Straight Talk About Hair

In my intrepid quest to keep on trying new hairstyles, I spoke to my hairdresser about straightening my hair. I wanted to try it for a number of reasons:

1. I had seen it on a lot of YouTube videos and thought it would be cool to see how my hair would look like straight. This was a way of assessing how long it had grown and to continue showing It’s Natural readers that natural hair is versatile.
2. I reasoned that if I suffered extreme heat damage, resulting in a permanent loss/alteration of my natural curl pattern, then cutting off all my hair would not hurt as much, since I had only been growing it for a year anyway. I was prepared to lose my hair if it went wrong.
3. Since my last visit to the barber shop in April 2010, I had never actually trimmed my hair. Previously, I religiously trimmed my hair every six to eight weeks. This was during my relaxed days and during my 5 years with dreadlocks.
So, I went in for a treatment and then, my hair dresser proceeded to blow out my hair and then straighten it with a flat iron. As I sat in the chair and looked in the mirror, I could not believe what I was seeing. I was texting my friends like mad. My natural hair was long straight as though relaxed. I was happy to learn that my untrimmed hair only had some dry ends, but no unhealthy wisps or split ends. I was very happy, actually.
It felt a little weird at first, but I soon got used to it

I got in my car to drive home and kept checking my rear-view mirror in excitement. Was I excited to have straight hair? Not really. I was more excited that I had done something completely different and unexpected, which would cause friends and family to do a double take.
I stopped off at the shopping centre and was amazed how my hair was bouncing and swinging on it’s own, each time I turned my head, even slightly.
I prayed that it would not rain and quickly made my way to and from the car park, into the store and back again. 

This is how the hair looked from the top/back

As it happened, I needn’t have worried about anything. It didn’t rain and I suffered no heat damage whatsoever. In fact, I left the salon around 6pm. By 8pm, my hair had already begun to shrink. So, by the time I got to my friend’s place and had her take these pictures at 9pm, my hair had shrunk from my shoulder to the nape of my neck. It basically looked like a regular blow-out that high school girls do. I was very disappointed that no one (except my hair dresser), got to see how great my straightened hair looked.

I tried to read up on why my hair reverted so quickly, and I think it is because I only used the iron about three times on my hair. Some of the sites I read said you should pass the iron over your hair 10 to 15 times. I guess that makes sense, but I think I scared the life out of my hair dresser since I went in convinced I would lose my hair so she exercised extra caution.
Most of what I have also read, advises not to heat style your hair too much. Especially flat ironing it. So, I will try this again in about six months, when my hair needs another major trim. I have the intervening months to decide if I will be willing to suffer permanent heat damage and chop it off of things go wrong.

I just love this picture and had to put it on here
By the following morning, my hair had shrunk almost completely. This was aided by sleep, although the top remained soft and fly-away. I wore my hair in a afro puff and afro for the rest of the week. It was very easy to style because the hair itself was so soft and very light.
In truth, I didn’t like it very much because my hair was just so light. It didn’t have it’s usual weight, and of course texture. I like texture. Also, I got the impression (though probably imagined), that my normally black hair looked brownish. That I most definitely did NOT like.

One response to “Straight Talk About Hair

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