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If you’re wondering how long does a flat iron last on natural hair, or you’re sick of wondering “Why is my hair poofy after I straighten it?” - I’m gonna get you the answers you need, so don’t worry your pretty lil’ poofy head.
NHP knows better than anyone that gorgeous natural hair is fun and gives true testimony to our cultural origins, but every so often, the desire to adopt a silk press or flat iron style overtakes some of us.
Flat iron styles are a popular temporary option for naturalistas looking to change things up, yet, no one likes to see their natural hair frizzy after straightening in just a few short days!
Makes you wanna slap somebody, (or maybe it’s just me and my anger issues) lol. Ugggh....
You will want to take steps to ensure your hair is ready for flat ironing for best results. First though, don’t expect months and months of straightened hair after one flat iron session. Let’s talk about it...
Before we get into how to extend the length of time that your hair stays bone-straight, let’s get your expectations under control. OK sis?
Because flat iron straightening isn’t a dang permanent straightening solution, some sistas expect waaaaay too dang much out of a single silk press flat iron session. And listen, I feel you girl...
It can be tempting to wear your flat-ironed hairdo as long as humanly possible.
After all, you spent a big chunk of your day getting your natural hair texture to do something against its kinky-curly nature. Some women go weeks and weeks before cleansing their hair again, and this just isn't healthy.
We shouldn’t worry about how long does a flat iron last on natural hair, or how long we can make it last more than we care for our hair health.
Two weeks is pushing it as a maximum for wearing flat-ironed tresses, but some women routinely go four weeks, or longer.
Although you're trying to avoid as much moisture as possible while your mane is straightened, going too long without hydrating your hair is asking for trouble.
[RELATED: Are ceramic or titanium flat irons best for fine hair?]
The path to the perfect flat iron style is simple. With a few basic actions, you can achieve an impressive and long-lasting flat iron style. But, first, you must ensure that your hair is ready and capable of undergoing the flat iron process.
Before flat ironing your hair, you must ensure that it is clean, free of product build-up, dirt, debris, or anything that might compromise the hair's structure.
A clarifying and moisture-rich shampoo can help clean both your hair and scalp and hydrate your hair in preparation for the flat iron event.
Moisture-rich hair is essential for withstanding the flat iron process. Hair with adequate hydration is flexible and can withstand the heat application process.
Finally, check your hair for damage or breakage ahead of your flat ironing excursion. You want to avoid using heat on hair that has damage at all costs.
Flat iron styles are temporary. With proper care, your flat iron can last for upwards of two weeks.
However, a few things to consider if you hope to enjoy a long-lasting flat iron style include weather, nightly maintenance, and daily styling habits.
Weather Affects How Long Natural Hair Stay Straight
Weather is an underrated enemy when it comes to wearing a flat-ironed do. It greatly affects how long a proper flat iron straightening job lasts on natural hair. Humidity is a powerful enemy when it comes to daring to rock a flat iron style.
Hair has a tendency to revert back to its naturally kinky, curly state if it encounters water or moisture in the air.
You will want to keep your umbrella available during these two weeks and use an anti-frizz serum on your hair to avoid the ruins that frizz can bring.
Your Care Practices Affects How Long Natural Hair Stay Straight
Another key ingredient in the perfect flat iron recipe entails wrapping your hair every night. Wrapping your hair every night can help to sustain your hair and protect your hair from friction.
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Let's talk about how to keep natural hair from reverting after straightening.
Because with proper care, some flat-iron styles can last for upwards of two weeks. But, of course, it will require a bit of commitment on your end. Daily and nightly efforts are necessary for this hair to survive more than a few days.
During the day, you will want to apply oil-based moisturizers to your hair. These products will help to keep your hair looking vibrant and minimize the risk of frizz.
What products should you avoid on flat-ironed hair? Ideally, you should skip applying water-based hair products which are better-suited for curly hairstyles.
Though you might be enticed to use products that list themselves as being moisture-rich, these products can prove to be your worst enemy during the wear of a flat-iron style.
The last thing you want to do after you finish flat iron straightening is expose your hair to avoidable moisture, and that means keeping it dry. First of all, don’t use water based hair products after you finish flat iron straightening!
Some stylists say that a bit of coconut milk can give you that sleek shine, but just don’t do it.
Additionally, if you go outside on a rainy day, wear a hoodie, or at least carry an umbrella. The longer you can avoid dampness and excess moisture, the longer your flat ironed hair will remain straight after you use your titanium and ceramic flat irons.
One way to keep hair straight after flat iron is to use a dry shampoo instead of the traditional wet moisture shampoo.
Dry shampoo can help to keep natural hair straight after it's been flat iron styled by reducing the moisture, oil and buildup in the hair. Sprayed on to the roots of the hair, dry shampoo is brushed outwards removing the oil from the hair and keeping the straightened hairstyle intact, long after it has been treated with a flat iron.
So, when wondering how long does a flat iron last on natural hair, the answer changes with the proper use of dry products and a daily regimen.
As noted above, take care to wrap your hair each night. This action will help to protect your style and hair from friction that may lead to frizz.
Aside from protecting your style, there are multiple benefits of wrapping your hair each night. Wrapping your hair helps to seal in the moisture that might otherwise be lost on your pillowcase or sheet.
As we sleep at night, our scalp produces natural oils that help keep our scalp adequately hydrated and aids in strengthening our hair, thus helping to minimize the risk of death.
A silk scarf is the best type of material to use to wrap your hair at night to enjoy the full benefits of the wrapping process.
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I'm Melissa Lee...
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In closing, your wrap can last upwards of 7 to 14 days with proper care and product selection.
Of course, you will have to stay away from situations that might impact the lifespan of your flat iron such as humid conditions or problems that might force you to come in contact with water.
Hey, if you enjoyed this NHP tutorial about “How long does a flat iron last on natural hair?”, take a look at our infrared hair straightener vs ceramic article.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Melissa Lee
Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.