by Katherine Martinko
Avoid using heat or chemical straighteners that will damage your hair over time. Instead, there are healthier alternative ways to coax your hair into the style you want.
Straight hair is stylish, pretty, and convenient, especially for wintertime. The problem, however, is that many of the tools used, such as heat and chemical straighteners, are really bad for your hair. Over time, they dry it out, split the ends, and you end up with straight hair that’s not nearly as attractive as it once was.
Fortunately there are some other methods for encouraging curly or wavy hair to straighten out naturally, without using heat or chemicals. You won’t get the pin-straight look from the iron, but you’ll have healthier hair that’s more or less straight with volume.
1. Brush wet hair until it dries
After washing your hair, let it air dry completely, but continue to brush it every five minutes. Pull out and hold each section of hair for a few seconds to encourage it to straighten out. You can also do this in front of a fan, which is faster, but requires constant brushing.
2. Wrap wet hair tightly
When your hair is wet, comb and divide it down the centre. Comb the left portion all the way over to the right (yes, it’s a combover of sorts) and wrap around the back of your head, securing with bobby pins. Flip the right section over the left side, wrap, and pin in the same way. Let it air dry completely. You can wrap in a silk scarf and sleep on it to reduce frizz.
3. Roll your hair
Use large hair rollers, i.e. the size of soda cans, to roll sections of wet hair and secure them tightly against your head. Let dry completely. This is important, because the slightest bit of moisture can make the curl or wave come back.
4. Use overnight hair hands
Divide damp hair into one or two low ponytails. Fasten with a soft hair elastic, then add additional elastics every inch or so down the ponytail, in order to hold it together. Make sure the elastics are fairly loose so that they won’t leave a noticeable mark on your hair. Go to sleep and let it out in the morning.
5. Twist hair into a bun
If you have fairly obedient, straightish hair to begin with, then this method will likely work for you, though it’s not effective on my stubbornly wavy hair. Make a ponytail of damp hair and twist like a rope. Wrap around itself to make a bun and secure with an elastic. Let air dry, then brush out.
6. Make a natural straightening mask
Making a milk and honey mask is very recommended. Mix 1 cup of whole milk or coconut milk with 1 tbsp of honey and let it soak into your hair and scalp for one hour before washing out.
You can also mix 2 cups milk with 1 egg. Soak your hair in it for 10 minutes, then squeeze out, don’t rinse, and wrap with a plastic cover for another 30 minutes. Wash out and brush dry.
A recipe from Glamrs recommends applying the following DIY straightening mask twice a week for 2 months in order to relax and straighten your hair: 1 cup coconut milk, 5-6 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp cornstarch. Heat at low temperature and stir until smooth. Cool, then apply to hair.
To all of these methods, add a few drops of sweet almond or coconut oil to tame frizz and smooth out the look.