A few readers have asked about my hair routine so I thought I would do a post on what I consider the best way to straighten Afro hair.
These rules apply whether your hair is relaxed or natural but as mine is natural, my tips lean toward those whose curls are more resistant to straightening.
Wide Tooth comb – I use a Vogetti
Tangle Teezer brush
Ojon Super Sleek Restorative Blowout Protector
Ojon Rare Blend Oil
A powerful hair dryer – I use Wahl Series 2000 with a comb attachment
Straighteners – I use BabyLiss Pro 230c
A fine tooth comb
Part 1: Blow dry
Wash and condition with your usual brands. I use whatever is to hand. After washing with John Freida Brilliant Brunette Shampoo, I applied Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner and combed it through with a wide tooth comb. I find this makes the hair less tangled.
After rinsing, wrap your hair in a towel but don’t dry it too vigorously. Not only does it get too tangled, the rough cotton towel adds frizz. Add a 10p size amount of Ojon Restorative Blowout Protector to your damp hair and divide your hair down the middle.
Put the half you aren’t working on in a ponytail. I can’t stress enough that you must plait or twist the ends of the ponytail you aren’t working on. Don’t leave the ends of the ponytail swinging in the breeze as this only makes your job harder and adds unwanted volume to the hair.
Warm two drops of Ojon Rare Blend Oil in your hand and apply to your hair, paying particular attention to the ends. I divide the side of the hair I am working on into 4 sections and starting at the front, I comb through each section with the Tangle Teezer brush, starting at the ends as that’s usually the most tangled.
I blow dry each area until it looks straight. I then twist the now dry and straight section and clip it onto my head with the crocodile clip. Repeat all over your head until you’ve dried all your hair. Remember to twist away each section as your dry it. I find this is key in not letting any moisture or volume into the hair.
Now you’ve blow dried your hair it may look something like this.
Part 2: Straighten
As my hair is coloured I’m giving it some extra TLC so I warm 2 more drops of Ojon Rare Blend Oil in my hands and apply to the ends of my hair before I straighten.
Part the front section of your hair from ear to ear and clip that away with a crocodile clip. Divide the remaining hair down the middle and again, put the section you aren’t working on into a ponytail. Yes, with the ends twisted or plaited away.
Working in much smaller sections, starting at the roots, comb through with the fine tooth comb before you gently straighten each bit. Depending on the thickness of your hair and how poker straight you want it, turn your straighteners to the required temperature.
If you find your hair isn’t straightening as much as you’d like, go over that section again. I try to avoid this as I know the heat is bad enough already. I find it better to have the temperature that bit hotter and do the section once than to have it low and go over it multiple times.
Once you’ve done one side, repeat the process on the other half, leaving the front section until last. As the hair at the front of our heads is generally the weakest (too tight ponytails, old relaxer damage etc) I do this area in much larger sections and turn the straighteners down.
Part this small front area in whichever direction you usually wear your parting (left, right or centre) and gently and swiftly straighten, adding flips at the end if required. If your hair looks a little dull when you’re finished, add another drop of oil.
This is the end result and I won’t add heat again until I wash it next.
Part 3: Maintain
To keep this look going (I wash my hair once a week) at night it is important to wrap your hair. Cotton pillows are not our friend and I find even sleeping on a satin pillowcase makes my hair look crazy in the morning.
Your other half may not thank me for it but this really does keep your hair looking fresh. Before bed, put your hair into a loose ponytail (can you tell I’m a fan of those?) so the hair band doesn’t leave marks on your hair.
If you want slight curls use 2 or 3 sponge curlers on the ends. If you want a very slight bend use 1 or 2 big plastic curlers but bear in mind they are much less comfortable. If you know how to wrap your hair do that as it is the easiest and most comfortable option. After years of trying I’ve given up trying to master that skill.
Cover your hair with a doo-rag or headscarf, secure with some Kirkby grips and you are ready for bed. When you wake in the morning, simply remove everything, comb through gently with a wide tooth comb – you don’t want to brush all the curls out – and you’re good to go.
This has been my routine for years and I can do it all in less than an hour. I hope you’ve found this useful. Let me know if you try it.