For ladies with unruly manes, the Brazilian Hair Blowout and its spin-offs seemed like gifts from above. But our love affair with straightening treatments ended when controversy over a cancer-causing ingredient in some hair products (e.g. formaldehyde). How’s a frizzy gal to get sleek tresses safely these days? Here are a few tips to help you get the kinks out.
Flat iron: Manual straightening with a flat iron is still the safest way to get pin-straight tresses, say hairdressers, and irons from tool brand Royale are among the quickest and most effective on the market. Nova has durable ceramic plates that seal moisture in instead of wicking it out
Best Balm: But even the swankiest straightening irons take their toll on hair over time. Which is why using the right products is “essential” to safeguarding your locks, according longnigerianhair.com, who uses heat protection serum to coax hair into uncurling during the blow-dry stage. “It adds shine and is made to specifically smooth the hair.”
In a Lather: Shampoo and conditioner are also integral to keeping ironed hair soft and silky. A good rule of thumb: Choose a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and a rich conditioner, like the ones on Jumia, before using any hot tool.
Spray it: John Frieda, who’s been fighting frizz for decades with his best-selling Frizz-Ease serum, has debuted a semi-permanent styling spray, Frizz Ease, which you spritz onto damp hair before blow-drying and ironing. The “semi-permanent” label is a little iffy — since the next shampoo will undo any of the product’s effects — but the spray does a stellar job of keeping hard-to-handle manes in line for a few days running
Relax it: Chemical relaxers, which have historically been used on African-American hair, are now being used on ultra-curly hair of all ethnicities to get locks straighter, if not quite poker-straight. The process uses sodium or guanidine hydroxide to relax hair.
Hair dampness: If you are planning to straighten, curl or blow dry your hair after your washing process please make sure your tresses are at least 85 to 90% dry. Using heat on damp hair definitely will increase your chances of heat damage.