I was so surprised when I air dired my hair today after I co-washed it. I noticed that for all intents and purposes.... my hair is STRAIGHT now. I do not have any curls! Really it is a loose type 2 now not pin straight type 1. Now I could scrunch some curls or waves in if I wanted to do what the semi straight haired Caucasian ladies do who call themselves "curly" girls. But I am not going for that anyways. Maybe I will try the faux, scrunched curls one day for a change of pace. But what I did was use my Tresemme Keratin Smooth 7 day Heat Activated treatment
as a leave in, and I brushed my hair completely smoothly with a brush and let it air dry straight. I had noticed while it was air drying that the ends did dry a bit frizzy and with a tiny bit of curl but when I put that on as a leave in, it straightened it out and allowed it to air dry very smooth and frizz free ! So that will be my go to leave in for heat use as well as air drying from now on. After it was dry, I twisted it up into a top knot bun because that is my cheat setting technique for bombshell Victoria Secret Model hair. It basically makes the hair look like it was set on jumbo rollers without all the work.
What chemicals did I used to achieve this straight hair?.... NONE!
Is it heat damage? Absolutelutely
I just found out that what I was using as a flat iron was 100% defective and probably not even 200 degrees. I can PRESS my hand to it hard to try to feel a little warmth and it only felt luke warm at best. So that thing is in the trash somewhere. I now use a new iron at 350 for my color treated, ex- 3b hair. I had previously, inaccurately assumed that the old iron must have been about 350 -390 but after feeling what 350 really feels like on my new iron, I now know I was wrong. It was no where near any kind of 300 degrees...not even in the ball park.
What I used to get these results was one application of Uncurly which I botched by using a defective COOL temperature flat iron. So really that treatment did not count because I REALLY did not flat iron it in. Then I used the Tresemme Keratin Smooth 7 day mentioned above each time I "flat ironed" with that same lame cool iron.
And I finally, a couple months later, I did one Liquid Keratin 60 day when I bought a decent 400 degree Remington flat iron and used it on 350 instead. Again when I did "flat iron" in between treatments, I used the Tresemme Keratin Smooth 7 day Heat Activated Treatment as a booster after every co wash. That is also my standard leave in from now on. And, I conditioned with OGX Anti Breakage Keratin Oil Conditioner. So basically I switched to mainly keratin products along with doing the UNCURLY Keratin treatment (Uncurly.com) and the Liquid Keratin 60 day Keratin treatment. The first attempt was like a texlax and made my 3b/c like a 3a. The 2nd application made my 3b like 2a. For me, 2a is basically STRAIGHT hair. The results just snuck up on me after a few months of religious use of Keratin treatments, conditioners and 7day Keratins. Again, my results are all suspect because I found out that my flat iron was probably not even 200 degrees the first few times. I am not recommending anyone uses luke warm flat irons. It basically made me waste products. I surely would have gotten my results sooner if I had used an adequate flat iron from day one.
How cool was my defective flat iron? Basically I could hold my whole palm pressed against it and barely feel any heat. So it was really not even a flat iron at all. It WAS defective.
So basically, I straightened my hair with just keratin and a new flat iron at 350 degree. That low temperature of 350 will work only because my hair is very fine and color treated, fragile, 3b/c hair. For typical type 4 hair you NEED to use at least 410 and do at least 7-10 passes. The instructions call for 450 for all non color treated hair. But you can go as low as 410 for normal virgin hair and I would say 450 for coarse virgin hair. The more passes you do, the better the results you'll get also. So 10 passes IS best for the TREATMENT process on virgin Afro hair. Another thing, the instructions say to let it sit for 10-30 minutes before you flat iron keratin treatments in. But for Afro hair you NEED to let it sit under a conditioner cap about an HOUR before you do those 10 passes with the flat iron. Otherwise you're wasting your time for Afro textured hair. Also, do not skimp on product with Afro hair. You NEED to FULLY SATURATE the hair with the keratin solution for Afro hair also otherwise you're wasting your time and money. So depending on the length and thickness, you may need two kits for Afro textured hair. Also, if your hair feels coated, tacky or "like velcro" during the 3 days you have to keep it straight to process it, just use common sense and apply some natural oil as a lubricant after you've flat ironed it and it will be just fine for those 3 days.
I advise all ladies, natural or relaxed to get the UNCURLY product or Keratin Research's Keratin Treatment and use at least a 410 degree flat iron for hair in the type 4 or higher. I WAS a 3b/c and now I have 2a straight hair with no curl, just a bit of random wave and I LOVE IT! My hair feels well conditioned, healthy and strong even though it is straight.
Keratin treatments are the bomb. I advise relaxed ladies to switch to them instead of relaxer because relaxers are so damaging. Even if it makes your hair texlaxed looking instead of bone straight, the benefits are well worth it for length retention and for the health of your hair. And I advise natural ladies who want more manageability, looser curls, less shrinkage and more styling options to try them too! Remember, type 4 ladies will likely look texlaxed or like type 3 with this at best as opposed to straight or wavy because it is primarily a chemical free method. But it DOES have some effects with continued use! The first one will likely only look like a mild texturizer. But the next time you do a full treatment within a month or so, it will look looser. If you don't want it any looser, then obviously you would just treat your roots like a touchup at that time instead of doing a full treatment again as advised. But most people will want the best results possible so you can do a full treatment on the full strand each time. It is keratin and strengthens and conditions the hair while cumulatively texturizing it with each application. Again I did use the Tresemme 7day as a leave in for a booster with each co wash. Also I condition with keratin conditioners and co wash instead of shampooing for longer lasting effects.
Highly textured hair can be highly challenging. After going through relaxers, natural, Japanese Straighteners, and finally Brazilian Keratin treatments. I DO finally HIGHLY recommend the last 2 (Japanese straighteners and Brazilian Keratin treatments) as safe options for ALL ladies with highly textured hair. For a Japanese straightener, you can buy One N Only Thermal Ionic Straightener kit in super strength for ladies with type 4 hair from Sally's Beauty. It is a chemical and while it is a LOT gentler than relaxers, it is not as gentle as a Brazilian Keratin Treatment. I used those for 2 years and my hair did well. If you want a very gentle and conditioning option, the Keratin treatments may be for you. It can take a bit longer (a few more applications) to see your smooth results with Keratin treatments. So you have to weigh which option is best for you. But all of these options are available to you. Relaxers are so damaging and do not allow length retention for a lot of ladies. Going natural is nice, but a lot of women prefer straighter styles which can be challenging with natural Afro hair. Furthermore, going natural is not the same across the board. Comb outs and styling if you are 3c/4a can be a LOT easier than the same for type 4c/z hair. So some naturals may need a little help to get by. Either way, these are some wonderful options other than relaxers than I can fully recommend after trying them personally.
Edited by LadyAradia - Nov 01 2014 at 12:58pm