Friday, June 12, 2009

Safely straighten your curly hair

If you are anything like me, sometimes you crave a little variety in your styles. I love love love my curly hair. I can stare at it and watch all the bends and curves all day. But there are those days when I want to see the length and just look different for a couple of days.

The safest method to straightening your hair is to roller set it (aka doobie set). While this won't get your hair totally straight, you'll still have some waves depending on your hair texture and how tight you put in your rollers. This method won't alter your curl and it will go back to its natural state when you add water to your hair.

Put the flat iron down! The promise of pin straight hair can be so appealing, but even one pass of the iron in your hair at a too hot setting can change your curl pattern and repeated use will cause breakage and fly aways. If you insist on using it, be sure to keep the setting low and no higher than 347 degrees. To read the study put out by the American Academy of Dermatology see

To foller set your hair you will want to part your hair off into three vertical sections, going the long way down your head so you have a middle section and one section on either side. Try to keep these as even as possible. Pin up the two sides and start with middle going from top to bottom. I always section the very first piece and roll it second. This will ensure the front of my hair won't get a bend to it. Section the pieces into at most half inch pieces (more or less depending on the density of your hair). Roll the piece of hair, place bobby pins to keep them in place. I also like to use the velcro rollers. The hair does snag which is a con, however, my hair dries faster as the velcro rollers offers more ventilation and eliminates the need for bobby pins to keep in place (although I will use alligator clips in some instances). Once you're done with the middle it's time to work on the sides, one at a time. Further section the side into two pieces from top of the middle down to the ear. Continue to roll your hair. Sit under the hair dryer for about an hour. Drying times can vary depending on length and density of your hair. Get a good book or bring your laptop and read my website, www.wondercurl.comwhile you wait for your hair to dry.

After your hair is dry you may find it still has some bends or is too curly. Using a big round brush and your blow dryer, you can remove some more of the curl. Again, section hair into workable pieces and in a downward motion, work the brush and hair dryer through your hair. To use the round brush effectively, run the brush through sections of your hair avoiding the ends of your hair until your last pass with the brush. This will help minimize split ends. Don't use too much heat and become overzealous! Remember, your hair is not relaxed and won't get bone straight.

Please note, using any kind of heat to your hair has the potential to cause some damage to the hair. Roller setting causes the least amount of damage from blow drying and flat irons because it distributes heat evenly throughout your hair and there isn't all of the brushing you would have if you blow dried your hair from the beginning.

People with relaxed hair can also use this method to straighten their hair to prevent further damage to their hair.

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