We all want soft, natural looking hair. For those of you who have been through the works – thermal reconditioning or other chemical processes, daily blow drying, flat ironing and/or frequent dyeing of your hair – here’s the solution.
Get the right tools.High quality flat irons are crucial. Unfortunately, this is the one thing where pricier tends to be better. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to spend $700 on a designer flat iron. Whatever you do decide to buy, make sure that it has thin ceramic plates. One inch gives you much better control and straightens better than larger 1-1/2 or 2 inch plated ones.You'll also need a wide-tooth plastic comb - you can get one anywhere for about $2 - a round brush with both natural and nylon bristles, and a thin plastic comb with a long pointed handle for parting your hair. Buy large metal hair clips - the kind for styling. Look to a beauty supply store for these if the drugstore doesn't have any good ones. Thin hair ties are also very helpful. Try to get the kind without any metal in them, as those snag easily.Use a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. Infusium 23 is great. Matrix and Biolage are also excellent, but a little more expensive. Even if you are loyal to your favorite brand, Infusium 23's leave-in conditioner is an absolute essential for anyone who straightens their hair. It has a texture like water and leaves no residue if used properly.
Shampoo twice to really get your hair clean. Never scrub, but gently massage your scalp. Pay special attention to your hairline - particularly around and behind your ears - because this is where your hair gets especially dirty. When you're satisfied, comb the shampoo through with your fingers to distribute it to the ends, but keep in mind that there's no need to vigorously wash the bottom half of the hair, especially if it's damaged. Be sure to rinse it all out, and be thorough but always gentle. Any trace of shampoo left in your hair will only contribute to dryness. Rinse for a full four minutes.
While your hair is still dripping wet, apply some Infusium 23 leave-in conditioner. Use only on the bottom half of your hair. Less is definitely more here. Use too much, and your hair will feel like there's a light spray in it. For the best results, put some in a spray bottle. A couple spritzes on each section is all you need. If not, pour a very little bit onto your hand and smooth it through your ends. Comb it through with a wide tooth comb.
Use a very, very small amount of serum or creme just on the ends of your hair. Make sure that it's oil free and not too heavy, and again, keep it well away from your roots. Squeeze it through between the palms of your hands.
Wrap your hair turban-style in a towel, and just let it 'soak' for about 25 minutes. You can experiment with the time to see what works best for you.
Plug in your flat iron to let it heat up for a while. Tie most of your hair up into a ponytail right on top of your head, leaving just the bottom layer hanging down. Use the clips to get stray chunks of hair out of the way. Blow out the bottom layer of hair, really pulling it taut and away from the head. It doesn't need to be pin straight just yet, so don't stress out too much here. The idea is to make the flat ironing easy.