Because Truly Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That
I love a good straight style! We both know that there are serious considerations you should keep in mind before you straighten your hair.
The most significant factor being time. Straightening hair can be time-consuming and require some intense upper body strength.
Contemplating straightening your hair may have you go through the following questions in your head: Do I have any important meetings this morning? What can I binge watch on Netflix while I craft this perfect hairstyle? Why me? Before finally concluding that you may have made a huge mistake. It does not have to be this way, sis! No, it doesn’t!
Here at PLE, we have the tea on how to achieve that glamorous straight style while cutting down the time to achieve it. The best way to shorten the time to straighten your hair is by being proactive with your hair care routine.
This may seem like more work on the back end, but trust me, your arms and hair will thank me!
Something to Consider…
Before we help you get your morning time back, there are a few factors to consider.
The first factor is your hair type. Depending on your hair’s type, or curl pattern will significantly affect the way your hair straightens and your style’s final result.
Curly to kinky hair may require more effort to dry as compared to straight and wavy hair. Note that even those with straight hair typically still have a bit of curl. The next factor is texture. Hair texture falls into categories such as fine, medium and coarse. These words describe the size of the hair follicle and determine the feel of the hair. Fine hair holds more moisture but also can damage easily since the strands are small in diameter.
Lastly, the state your hair is in currently will alter the heat styling process and result of your hair. Take into consideration if your hair is permanently colored, experiencing split ends or already suffering from heat damage.
All of these factors come into play when styling your hair.
Word of Caution
Although we want to shorten the amount of time spent straightening our hair, it is important to note that some shortcuts are not worth the risk.
When you are dealing with heat styling, it is critical to use a heat protectant on your hair before you begin.
Any hair is vulnerable to heat damage, and there is an exceptionally high risk for those whose hair is fragile or color treated.
Heat protectants help to coat the hair and add a barrier between your hair and the intense heat from your flat iron. You do not want to skip this step in order to save time. It will cost you even more time to style heat damaged tresses. Straighten your hair, but only with a heat protectant.
Also adding oils, especially ones that naturally hold up well to heat, are a great investment to the health and care of your hair and overall style.
Many flat irons only have an “off” and “on” button.
However, the precise temperature that you straighten your hair at is essential. Flatirons can get very hot and even if we are in denial, burn and destroy our hair by heat.
This is not an attempt to sway you away from heat styling, but you do want to take the necessary precautions when altering your hair. Fine and some medium hair textures will want to straighten their hair at a lower temperature around 306 degrees Fahrenheit whereas coarse textures do not want to exceed about 410 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is a misconception that a hotter flat iron will give you straighter hair faster. Maybe it will help to keep in mind that your average paper burns at 451 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is best to take your time to achieve a beautiful style than fry off your crown.
Strategy 1: Deep Condition
The first strategy to shortening the time needed to straighten your hair plays off your hair’s need for moisture.
Hydrating your hair is very important for regular care, however, it is essential before heat styling. When you are applying heat to the hair, you are draining your hair of critical moisture and nutrients.
By choosing to deep condition your hair one to two days before heat styling, you will ensure that your hair has an abundance of nutrients, antioxidants, and hydration absorbed into the strand. Deep conditioners help to strengthen your hair strands to be able to withstand the heat of your blow dryer and flat iron. With moisturized hair, you minimize the risk of heat damage to your strands and can enjoy a beautiful shiny straight hairstyle.
Hair is most brilliant when appropriately moisturized. There are a ton of strengthening deep conditioners on the market. If you do not have a favorite one, then experiment and find one that your hair loves. If you want to do the DIY route, try using household items to add wonderful benefits to your hair. Bananas, avocado, egg and aloe vera add moisture as well as protein to strengthen your hair. A good rule of thumb is to try deep conditioning your hair once every one to two weeks.
As you fall into a conditioning routine, you will find it takes less time to straighten your hair, and your style will be able to stand up the last of summer’s humidity since it will be full of plenty of moisture.
Strategy 2: Clean Hair
Perhaps you have heard the phrase that says, “clean hair is healthy hair!” If not, let me introduce you to this fact.
Dirty hair is harder to straighten, and you run into many more risks. When your hair is full of dirt, debris, and product buildup, your flat iron cannot reach your hair strands to straighten them because there is too much stuff in the way.
Dirty hair also prevents the iron from passing smoothly over your hair in a single pass, resulting in multiple passes through your hair. The more passes your flat iron takes through your hair, the more sensitive your hair is to heat damage and breakage. Not to mention that when dirty hair comes into contact with a hot flat iron, the old product and dirt start to burn causes a not-so-pleasant smell to linger on your hairstyle.
With clean hair, you start with a fresh canvas. Your hair is not weighed down with tons of week-old product, and your iron can pass through the least amount of times reducing heat damage and the ever-important time.
You can guarantee that your straight style will last a lot longer if you begin with clean hair. No one wants to have a fabulous and flawless straight style with a clogged and irritated scalp. Try choosing one to two days before straightening to give your hair a good scrub down.
With a cleansing shampoo, wash away old product and the week prior. Some may recommend using a dry shampoo to save time. I do not personally recommend this method, especially since dry shampoo is not technically shampoo at all. Take the extra time to clean and condition your hair before heat styling.
It will cut time and leave you with a fresher and bouncy straight style.
Strategy 3: Start With Completely Dry Hair
If you think about it, most of the time we spend achieving a straight hairstyle is not straightening our hair, but drying it in preparation to straighten it. Don’t straighten your hair until it’s completely dry!
By the time we get out of the shower or finish our wash day, we are dreading the terrible moment of standing in front of the bathroom mirror desperately waving our blow dryer trying to dry our hair faster. Somewhere in between the screaming of our triceps and utter impatience, we figure 89.99% dry is close enough and ready for us to move on with the flat iron. Especially, if your hair is wonderfully thick, you know the struggle.
However, when we skip on the drying portion of our hair, we are only making more work for ourselves in the long run. We try to convince ourselves that the heat of the flat iron will simultaneously dry and straighten our hair, but that is not the purpose of the flat iron. When we realize this, then we again use multiple passes on our hair. There is a better way, and it requires an old friend named Patience. When you let your hair completely dry, you use your flat iron for its intended purpose, which is to flatten your hair.
Depending on your hair’s texture and density, you can go a few different methods of drying your hair before heat styling. One option is to wash your hair the day or night before straightening and then pull your hair in a ponytail overnight.
This will allow your hair to dry almost completely and reduce the time your hair’s exposure to heat. For curlier and kinkier tresses, this method is called stretching where you use a few hair ties to extend your curls without the use of heat. Your hair will air dry and also straighten your hair and most of your curls out.
If you are not a fan of air drying, then you can always use a hooded dryer to quickly evaporate the excess water present in your hair.
Strategy 4: Brushes and Combs Are Best Friends
Tangles and knots are the enemies of quick heat styling.
They slow down the flat iron as it passes through your hair. This leaves you to go through multiple passes, waste time and wish you had another set of arms. In order to fix this issue, you can start by brushing your hair before using your flat iron. While your hair is dry, part your hair in medium-sized sections and gently brush through your hair.
The best method of brushing is to begin from the ends of your hair and work your way up. Brushing your hair will smooth it out, reduce frizz and detangle hidden knots within your hair.
A brush is best to use because it is relatively gentler than a comb and the many bristles will surely get knots and tangles that your comb may miss. Don’t ditch your comb though; she will come in handy with the next step.
After you have thoroughly brushed your hair, with your flat iron on and ready, you can use your flat iron to chase after your comb through the different sections of your hair. Chasing your comb will rid your hair of any tangles. It will also allow for a smooth and even heat distribution of your hair. This method also reduces the number of passes you have to go through your hair. Each strand should experience the right amount of heat to straighten your hair.
By using a brush and comb, you can achieve a flawless straight style that you can run your fingers through and reduce the amount of frizz in your style’s result.
Straighten Your Hair With The Quickness
Now that you have a few strategies under your belt to try, you can start shortening the time it takes to straighten your hair. Although many of the tips given here seem like more work, they will inevitably reduce the amount of time you spend in the bathroom with your blow dryer and flat iron.
Remember that clean hair, moisture, stretching and the right tools will ensure that your hair is healthy at all times and ready for that perfect date night straight style. Many of the items used you may already have handy in your hair care arsenal or pantry.
Do not be afraid to experiment and found out which strategy works best for your hair and style. Which strategy are you most likely to try?
Leave your answer in the comment section below!