"Start out with well conditioned hair when using heat. Deep condition once a week, and always use a thermal protector before flat ironing or blow drying."
- Johnny Wright, Artistic Style Director for SoftSheen-Carson
& Hair Stylist to First Lady Michelle Obama
Tips for Flat Ironing African-American Hair
If you don't chemically straighten your hair, flat ironing gives you the option to wear your hair straight whenever the mood strikes. And if you do relax your hair, you can use a flat iron to boost your shine. Here are some simple moves for creating super silky strands:
- Start by making sure hair is thoroughly nourished. We suggest using a deep conditioning treatment such as Miss Jessie's Rapid Recovery once a week to keep hair hydrated.
- Defend your hair! Apply a moisturizing leave-in heat protecting lotion on dry hair to preserve essential moisture and shield strands.
- Smooth a straightening balm through hair to help calm and relax curls while creating soft, glossy texture.
- Use a high quality ceramic flat iron with adjustable heat controls. African American and coarse, curly hair types require higher heat temps to straighten strands, in the range of 350-400° F.
- Separate hair into one inch sections. Grab a tension comb and secure on a section before picking up your iron. The tension comb will help get the section super straight.
- Glide the iron through strands a section at a time.
- "For best results: start at the roots and work your way down the hair shaft to the ends. Always flat iron hair in the direction you want it to lay. If you start at the roots you will have a softer finish," recommends Johnny Wright
- Use a mini flat iron to smooth hair that's close to the scalp and nape of the neck. Minis are great for bangs and touchups, too!
- Remember movement is essential. Use even, fluid strokes along strands, and don't hold heat in one place to avoid damage and deliver divine results.
- Once you've finished, add a touch of shine spray or serum to polish off your look.