these seven ways to help keep your chemically straightened hair healthy and beautiful.
Tip One: Listen to (and obey) your stylist’s instructions.
Having your hair straightened will dry out your hair, no matter what precautions you take beforehand. This is why it is important to ask your stylist for advice on how to maintain it.
Typically, after the procedure, you are forbidden to shampoo or wash your hair for a given amount of time, usually three to seven days, depending on your hair’s texture. This is to give it time to set.
You also won’t be allowed to do anything with your hair. That includes tying your hair up in a ponytail, tucking it behind your ears, or bending it anyway for the aforementioned time. If you fail to follow these instructions, you can potentially alter your sleek straightened hair.
Once you can safely shampoo your hair again, rinse it thoroughly to get rid of remaining chemicals. These straightening agents, if left too long on the scalp, may cause itching and irritation.
Lastly, if your stylist has any special instructions, follow them. They are trained professionals who know how hair works, and they will know what is good for you.
Tip Two: Avoid any more chemical treatments for at least six months after the straightening procedure.
This is to give your hair time to regain its former shine and state of health. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up with irreparably damaged hair, right?
Since chemicals have already seeped into your hair during the straightening procedure, bombarding it with more chemicals from coloring products will only cause it to become more brittle and dry.
So postpone the coloring session until your stylist says it is safe to do so.
Tip Three: Avoid heating products.
Hair dryers and straightening irons exude heat that may damage hair. For as long as possible, hold off on these products. If you must use a blow dryer, opt for the cold air setting.
Showering with hot water is also a no-no. This is because it removes moisture from your hair. Use cold water instead.
Tip Four: Condition daily, but use shampoo sparingly.
Unless your scalp gets very oily, put the shampoo back on the shelf. Some girls even swear by the No Shampoo Philosophy. But if you find that gross, cut down on shampooing by using the product every two days or so.
Use conditioner instead to bring back your hair’s luster and shine. It is recommended that you condition daily.
You can also deep condition your hair or apply hot oil every week or so to maintain your look.
Tip Five: Use hair care products for treated hair.
After the procedure, you can’t just go back to using the hair products you used before. This is because these products may not have the necessary formulation to maintain your chemically straightened hair.
On the supermarket, look out for products for dry and/or treated hair. Thankfully, with innovations in the beauty industry, products for specific hair types are now available in the market. They might cost more than the regular ones, but at least you’ll be able to keep up with your hair maintenance.
Tip Six: Keep your hair protected from the sun and pollution.
The sun can harm your hair in more ways than one. Couple that with pollution emitted by vehicles, factories, and other buildings in the city and you’ve got quite a deadly combination.
But if these things are harmful to natural hair, they are more so to chemically treated hair.
When going out, use an umbrella or a hat (being careful not to alter your hair’s shape) to keep out the sun’s rays. You can also wear a stylish head scarf.
If you are living in a temperate region, be mindful of the effects of the season on your hair. The winter air, for example, releases more static on the air, thus making hair stand straight. Incorporate these elements into your maintenance regimen and apply products as needed.
Tip Seven: Get your hair trimmed regularly.
This is to help maintain the condition of your hair. Straight hair tends to be prone to split ends, and having hair regularly trimmed gets rid of that thinning hair.
They also say that regularly trimmed hair grows back healthy and well, and who could resist that?
With regular visits to the salon, you will also be able to experience new cuts and styles for your hair – something that may not have been possible when you still had wavy or curly hair.
Straight hair care for chemically treated tresses need not be unnecessarily difficult. With these tips, surely, it won’t be for you.
Just remember that, when in doubt, ask your stylist for advice. They may even tell you some secret hair maintenance tips we weren’t able to cover here!