How to Keep Your Straightened Hair from "Shrinking Back Up" | Elemo Hair
Apr 12, 2022
For now, let’s just say that when I saw it stated that flat ironing natural hair should keep hair straight for 3-4 weeks, I let out an audible laugh. Maybe if your curl pattern is super loose. Maybe if you don’t live in any humidity. Maybe if you take cold showers, don’t exercise and never sweat a day in your life. If all of these factors come into play, maybe you can go almost a month with a head full of straight hair that hasn’t been chemically processed. For the rest of us, it takes a bit of finessing to keep our tresses from “shrinking back up” once we’ve gotten them flat ironed, blown them out or threaded or banded them.
Since the spring and autumn season are pretty ideal for wearing straight(er) hair (because the temperatures tend to be milder), here are some ways that you can keep your hair straight, after straightening it, without relying on a ton of heat in order to make that happen.
1. Avoid humidity as much as possible
One of the best ways to keep your hair straight for as long as possible is avoiding humidity as much as you possibly can. This means using shower caps when you’re bathing. Opting for low-intensity exercises, so that you sweat as little as possible. Trying to stay indoors on the days when the sun is really blazing — basically taking it easy when it comes to anything that would bring more moisture to your locks.
2. Apply anti-humectant products
Just because the spring and fall may be a time when humidity is lower, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any at all. This is where an anti-humectant products can make your life so much easier. They’re products that are designed to keep your hair from absorbing moisture that is in the air, so that your hair stays straight longer and you don’t have to encounter a ton of frizz.
3. Wrap your hair
Back when I had a relaxer in my hair, one of my favorite things to do was wrap it up at night. Not only did it make for comfortable sleeping, but I could wake up, comb the wrap out and my hair would have a lot of body and movement. Wrapping helps your hair to retain its natural oils. Wrapping keeps your hair from tangling up or losing its “straightened shape”. Wrapping also reduces friction which, in turn, reduces frizz.
4. Use a bit of oil
When your hair is straight, you want it to have just a little bit of weight, so that your strands remain elongated. One way to do that is to add a bit of oil to your hair, both in the morning as well as before you turn in at night. If you’d prefer to go with an all-natural carrier oil, sweet almond is both super moisturizing and also pretty light. Whatever you decide to go with, just remember that dry hair leads to frizzy hair and water-based stuff can cause your curl pattern to come right back. That’s why adding about a half palm of oil on a daily basis is your best bet to keeping your hair straighter for longer.
5. And some edge control
If there’s one area that will try and curl up on you before any other area does, it’s going to be your edges. The answer to that is edge control. Personally, I’ve been on a mission to find the best edge control for a while now — mostly one that will hold for a long time without a lot of caking up.
6. Do some roller setting
So, what if you’re about a week into your hair being straight and, while it’s not exactly curly, it’s not “bone straight” anymore either. No worries. A great compromise is to roller set your hair for about another week. It will help your tresses to remain elongated, retain moisture and still give you a straighter look without you having to apply any (more) heat.
7. Twist your hair up at night
Our body temperature typically changes throughout the night which means there is a chance that you will sweat in your sleep. This, on top of the friction that can potentially come from moving in your bed for hours at a time, means that it makes perfect sense that you would need to tie your hair up before heading to bed. Not just with a bonnet either. You need to wrap your hair and then put on a silk or satin scarf that will hold your hair securely in place. If you do this, your hair should stay straight for about 10 days — even longer if you apply all of these other tips too.
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