View Full Version : Straightening hair without damaging it too much?

-simply Venus-
February 7th, 2013, 10:04 PM
Recently I went to the salon and they cut off a good 4", and I have curly hair which means my hair will be much shorter. They styled it straight, so I haven't seen what length it'll be curly yet, but I'm not looking forward to it. I have a feeling that I'll prefer to keep my hair straight now to give it more length, and also because I rediscovered that I look much better with straight hair, and get many more compliments with it. How often do you think it would be possible to straighten curly hair without making it feel dry? My hair actually felt softer after the salon straightened it because of the products they used, so is it possible to barely damage hair straightening it? My guess is 2 times a month would be okay, but can I get away with more? Or is that even too much?

Sorry if this post seems scatter brained. If you need any info about my hair just ask =]

February 7th, 2013, 10:58 PM
About once a week would be okay if your hair is medium to thick - provided you use all the correct heat protection products - a very good flat iron spray, a drop or two of mineral oil to finish. Fine hair is a bit dicey if you are trying to grow it - once every two weeks max. Flat irons are not friends to people trying to grow their hair, so you really have to put moisture back into your hair each and every single time you iron and make sure there are no split ends ever.

-simply Venus-
February 7th, 2013, 11:05 PM
I have thick hair. Thanks for the reply!

February 7th, 2013, 11:09 PM
It depends on some factors, especially your hair type and how much damage you are willing to accept--"too much" is a relative term. Is your hair (the size of individual strands) fine, medium, or coarse? The coarser it is, the more likely it is to be sturdy and hold up to some heat styling.

Well, heat styling is damaging, and damage is cumulative and irreversible. I have read about curlies on this board who experienced loosening in the curl pattern by straightening just one time. Personally, I think you should give your curls a chance to shine :) They might surprise you with their beauty! It is a trade-off and in general you will sacrifice some hair health by using a straightener. It's all about how much you are willing to accept. I think twice a month sounds reasonable. I suggest using a heat protectant with silicones.

Also, perhaps you could try some heat-free straightening methods. They are not likely to get it stick-straight, but I think it's worth trying to see if you like the results. You can put your hair in giant rollers or band it (put hair ties along the length to straighten it). You may have to do either of these things twice to get good results. There are threads about these methods on this board.

-simply Venus-
February 7th, 2013, 11:23 PM
My hair is in between medium and coarse. And I know from experience that straightening does affect my curls, but only for a few days. And I've been wearing my hair curly for about 4 years straight so I think they've had plenty of time to shine. >.< Thanks for the reply! It was insightful =]

February 7th, 2013, 11:25 PM
I used to straighten every 2-3 days for 3 years, and my hair actually felt fine. Just remember to use lots of heat protectant before you blow dry and straighten it.

While my hair was fine straight (rarely split ends and such), it did become crazy when I decided to wear it curly again. My curls looked frizzy and undefined, and it actually took 2 years of no heat to get it looking good again. I think I grew out all the heat damage now, and are growing healthier hair. But that also means it is not as long as it could have been - after 3 years of growing from chin, I could have been a solid BSL - instead I am trapped just past APL.

So you can do it, but it will probably have consequences.

February 7th, 2013, 11:40 PM
Thanks, I'm glad my reply could help a little. ^_^ Ah I notice now that you've been a member here for a while, so I guess you have had time to let your curls shine. I hope you find something that works for you! It's a good thing you're M/C. I'm a finey and my hair breaks if you look at it the wrong way. :headache:
I think it's interesting that your curl pattern seems to go back to normal a few days after straightening. I wonder about the science behind that..

February 8th, 2013, 09:59 AM
You could use large rollers. Either make a ponytail on top of your head and roll the ends overnight or roll up damp hair and dry under a hood or bonnet dryer. That would be much kinder to your hair than a flat iron.

February 8th, 2013, 10:49 AM
No matter what you do flat irons will damage your hair and you will have to trim more than usual which can hinder growth, and that is some aspects why a lot of people in here detest them (I'm not trying to encourage you to not do so, but i'm just stating already known facts and sayings in this community). However, I like Spidermom's idea of using large rollers (as big as you can find) on damp hair and just letting it sit wrapped in a silk scarf all night. There are other methods like ribbon binding the whole entire length. Most non heat method won't give you the same effect as a flat iron, but you can achieve a more beautiful natural straight look then an obviously flat ironed look. Also depending on how curly your hair is will determine how much you'll have to change the methods or techniques like leaving it in longer, but if your hair is wavy then you can easily do these methods and you can easily achieve straight hair. One last resort is to take some serums and put it on damp hair and use a large round brush and blow dry your hair on cold setting. Good luck!

February 8th, 2013, 10:58 AM
I suggest you try the no heat curls thread hey have some great ideas for curls that are stretched out. So you could get your curls to stretch out so much that hey look like braidwaves non-damaging but still slightly longer?

February 8th, 2013, 11:13 AM
I'm all for using straighteners here and there, since i do myself and look a lot better imo. Blow drying on cool and then using the lowest possible heat i can has been the best method. I wont ever use high heat again since over time, it damaged my curl pattern. Sure it bounces back after a few days, but after a couple years of using high heat, the curls stopped bouncing back, they were just lank crumbly waves instead. Now the ends of my hair are only 1c while my roots and length are their usual 2c/3a. I've also found the bits exposed to high heat are incredibly porous and brittle.

-simply Venus-
February 9th, 2013, 09:38 PM
Thanks for the reply! Where do I find the threads talking about the no heat methods?