Heat Styling on My Own

This past weekend, I straightened my hair. This was the first time I heat-styled my hair myself. The process was long and tedious, however I was more confident in my styling abilities after watching plenty of other kinky naturals do this. KKQ, in particular was my recent motivation for this style. She has gorgeous kinks and opts to straighten her hair herself on occasion. My method for straightening followed my typical wash routine with some additions.
  1. Pre-treat scalp with Jane Carter Solution Scalp Renew - to combat my dry scalp.
  2. Pre-poo/deep condition hair with Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner, sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Wash hair with Desert Essence Organics Lemon Tea Tree Shampoo. It's a new one I'm trying because Loo likes it.
  4. Condition and detangle, with wide-tooth comb and Denman. I keep forgetting to buy conditioner, so I just used some old conditioner I had by Nature's Gate.
  5. Section hair in to 10 sections and twisted each section.
  6. Spray each section with Aveda Brilliant Damage Control as a heat protectant.
  7. Blow-dry each section with Hot Tools blow dryer using comb-attachment on High Heat. It's not a super-powerful blow-dryer, so I'm sure high heat is still within the "safe" range.
  8. Apply quarter-size amount of Grapeseed Oil to blow-dried hair.
  9. Flat-iron hair in small sections with FHI Flat Iron on 300 F. Click here if you want to know why I chose 300 F.
  10. Snip split ends with shears. (I cut about 1/4" - 1/2" in some places)
  11. Twist each section of hair and bantu knot it. That's how I got the curls that you saw in this post.
*All products were purchased by me at Whole Foods with the exception of the Aveda product that I purchased from an Aveda store. The entire process took me about 4 hours. I straightened my hair on Friday (1/21), and I have worn a series of french braids and buns for the past week. Here are some pictures of my hair "out" from Wednesday

My hair has reverted some, but I don't care - I like the texture, and I normally have it all pinned up. To end this post, I will share my personal feelings on heat styling and being natural, because I know it's a touchy topic in the natural hair community.

My personal opinion on heat styling natural hair:
Heat styling is not the devil, and it does not have to ruin your kinks. I was natural for 14 years before I got my first relaxer. I would get my hair straightened quarterly as a young girl, and monthly as a pre-teen. I never experienced heat damage then. There are "safe" temperatures to heat style natural hair, and as long as those temperatures are used, hair should not suffer from heat damage. Check out Jc's post here covering "How Hot is Too Hot"? I used that post as a guide for the temperature setting on the flat iron.

In saying all of the above, I do know there is a lot of added strain that accompanies heat styling - that's a lot of pulling on my tresses!!! Thus, while I do think heat styling is a lovely change, I will use this technique in moderation, and I will administer all heat styling myself. This was the most gentle experience my hair has ever had with heat, and since length is still a goal, I think it's wise to leave the heat styling to me during cool-weather months.

To see previous straight hair looks, check out the links below:
July 2010 Straight Hair
September 2009 Straight Hair


  1. Thanks for the shout out. I like the texture too, I have never liked poker straight hair.

  2. @ Jc - Np, thank YOU! Having your post as a guide was the main thing that made me feel confident abt going through with the whole process!