Thursday, 16 January 2014

Staying on the Straight and Narrow - Maintaining Straight Hair

Let's continue on the straight hair topic. This is a follow up to my previous post about achieving straight hair.

During my very first stretch on my new hair journey, I diligently took care of my hair and new growth. I was enjoying the fact that I was on my way to long healthy hair. I stretched for 8/ 9 months, but during month 7, I got really curious about the length I was (or wasn't) achieving. I pulled out my flat-iron! I can't remember right now if I blow-dried as well, but I know I used the comb-chase method and a lot of heat protectant, a lot! When I straightened, the excessive heat protectant made my hair look thin and stringy but I was pleased with the length. 

8 months into my HHJ/ 7 months post

The next day, I put my hair into a semi loose ponytail, hit the gym, then took a nice steamy shower. LOL at my stupidity, but in my defense, I was a newbie! Anyway needless to say, the 3 hours or so which I had spent straightening the night before had been a complete waste! I was coiling at the roots like nobody's business. I know that while most people don't revert after a day, they still feel like spending hours straightening for only a few days' worth of manageability isn't totally worth it. So let's discuss a few ways to keep your hair straight for as long as possible.

Take precautions when showering or exercising
Water, steam, sweat, and humidity can all cause your hair to revert. When faced with any of the aforementioned situations, I ensure my hair is in a state that even if it comes in contact with the culprits, it will be safe. For instance, when I am about to take a shower, I usually wrap my hair (in a circle around my head) and then use a few layers of cling foil and then a shower cap. Additionally when going to the gym, I usually pull my hair into a taut ponytail, keeping it that way for the entire time my hair is dampened by sweat, removing it only after my hair is dry.

Moisturizing and sealing 
My straight hair M&S arsenal
 Some moisturizers can cause your hair to revert and some oils can weigh it down, choose wisely. When I am about to prepare my hair for bed by wrapping it, I use a small amount of liquid leave-in/ moisturizer and seal with a light oil. The hair, since kept taut through wrapping, will remain straight with the use of small amounts of liquid moisturizer. If I'm moisturizing when my hair is down, I only use a creamy leave-in with a light oil. Many people skip the moisturizer and use only an oil, coconut seems to be the popular choice. There are other options though, including less natural ones like Kerastase Cristalliste , ORS  Hair Polisher and Moroccan Oil oil treatment. In fact, the less natural ones (with silicone) may help your straight hair last longer.

Maintaining while you sleep
pin-curled overnight
There are a few ways to keep your hair staight while you sleep. Wrapping your hair, like I said before is an excellent way. This will give you straight results in the a.m. For a more wavy, sultry look, try using 3 large flexi-rods (or flexi-rod substitute) to roll your hair, releasing in the morning for glorious curls. Large pin curls or equally large bantu knots can give similar results. Note that the more product (especially water) you use when setting your hair in flexi rods (or other curl creators), the curlier your hair will be. Thus for soft waves, use minimal product and for more defined curls, be more generous with product (leave-ins / moisturizers).  Do remember that too much oil is not a friend of straight hair.

Extending the life of your straight hair
No matter how well we protect and maintain, there comes a time when we must return to our natural state, but not so fast! If your normal wash schedule is every week and you feel you can push it a little further for straight hair's sake, go ahead. Your hair, your rules. Just ensure that your hair is cared for while straight through moisturizing and sealing and scalp cleansing if necessary. Additionally, If your hair is reverting before your next wash day, revamp that bad boy with a silk wrap. Add some leave-in to your hair (skip the oil) and proceed to wrap neatly. After that, add a layer or 2 of cling foil to your wrapped hair. Sit under a hooded dryer for about 15 - 20 minutes. Remove the cling foil and now you can add a light oil. Wrap in a scarf or take down and enjoy straight hair once more. 

Noteworthy: try not to use direct heat to retouch your hair between wash days, using it instead only to achieve it initially after hair has been cleansed and conditioned.

How do you preserve your straight hair?


  1. Great post! I'll definitely be putting this to good use since I am going to the salon this week. Usually I maintain my straight hair with pin curls, but maintaining my style while working out is what I'm still working on

    1. Oooh looking forward to your salon results! Yeah, working out and maintaining a hairstyle can definitely be a challenge.

  2. Great tips. I had not realized that the more product one uses with flexi rods, the better the curls :) . Now I know

    1. :-) yes, the hydrogen bonds are broken with water (based products) allowing the strands to reshape while drying.

  3. I love giant bantu knots on straightened hair. But I'm probably just addicted to how easy and fast they are.

    Great tips chica!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

    1. Me too, they produce gorgeous waves.

  4. hot showers are the the reason why my hair can't stay straight, lol.
    do you have any tips on good heat protecting sprays?

    1. lol these
      are the ones I use, the Nioxin was discontinued but the Elasta QP is a good substitute (I prefer the Nioxin). There are many others out there though, like Chi Silk Infusion and TRESemme Thermal Creations Heat Tamer Hair Spray.


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